Are You Planning or Resisting?

When you spend all your time planning instead of writing

Anne Janzer
The Startup
Published in
4 min readJan 17, 2022

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Ladder at the end of a pier on a lake
Image: elenathewise via DepositPhoto

A child stands at the end of a dock on a summer afternoon, gazing into the lake. She wants to jump in and swim, but spends a long time preparing herself.

She sits on the edge of the dock and dangles her feet in the top inches of the lake water. It feels icy on her warm toes. She stands up and steps into an inflatable swim ring, so she’ll bob up and keep her head dry when she jumps in.

The water looks both inviting and scary.

She grabs the ladder at the end of the dock and lowers herself on to the top rung. If she waits long enough, even her ankles get accustomed to the cold. But that next step … that one will be hard.

Back up the ladder, she puts her towel on the dock where it will be right at hand when she gets out after the swim.

Her family, already in the lake, shouts encouragement. “Jump in! It’s fine once you start swimming.”

That’s how I feel sometimes when chatting with people who are planning their writing projects. Like the reluctant swimmer, they linger on the dock rather than diving in. They gather tools they might need. They test the waters.

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Anne Janzer
The Startup

Author, Writing Coach, Unapologetic Nonfiction Geek. Writing about Writing Itself (very meta). AnneJanzer.com