Give yourself permission. give yourself that permission. Today. Now. Before you write another word, give yourself permission:E. specially if the thought terrifies you.but to try to write through it anyway.Molly O’Neill is an Associate Editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsChildren’s Books.
WriteOnCon.com – Give Yourself Permission by editor
Being a writer is a solitary act of will—it can only happen in the first place if you actively choose to do it. Your writing depends entirely on you for existence. And your life as a writer depends on you, too. If you grow as a writer, it is your doing. If you remain static as a writer, it is your doing. You are boss and worker and teacher and student and coach and cheerleader all rolled up in one writerly self, in a sense. And you know yourself as a writer better than any outsider could. So ask yourself—what sort of permission do you need as a writer, in order to make yourself a better writer today than you were yesterday, and in order to help your stories become all you hope they will be? And then—
Permission to call yourself a writer.
Permission to collect sparks of inspiration from even the unlikeliest of encounters.
Permission to wander your way into telling stories completely unlike those you perhaps once thought you would write.
Permission to admit that a story you’ve been trying to write isn’t working, or isn’t actually something that you
love writing anymore, and to liberate yourself from it. And then, to start something new. (See above!)
Permission to stray from your outline.
Permission to keep writing, even if it feels like you may never “get there.”
Permission to steal the parts of a story that ARE working out of a story that mostly isn’t, and to use those parts to make something fresh.
Permission to change your manuscript from first-person to third (and possibly back again). Or to change tenses, or settings, or main characters, or any other part of your story, once you see a way to make it better.
Permission to let a character become someone totally different than you originally expected him/her to be.
Permission to kill a character. (And to cry a little when you do so.)
Permission to hire a babysitter, or to blow off some homework, or to order dinner in, or whatever it takes, to give yourself a little more space in your life for writing.
Permission to write a scene or story that might make certain people who love you shocked and surprised.
Permission to submit something.
Permission to fail, maybe more than once. (Because you can’t fail unless you’ve tried.)
Permission to feel things deeply as a writer—disappointment, grief, doubt, jealousy. But then to balance those negative emotions with more positive ones: ambition, determination, persistence, hope.
Permission to be where you are in your path as a writer. Right now. Even if you think you should be farther
Permission to write in the oddest of places—on the back of kleenex boxes and receipts; at ballet lessons or soccer practice or with a car full of groceries going warm; on napkins in restaurants; in the bathroom of a friend or relative’s house when you’ve gone to visit—in order to capture an idea, or images, or words that flash into your mind, already strung perfectly together.
Permission to ignore all the conflicting pieces of advice, and simply to write the story within you that wants to
Permission to step away from measuring yourself against other writers.
Permission to be inspired by EVERYTHING.
Permission to be uninspired…
Permission to mess up. Possibly many times. Every day.
Permission to do what you need to protect yourself as a writer—to turn off the internet, or to stop reading blogs for awhile, or to avoid Twitter—and enable yourself to do that thing which writers must do—TO WRITE.
Permission to think of your characters as real people (and to perhaps actually like them better than some real-life people you know).
Permission to delete.
Permission to write things that perhaps no one but you will ever see.
Permission to write things that perhaps many people will see.
Permission to…Write On!
Ask yourself what kind of permission you need today—in the story you’re working on, or in the bigger picture, in your life as a writer. And this list of permissions is only a beginning—what other kinds of permissions do writers and stories need?