PuffinswriteSome of you will have read this before elsewhere, but I think it bears repeating.

It is a mantra, after all.

The conversation usually goes the same way.

“What do you do?” they say.

“I’m a writer,” I answer.

“I always wanted to do that,” they say.

I wonder if brain surgeons or rocket scientists get the same response?

After I’ve stifled the urge to scream, I ask why they’ve never done anything about writing.

“Oh, I’m too busy.”

And there’s the rub. Everybody is always too busy. But writing doesn’t get done if you don’t do it. It is purely a matter of whether you’ve got the will and the commitment to get the words down, see your name in print, get the fortune and glory, the Hollywood deal, the yacht in the Bahamas and as much caviare as you can snort – all that happy crap that will never happen if you don’t sit on your arse and write.

So here is your mantra. Chant it at all times, and repeat it to boring types at dinner parties.

Writers Write! Wannabe Writers Wanna Write.

As with all good mantras, it bears closer study. What it says, in a nutshell, is that you’ll never be a writer if you don’t write. Obvious really, but most beginners ignore it. They procrastinate, they obfuscate, and they pretend to the world and his wife that they’re “Working on a piece right now.”

Don’t believe them. What they mean is that they’ve had an idea, but they don’t really want to do the work to put it in writing. The only way to do it is to sit down with your means of expression, be it pen, word processor, or big thick crayon, and write. Keep writing, and don’t stop until you’re happy with what you’ve produced.

Now. Repeat after me.

Writers Write! Wannabe Writers Wanna Write.

Now, if you want to call yourself a writer, go and do something about it. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you start. Your brain gets used to the idea, and soon writing becomes second nature.

Remember the mantra, and it will serve you well.

Writers Write! Wannabe Writers Wanna Write.

It’s probably the single most important thing that you can learn about the process in my opinion.