How to Be a Writer: Just Do It

By Michael Schilf · September 21, 2010

It's so simple, yet so hard. If you want to do something, be somebody, or go somewhere, most likely the only thing stopping you is you. If you haven't taken action toward your goals, to change your life, or improve a situation, you probably also complain about it. Well, here's a reality check – 'Put up or shut up.'

You want to lose weight, eat right and exercise – Just do it. You want to get out of a dead end job, take night classes and get a career degree – Just do it. You want to be a writer, get off the couch and write – Just do it!

And when you do "do it", continue it like clockwork. Create a writer's schedule and make it a lifestyle. Think of your commitment with your writing like wedding vows. You must promise that you will write from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, from this day forward for as long as you shall live.

Okay, so maybe that's a little extreme – take weekends off if you must, but whatever your writing schedule is, protect it as you would your own child. When you're a parent, you just parent. You just do it – everyday until you die. Writing is no different.

Aristotle probably said it best: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."

So if you want to be a writer, understand that it takes dedication, fortitude, and discipline. But you "do it" because you have to – because writing is in you. And if you're lucky enough to be blessed with a clear passion, please don't waste it. Embrace it. Be a writer. Just do it.