Friday Speak Out!: Being a Real Writer!, Guest Post by Rochelle Melander

Friday, June 17, 2011
Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
--Norman Mailer

I live in a college neighborhood. On any given night, I can hear the voices of partying college students until into the wee hours of morning. Most days, the neighbors blast their music at a decibel beyond my comfort level. As I write this tip, I have both kids home with me. One is in the back room, just a few feet from my office, watching television while she gets her early morning bolus of Pediasure. My son bops in and out of my office with questions about the day, the week, the universe and rock music. I have five of these tips to write before we leave for vacation. I hope to get at least two done today, despite the noise. No problem. Really.

It used to be that a little noise felled me. Poor sleep and constant interruptions gave me good excuses not to write. Almost any distraction could give me a fresh case of writer's block. No more. This summer, I decided to take a no excuses approach to writing. I write at least twenty minutes a day, five days a week. Whether I write writing tips, scenes for my new novel, or a poem--I write daily. No matter what. This commitment to no-excuses writing has cured writer's block for me. (No kidding!)

Writers write. You do not need the perfect office space, a huge stretch of time, or complete silence. All you need is twenty minutes and the desire to put words to paper no matter what. No excuse is good enough to keep you from writing what is inside you. My challenge to you this week, dear readers: accept no excuses from yourself. Write every day no matter what. Make writing something you do without bother or brouhaha, like brushing your teeth or having breakfast. Once you can manage that, you'll be the "real writer" Mailer talks about.

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Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander supports people in writing to transform their lives and businesses. If you're ready to establish credibility, make more money, and market your work by writing a book, blog, or Web site, get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"?
Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Jenny said...

20 minutes a day is so doable, even with all of summer's distractions. Thanks for the inspiration!

Shyxter said...

Writing is not just driven by passion but by commitment as well. Without commitment, writers are free to procrastinate whenever we feel that the creative juice isn’t there. Just like any other job, you know you’re good at it if you’re able to get things done amidst all the pressure and distraction. A daily dedication to writing will surely help us find inspiration even in the most unexpected and frenzied environment. No excuses for us!

Lisa @ Intralingo said...

So well said, Rochelle: "Make writing something you do without bother or brouhaha, like brushing your teeth or having breakfast."

It has to become habit, automatic, a daily activity. I admit I struggle with that. Other work often gets in the way, but if I do just get up and write, the next day I get up and want to write even more. I can take 20 minutes for that, just like I can take 20 minutes to read blogs about writing! ;-)

Unknown said...

I just got back from a trip - where I was supposed to keep up my writing but didn't. I didn't set a specific goal - like your 20 minutes a day. I think that would have helped me to focus.

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