It’s 5.45 pm on a Saturday and it’s calm in the Sydney newsroom where I’m line-up producer for the six o’clock bulletin.
It’s my job to oversee every aspect of the bulletin, and earlier it was the usual frenetic pace. But now it’s all done. I’ve sub-edited the news and sports stories with the reporters, written the story intros and other links, and done a pre-bulletin briefing with newsreader, Ian ‘Roscoe’ Ross.
I start heading for the studio control room to put the news to air.
Then the phone rings.
There’s been a major incident involving multiple cars. Traffic is at a standstill on one of Sydney’s main arterial roads and an unknown number of people are injured.
It has to be our lead story.
It’s fifteen minutes to airtime.
Very little is known.
I have to write anyway.
I sit down and start typing. Around me is chaos as reporters and producers call their contacts for information. A throng of people peer over my shoulder, adding new details, correcting where I’ve got it wrong, reminding me it’s eight minutes to air.. seven minutes.. six minutes.
Roscoe is at the news desk, doing sound checks and waiting calmly for the words that will open the bulletin in five minutes, four minutes, three minutes.
With two minutes to go, I click finish and the autocue operator gets the script.
‘Good evening, there has been a major incident on the Hume Highway at Liverpool.’
I got there. I had no choice.
Habit Three: Write anyway.
Time and again as a news producer, when last-minute things happened, I had to write the story no matter what.
Feeling exhausted? Write anyway.
Nothing to say? Write anyway.
Don’t like what you’re writing? Write anyway.
It was an absolute privilege to be under that sort of pressure because it taught me I’m capable of writing no matter what.
Prolific writers don’t wait for the ‘right’ situation or environment, mood, or inspiration.
They write anyway.
This is not an easy habit to stick with. But it’s effective and well worth adding to your writing practice.
Five Simple Writing Habits.
These writing habits help with focus, overwhelm and distraction. They are the habits I lean on to be more prolific, more confident and altogether happier with my writing.
I’ve written about each of the habits in a short series of blog posts.
- Habit One: Go into the territory every day.
- Habit Two: Bring something back.
- Habit Three: Write anyway (the habit covered here).
- Habit Four: Ask, what’s next?
- Habit Five: Believe.
I’ve also created a free one-page reminder for you to download and print.
Here’s to happier writing and content creation. Your voice matters.
Feel free to get in touch to talk about how I can help you. Email me, email@example.com
This post was first shared with subscribers to my email list. Want in? 👇👇👇