i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

You can’t edit a story you never wrote

Do you have books on how to write? Do you have books on how to submit manuscripts to an agent? Do you have your outfit picked out to wear to your book launch party? Do you spend more time reading books about writing than actually writing?

You can't edit a story you never wrote.


On the bookcase beside my desk are thirty-nine books on how to write. There are three books about how to think about writing, and there are five books on how to self-publish.

I would rather plan what to serve at my book launch party than sit down and write.

I would rather vacuum all the carpets, dig post holes for a fence, paint every room in the house, clean the seven litter boxes, wash all the windows, and install new carpet than sit down and write.

It is seven at night.

The carpets aren’t vacuumed.

I didn’t dig post holes for a fence.

I didn’t paint any rooms in the house.

I didn’t install new carpet.

I didn’t wash any windows.

I did clean the seven litter boxes.


I wrote.


You can’t edit a story you never wrote.


You can’t hem a dress you didn’t sew.

You can’t hang a picture you never painted.

You can’t sing a song you didn’t compose.

You can’t pick apples from a tree you never planted.

You can’t edit a video you never took.

May we start doing. Being. Living. 

Less planning. Less avoiding. Less talking.

More doing.


Okay. I lied. I haven’t written on my book yet. I was just pretending to sound productive. I was going to write after I posted this story.

And, I can’t tell a lie.

So. Now I am going to go and write. And then I am going to come back and tell you how many words I wrote.


I did it. For the first time in months, okay years, I actually wrote on my book.

530 words.

A small start.


A start.


I am going to write 500 words a day on my book. Today was the first day.

If you would like to be part of a closed facebook group started by my good friend and author Jeff Goins, My 500 Words, you can ask to join, or just send me your email, and I will send you an invitation.

It was started to encourage people to develop a daily writing habit.


Is there a project you have been reading about? Planning? But not doing? Please leave a comment so we can encourage you to start.


Click here to comment, HERE, or just scroll to the bottom of the post to comment if you are on my blog.

About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Excellent advice. We all procrastinate, prepare, plan…and never get to the thing we’re supposed to be doing. That’s why I love the Nike slogan “Just Do It!”

    • Hi John,
      Me too. I love the slogan. Just do it.
      A nice three p thing there John. Procrastinate, prepare and plan. Now to add, procure, ponder and pontificate. Oh, and paint, proceed, pencil, and pepper.

  • Stacey

    Well done on the 500+ words Pamela! That is very hard. I’ve been sturggling as well so I resonate. I also absolutely love the graphic you put in this post with the words on the red painting. Love it!

    • Hello Stacey,
      Thank you. Only one day, still have to write 500 words today. And tomorrow, and the next day.
      I make sure I eat every day, now to make sure I write. It is hard isn’t it? Creating an artistic habit. Maybe it has to be scheduled like a meal? Words to live by.
      And thank you for the compliment about the graphic. I love white and red too.

  • Jennifer Morales

    I love the honesty in this post! Thanks for sharing!

    • Hello Jennifer,
      Thank you, and you are welcome. 🙂

  • emmietx

    This post made me giggle…a lot. I can connect to it on SO many levels. I spent many years of my life stuck and planning mode. I’m just now, in the past 2 years or so figuring out how to let go, jump in and DO IT! Thank you for the post.

    • Hello emmietx,
      You are very welcome.
      I am figuring this jumping in and doing it thing to. So much to learn. And so much fun to be had.
      What do you like to write?

  • Hi Pamela, love the post, love the style, and love that you wrote your 500 words. I enjoyed hearing those ‘fathers’, funny!

    • Hello Linda,
      It was fun to write today. Writing and not just talking or reading about writing. The start of “The vomit draft.”