Just write. Anything.

One very dear colleague has a background in technical writing. I asked him once if he had any advice on how to combat the famous “writer’s block”. He told me that as a matter of fact he did. And told me something which was so simple that I was shocked at first:

Just write

What did he mean … “just write”? That was the problem to begin with! “No no”, he said:

Just write something. Anything.

Could it be so simple? It decided to put it to the test on the spot. I think I started to type something like “I am here, not knowing what to write about ” subject so and so. And lo and behold, ideas started popping into my head shortly afterwards. I was “unstuck”!

Reflecting on the material I recently read on books like “Atomic Habits” and “How to be an Imperfectionist” I think that what this “writing anything” does is:

  • Give one a place to start. And often the most difficult part is starting.
  • Take the focus away from ruminating about the “problem” (being stuck)
  • Get one’s mind in the process, in the “flow”. Get one going.

In other words, it is like starting a car and getting it car into motion. Once in motion it is easier to steer it in the right direction. Suffice to say that if it wasn’t in motion at all, it would not be possible to steer it to begin with.

And that’s it. Just write. Anything.

I wonder if this advice applies to other areas in life …