The hard part: Stopping

Stop signAnd starting. Kelli Russell Agodon posts the marvelous advice Stop whatever you’re doing…it’s time to write.

Absolutely the best advice when that idea starts tugging at the corners of your mind. Something wants said–why wait?

But how do you do it? I thought of a couple lines for a poem I’m working on before I got out of bed–but I didn’t write them down. I thought of three blog post ideas on the walk to the bus. Again, nothing.

Ah, perhaps I lack the self-discipline. Or the focus, if those are two different things. After all, I have index cards and pens in my purse. So why is it so hard?

I suspect a few culprits, and they all start with the F word:

Fear that the writing on the page won’t be as good as the writing in my head
Fear that I don’t have enough time and quiet to immerse myself in it
Fear that I’ll get into it and won’t start the other things I think I’m supposed to finish (like that would be so bad)

Enough with the fear already! But how do you get over it.

(For bigger things, I sometimes use the image of taking myself by the hand and telling myself, “You can do it.” But that takes a little time–and meanwhile the writing might vanish into the mist.)

Do you have any tips for writing in the moment, whenever that moment arrives? If you do, please share!