In my newsletter last week, I told a fellow writer: If there’s even one thing you can change, one thing you can do that will bolster or benefit your writing life, do it.

This is something I will sometimes mention in writing workshops, usually toward the end of class, when we’re discussing what we’ll take with us, what comes next, and how we might keep the momentum going. We may not get enough writing time, or we might not write enough in the time we do get. We might feel there’s little we can actually do to change our situation. But often, there is something we can do that will benefit our writing practice—a boundary to set, a practical barrier to remove, a space to set up or claim—if only for an hour or two a week.

I like to offer this guidance, a challenge of sorts, because I know that taking concrete actions on behalf of your writing can help you see your writing as worthwhile. You may have a hard time believing this, believing that you have a right to this time and this work when there are so many other things you could be doing. But sometimes, if you act as though you have faith, faith is given to you. You may find and establish habits, routines, and a mental framework that will help you commit to, and show up for, your writing for the rest of your life.

To read the rest, subscribe to The Atlantic.

Already a subscriber? Sign in