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On Writing

Photo-Illustration: by Preeti Kinha; Photos: Getty Images

First things first: On Writing is the name of an excellent writing memoir by Stephen King. If you haven't read it, even if you're not a writer, I highly recommend it. I just finished my second reading of it, which is what prompted me to finally make the plunge and publish this site.

Secondly, full disclosure: I am faking it until I make it. I started this blog/website to help hold me accountable to my writing goals. Throughout my child- and teenagehood, I was a writer. I filled countless notebooks - some of which were confiscated by teachers, thanks Nancy Justice! - with stories sprung from the well of my imagination and I even dabbled in poetry for a time. (Doesn't every angsty teenager?) As I entered adulthood, I developed the same doubts and fears that perhaps many of you have. (Wait, is anyone reading this?) My ideas aren't original or good enough. My writing isn't good enough. I have no idea what to do with the story or characters. Where do I even start? What's the point, anyway? Also, Blank Page Phobia is real. Fast forward through a disastrous end of a long-term relationship, a mid-twenties crisis, the beginning of a beautiful, healthy relationship, a new career, an engagement, a marriage (in India!), two moves, two graduations, and a baby (oh, baby!) later... and here I am. I have written nothing of substance, other than academic papers and book reviews, in about ten years. All that is about to change.

It's easy to let doubts and fears become excuses for inaction instead of motivation for action.

How do you write every day? How do you do it? Questions every person like me - and maybe like you - asks those I/we perceive as more successful, more "together," more serious about their writing. The answer is simple: make writing a priority.

It's not rocket science. If you want to get better at something, you practice. Every day.

Every successful person I know carves out time for what matters to them while also participating in their various professional and relational roles. Sometimes (or many times) this means waking up early or staying up late or saying "no" or "later" to other, more attractive plans. Getting better at something, really digging in deep, is not always easy nor is it always fun. But I will never truly be able to call myself a "writer" unless I write consistently, every day.

Therefore: I commit to writing every single day. Further, I commit to regularly updating this blog and you, friend, with various bits of my writing, my writing progress, book reviews, life happenings, thoughts about communication in general, and with other more-or-less interesting experiences/thoughts.

Yes, but what does this all mean, Katie?

I commit to writing for 30 minutes every day.

I commit to updating this blog at least two times every week.

I commit to ME.

What have you been putting on the back burner of your life? Let's chat about it in the comments.

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