This is the one thing that makes you a real writer.

There is only one precondition that makes you a real writer. One simple thing.

You need to write.

Duh, yeah?

It doesn’t matter what you write. Or if you’ve published. Or how much experience you have. You simply need put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and write, and you’re a writer.

Sound easy? Yeah, it is, but everyone falters at that first action of sitting down to start.

The scariest moment is always just before you start.
— Stephen King
Hemingway suggests in A Moveable Feast that you end writing each day with just a little more still to say, so that when you return, you aren’t starting at blank.
I know blank can be scary, but you know what is far more frightening? Not writing at all.

Life is short, and there are countless stories to tell. If you don’t tell them, someone else will, and they probably won’t tell it as well as you.

So write. Now. Trust the process.

Tools & Supplies You’ll Need:

A timer.
Whatever you need to write most comfortably. Pen or pencil and a notebook. Unlined loose leaf. Your notebook.

How to:

There are two steps to free writing.

1. Set a timer for 10-15 minutes.

2. Sit down and write.

Start with “Well, this is this dumbest thing I’ve done today.” Or “I have no idea what to say” if you have nothing else in particular to write about.

You can free write to loosen ideas when stuck in a particular part of a piece of fiction. Or to brainstorm ideas for new stories. Or to zero in on the underlying themes of a piece you’re writing.

Follow your thoughts where they take you and write them down

The Only Rules:

Don’t stop to think for longer then a few seconds. Don’t cross anything out. If you want to stop writing about any particular topic, just stop and move onto something else.

In almost 20 years of writing and working with writers, I have yet to see free writing fail. Trust me. Go get a pen and paper (or open a document on your computer) and start writing now.