“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

 Louis L’Amour


Everyone loves a good metaphor. L’Amour compares writing discipline to a kitchen faucet and poignantly drives his metaphor home.

My family once lived in an old farmhouse with an artesian well. During a long summer drought in the 90’s, when yards looked more like straw fields and wells often ran dry, ours kept gushing water. It was comforting to turn the spigot and find fresh cold water.

I imagine L’Amour’s word faucet must have been hooked to an artesian well. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote 100 novels and more than 250 short stories. He just kept plotting and plodding away no matter if he felt like it or not.

L’Amour expresses what writers inherently know—if you don’t write, nothing gets written. Of course, he is not the first prolific writer to say something like this. Dorothy Parker once said, “Writing is the art of applying the ass to the seat.”

It’s a matter of discipline.

It’s a matter of beginning.

Even when the words aren’t flowing like an artesian well.

I’m in a drought right now. Early in the month I registered for NaNoWriMo but guess what? I have written one word.


My daughter challenged me to begin my next book with the word, “Unfortunately.”

Yes, it’s an adverb. Do I or don’t I?

I decided it was time to get motivated so I wrote up a few tips for myself that I’ll share with you.

Ten Tips for Turning on the Faucet

So, tell me, what do you do to remain motivated?