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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

10 Reasons to Show Up for Your Writing Today

Reasons to Show Up for Your Writing

By Rosanne Bane

Showing up for your writing might mean drafting or revising, but it also means doing any of the other things that are essential to writing: research, reading, mind-mapping, clustering, brainstorming with other people, sketching a character, doing a writing exercise, creating a timeline, transcribing interview notes, and so on.

Even if you sat in your writing space and stared at the spot where the ceiling meets the wall and pondered the puzzle in your writing, it counts as showing up. As long as you’re not looking for answers in the fridge, cleaning out your junk drawer, watching TV (unless what you’re watching is research) or playing a computer or video game, it counts. (Read the post on Product Time for more info.)

And you only have to show up for 10 or 15 Magic Minutes to get all the benefits of showing up.

Here are my Top Ten Reasons to Show Up for Your Writing Today:

1.  Showing up for your writing today makes it easier to show up for your writing tomorrow. And showing up tomorrow will make it easier to show up the next day. The converse is also true: Not showing up today will make it harder to show up tomorrow. Every day you miss makes it harder and harder to show up in the following days.

2.  Showing up to write today will be fun! Let go of expectations and demands and give yourself 15 minutes to just play around with ideas, images and words.

3.  Showing up today keeps your writing neurons focused on writing. Neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change to reflect experience) means that if you’re not employing the neurons involved with writing to write, they’ll go work for some other activity like sorting your socks or mastering another level in a video game. Showing up keeps your writing neurons gainfully employed on your writing project.

4.  Showing up today keeps your unconscious focused on your writing. When you show up for 15 minutes of writing today, your unconscious will play with options and possibilities for hours afterward. But it won’t work indefinitely without your conscious mind chipping in on a regular basis.

5.  Showing up for your writing today will get you chocolate! Or some other reward. If you don’t have a reward planned and ready, please go read or re-read my posts on the importance of rewarding yourself. Then use your writing time today to list small rewards (for showing up on a daily basis), medium rewards (for more challenging tasks) and large rewards for completing big steps or entire projects.

6.  Showing up to write today keeps your momentum going. Tomorrow, you won’t have to go back and see what you did weeks or even months ago. You pick up where you left off today. Your ideas will be crisper, the metaphors and images fresher, and the words will flow more easily and effectively.

7.  Showing up today will end the “Will I write today?” debate. As soon as you show up for your writing, the debate is over and all that mental energy goes into something positive: your writing.

8.  Showing up for your writing today will make you more productive. You’ll get a lot more done showing up for 15 minutes a day, five days a week than you ever will waiting for that special day when you’ll have hours of uninterrupted time for writing (because those days rarely come and when they do, they freak us out and we spend most of the day postponing the writing).

9.  Showing up today will get you closer to the flow – the blissful state all writers yearn for when you know exactly what to write and your fingers can barely keep up with the speed and clarity of your inner voice. Some days it might feel like you’re just shoveling dreck, but remember that every shovelful brings you that much closer to the jackpot and glory of being in the flow.

10.  Showing up for your writing today makes you feel gratified, victorious, proud, maybe even smug. You did it! Even if you struggle during the 15 minutes you’re writing, you accomplish something (e.g. the previous 9 reasons to show up) and you get to feel good about yourself for the rest of the day.

Now go show up for your writing! I did and it feels great!

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17 Comments on “10 Reasons to Show Up for Your Writing Today”

  1. 'Ailina February 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm #

    Every single one of these is absolutely true. It’s interesting that at times, we still buck against it despite the numerous times we’ve proven writing is the right thing to do and always works out to our benefit!

    Thanks for another great pep talk!


    • rosannebane February 9, 2010 at 11:21 am #

      You’re welcome Ailina. Thanks for the feedback.


  2. Michael Kelberer February 6, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Another great post. My fav is number 7 – ending the “will I write today” debate. Ufda.


    • rosannebane February 8, 2010 at 10:37 am #

      Thanks Michael! Yup, the sooner we do my writing, the sooner we get to feel good about the rest of the day.


      • Michael Kelberer February 8, 2010 at 10:40 am #

        Well, then – let me know what your writing is today so I can get to it! 🙂


        • rosannebane February 8, 2010 at 11:14 am #

          Nice catch Michael! I started saying “The sooner I do my writing…” then thought I’d make it more inclusive with “The sooner we do our writing…” but missed changing the “my” to “our”… Ah, remember the good old days when you used to edit my copy before I put it out into the world?
          But since you offered, I’ll be revising Chapter 3 of the Around the Writer’s Block book and I’d welcome your comments and edits any day!


  3. Lee February 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Your email reminded me to honor MY TIME in life through my writing.


    • rosannebane February 8, 2010 at 10:36 am #

      Thanks Lee! I’m happy to be the reminder and proud of you for doing the honoring.


  4. Kate February 5, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Thank you, Rosanne. Thank you, thank you for showing up in my inbox. Time to honor myself. Thank you!


    • rosannebane February 8, 2010 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks Kate. And thanks for the opportunity to show up in your inbox.


  5. Troyann February 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Love, Love, Love it! While numbers 1 and 10 are ohhhh soooo veryyy TRUE, my fav is number 5! Thanks Rosanne for another great blog post!


    • rosannebane February 8, 2010 at 10:34 am #

      Thanks Troyann! Never underestimate the motivating power of chocolate!


      • Lettie November 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

        Whoever edits and pbluhises these articles really knows what they’re doing.



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