1. You are a writer. You write letters or you journal or you write the beginning of a novel that goes absolutely nowhere. But you play with words and you do it often — how could you not be a writer?
2. You’re young. Or you’re old. Or you’re living in a hazy middle. No age is the absolute best perfect age for writing.
3. Stopping now would be ludicrous. Because you still secretly enjoy it. Because you’re in too deep. Because you can’t let down the little voice of your 9-year-old self when he said that he wanted to be a writer for the first time. Continuing may not feel good, but stopping would feel at least 67,485 times worse.
4. Figure out how to see the poetry in the every day again. Move to a new neighborhood. Try on a new city. Name at least 10 different shades of green on your walk to work. Habit saps the art out of places — shake things up.
5. If you’re worried about people actually reading your stuff, start with one person. Then another. Sift your name through as many meshy little worlds as you can. Read as much of other people’s stuff as you can. Tell them you like it or that you don’t like it or that you don’t agree, but start a conversation.
6. If you’re going through a slump, put down the pen, pick up the novels of your favorite artists. Devour Woolf and Didion and Atwood, whomever makes your fingers itch. Read whatever evokes language out of you. That’s the key and maybe the only thing that makes it possible to keep going, even when it seems impossible.