Just do it. / by Nikki Van Noy

When I used to run for student council as a kid, my slogan would always be the same:
Just do it. [insert Nike swoosh] Nikki. Clever, right? C'mon! It was the 90s. 

Anyway, my point is that apparently I haven't changed much since then because I still throw that phrase around all of the time, generally in conversations about writing.

Case in point: If I had to pick one conversation I have with would-be writers the most frequently, it's this:

Wendy Who Wants to Write: I really wanna write. But I just don't know where to start.

Me: Stop thinking about it. Just do it. Every day, sit down and write. It doesn't matter for how long or how prolific it is, just that you do it.

Frankly, I have this same conversation with myself all of the time. Some days I am successful and other days I am not. 

Our lives are all crazy. The world is increasingly noisy. Not to mention the insiduous voices in our heads that tell us we're not good enough or we don't have something important to say. I've lost track of how many books I've written at this point, and I still have these thoughts. In fact, every time a new book deal rolls around, I still wonder, What the f*ck have I gotten myself into?

One of the most important bits of information I've ever heard was doled out by one of my writing heroes, John Irving. With great disdain clearly painted upon his face, he talked about how horrible first drafts are. "You just have to vomit it out," he said. "Then you go back and make it pretty."

Word up, John. It doesn't have to be pretty--you just have to get. it. out. The way to get big things done is little by little, on a constant basis. 

If this resonates with you, I implore you to start writing. Just start. Not tomorrow, not on January 1. Right. Now. Just do it.