One of the true joys of my life is my participation in a local writers’ group. Twice a month we meet at the Long Beach Coffee Roasters to read and critique our stories, poems, and whatever else we’ve written. It’s a time of informal learning and camaraderie, and I love it.

Writers write because they cannot not write. It’s as simple and as complicated as that. There are writers and there are wannabes. The only difference is that the former actually sit at a keyboard and the latter just talk about it.

When I hear someone say, “I want to write a book,” I often respond by asking what’s stopping them. The answers vary: “It takes too long.” “I wouldn’t know where to start.” “I can’t write.” To which I say, “Nonsense!” Writing a book is exactly like writing a grocery list: one word at a time.

Well, maybe not EXACTLY like writing a grocery list, but you get the point.

If you want to write, then write. Don’t let anything, or anyone, stop you, not even yourself.