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Writing Requires Self-Control

The only way to become a writer is to write. That requires a great deal of self-control and dedication, not only writing when the urge is upon you, but even when it is not. That requires seeing the words flow onto the blank page or screen.

Force yourself to sit at your desk or in front of your computer screen and write something, anything until the ideas begin to flow, and flow they will. You will soon learn that what you write when the urge is not there will be as good as when the impulse is strong. Later, when you reread what you wrote, you will be unable to tell what was a struggle or what was an inspiration.

Stay before the bare page or empty screen until it is full. One page is not impossible, and once that page is full, you will find that it is easy to fill two pages or more. Write as quickly as you can think. Do not disrupt the flow of ideas and sentences with concern about grammar, syntax, and other rules.

This is not the time to rewrite. Write quickly, ignoring spelling and punctuation. That can be corrected with rewriting as is the use of the dictionary and thesaurus. The important action is to put words to paper or to screen, to explore your thoughts, to brainstorm, if necessary.

More important is the development of self-control, of dedication, of persistence, and of a work habit. All productive writers have acquired this determination.

Charles O. Goulet has a BA in English literature. He has published several books that are available at,, and many other bookstores.

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