Write in ballpoint pen.

I’m clearly typing this on a keyboard. So, what gives?

It’s a metaphor, people. Calm down.

Let’s break it down:

Pen - as opposed to pencil. That means no erasing. No do-overs. Once the ink’s on the page, it’s there to stay.

Ballpoint - as opposed to some fancy pen. That means no being precious about the writing. No rituals, or Moleskines, or other frills. Just pick up whatever’s nearby and start putting pen to paper.

You’ll be shocked what happens when you quash the romance of writing, and just focus on the act. On getting words out on to the page. On not self-censoring, and fretting over grammatical nuances or obscure punctuation.

Because more often than not, the rough draft is where the raw brilliance is. And it’s when you get caught up in the indulgent parts of writing that you wind up polishing that diamond down to dust.

So, next time you sit down to write — even if it’s in front of a computer screen, like I am right now — remember to write in ballpoint pen.