Write when you’re bored. Write about the crack in the ceiling or about your chipped coffee mug. Jot down the four most appropriate words to describe your breakfast. Spin tales about what you wish you were doing or what you’re grateful you’re NOT doing. Write about the people you love most in the world. Write about the strangers that pass you by on the street. Write about yourself, in all your various incarnations. Write to see what happens when you walk right up to the edge of your imagination and peer out into the void.
Write when you hurt. Write about what hurts, where it hurts, and how much. Write about what’s pressing down on your chest or making your head pound. Trace your pain back to it’s root cause and probe for answers. Be brave. Dive as deep as you dare into your history. Own every ache that you feel. Write sentence fragments grasping at what it’s like to be you.
Write when you are lost. Write when you’re not sure if you’re lost or not, but the earth beneath your feet isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be. Build sandcastles with your words and knock them over for fun. Toss language into the frothing ocean and see which pieces wash back to you on shore. Walk along the beach picking up new words and arrange them as you please. Keep the sentences you can’t part with just yet.
Write when your heart has been battered by stormy weather. Write verbose odes to lost lovers and splintered time. Wrap your wounds in overwrought prose and hand-me-down clichés. Write about what it feels like to have your heart exist outside your chest. Write about the moment you realized everything wasn’t going to be okay. Cram an entire relationship into a few sentences and stare until you can’t look at it anymore. Pick the most visceral words you can find and describe the indescribable.
Write when you’re tired. When the words started running together and you’ve forgotten how to grammar, write on. Edit later; now let your mind pour exhausted streams of thought onto the page. Write jumbled half-baked ideas. Drink coffee. Write more. See how your tone changes when you’re running on fumes. Unscramble things later, ramble now. Have break-throughs mid-sentence that change everything. Pause and realize you’re writing a completely different thing than you set out to write. Go with it.
Write when you’re overjoyed. Write when love is humming through you and you can’t keep the smile off your face. Write about what tickles you, what excites you, and what you can scarcely believe is true. Protect the moments that make you happy — not by pinning them down, but by illuminating them. Give to them your most loving adjectives and verbs. Honour them with your most carefully considered words. Do not be afraid to rewrite them again, and again, with the wisdom you gain as you grow older.
Write when you’ve had one too many glasses of wine. Write about what comes to you in those moments of lowered inhibitions. Write down seventeen titles for stories you never intend to start, let alone finish. Write a sentence that runs on for an entire page about a person in your life who doesn’t deserve half a line. Write without caring. Write madly, words that don’t match and ideas that don’t have merit. Assess their merit in the morning. Or perhaps the morning after that.
Write to understand yourself. Write to understand the world you find yourself in. Wake up in the morning and scribble down what came to you in the night. Fall asleep pondering ideas you haven’t quite found the words to explain. Write to fill in the gaps and to build bridges. Write for yourself. Write for people that might not exist. Write for people you hope exist.
Write fearlessly. Fear is for after you’ve hit publish.
Go on now. Write.