Dear Mette–my best writing advice to myself

Dear Mette, it will not be easier to write this book next week or next month or next year.

Dear Mette, this book will not be written unless you sit down and type in words that are not good enough to publish and eventually get to words that are better.

Dear Mette, this book is what you want most to do with your life and yet it is also the thing you are most terrified of doing.

Dear Mette, taking a break from writing this book will not actually make you feel any better. You don’t need rest from your creativity. You need to believe in yourself and your book.

Dear Mette, the weight of your own expectations of yourself is making this book so heavy that you can’t lift it. Let it be a little lighter and freer.

Dear Mette, the first draft of this book was bad. The second draft of this book is also pretty sketchy. This is the way it works.

Dear Mette, there are no promises that your book will be published. Or that it will be good. There is only sitting down to do the work. There is only giving yourself over to the discipline of writing.

Dear Mette, A lot more of writing than anyone wants to admit is grunt work and a lot less of it is brilliant and innovative. So let’s start with the grunt work, shall we?

Dear Mette,

You are going to be criticized. You’re going to be attacked. You have a good idea already what they’re going to say. So prepare for it, and move forward. Don’t let naysayers stop you.

Dear Mette,

It doesn’t matter how nice your desk is. Or even if you have a computer. Writing is pretty old-fashioned. So quit fussing and get to work.

Dear Mette,

Imagining the cover for your book and your possible pen name are just distractions to keep you from doing the hard stuff.

Dear Mette,

“Research” is another fancy word for procrastination and I’m afraid that I’m not good enough yet.

Dear Mette,

No one in your family or any of the popular kids from high school are going to validate you when you get this book published. And that’s fine. That’s not why you’re doing this.

Dear Mette,

The world will wait for your book to be written properly. Give it all you have. Hold nothing back. Keep giving, because it will demand everything you have and more, as you have more and more to give it.

Dear Mette,

Let go of a defensive reaction to your work. Either people tell you useful things that you agree with or they don’t. Either they want to help you improve or they don’t.

Dear Mette,

Your work is work. It may feel like play at times, but it won’t always. You must give it the respect and time you give work. But also don’t stint on real rest and play even if you aren’t being paid for your work.

Published by Mette Ivie

I'm a national bestselling author, All-American triathlete, Princeton PhD and mother of five amazing kids. And I'm here to teach you how to talk back to the brain that is telling you to quit before you fail. I'm here to up your game as a writer and as a human. I teach skills on writing, but more than that, I teach you how to take risks and write more deeply, more humanly, and to become a better human yourself.

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