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“Writer without permission.”

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Write On Your Own Dime

A new LinkedIn friend in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area has a job title “Writer without permission.” The genius of her title is to say out loud what most every writer is thinking—nobody asked for this, nobody gave me permission, and frankly, no one is waiting for me to finish it. The whole thing is entirely self-motivated.

Let there be more of her tribe.

Writers without permission may encamp here as needed--not that you need permission.

Writers without permission may encamp here as needed–not that you need permission.

Writers often stop mid-sentence and think,

I am entirely unqualified to write this. When will someone knock on my door and say, ‘Hey—Stop it: You got no business writing that.’?

When those Philip Glass moments occur, whether real or imagined, the writer without permission pauses and then continues the sentence. And the next sentence. And so on—breezing past the “No Trespassing” signs posted around the perimeter of the topic.

If you are waiting for someone to say, “You should write about X.” You have a long wait. If you are waiting for a fat check to cover expenses while you draft your manuscript, well that isn’t likely. Although I did chat with someone two weeks ago who received a sabbatical from her job to write a book. So, miracles do happen… and all that.

New stuff happens when we start writing without permission. But the alternative is also true: maybe nothing will happen. Maybe it will fail. Given all the books and writing and words floating around today, failure is likely. Then again, what is success or failure? If just getting your story out is success (I happen to think it is), then start writing. If success is getting famous, well…miracles do happen (and all that).

But there is something more to the kudos and the paycheck—it is a kind of validation that you are doing a good thing, a worthwhile thing, an important thing. It’s as if we need someone else’s validation to gather gumption and move forward. But what if someone won’t even understand what you are doing until you are done—because you yourself are working out the details? And you don’t fully understand it. Not yet.

We celebrate the creative genius of long-dead writers. But how many knew they were writing some landmark story until much later—or ever? Most had to battle the “No Trespassing” signs and the missing fat paychecks. And they created anyway.JustThickHeadedEnough-06032013-tight

Do you need permission to create the thing you cannot stop thinking about? You have my permission, for whatever it is worth.

Don’t put off creating.

Start today.


Image credit: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

September 19, 2014 at 9:49 am

3 Responses

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  1. Hey! Thanks for the write-up! I’m the Writer Without Permission Kirk referred to, and I’m pretty sure this is the only occasion the word “genius” has ever been or ever will be used in conjunction with my name! Kind of a thrill, actually.

    Anyway, writing is something you do only if you must, in my opinion, but if you have to (and you all know what I’m talking about out there), you have to. Like you have to throw up when you have the stomach flu. Go ahead and throw up, because you’ll feel better for awhile… 😉 Hope the analogy doesn’t offend.

    Big love to all the writers struggling to tell their stories out there. The world does need you, and you shouldn’t doubt that for a second.


    September 19, 2014 at 10:31 am

    • Yeah–go ahead and throw up…wait. Errin–thanks for stopping by and commenting. Thanks for extending your lack of permission to the rest of us.


      September 19, 2014 at 10:35 am

  2. Reblogged this on errinstevens and commented:
    Someone really liked my tagline on my LinkedIn page and wrote a post about it. How sweet!


    September 19, 2014 at 12:09 pm

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