You need to show up and show us your gift. Until you do that you’re just practicing in private.

It’s Show Time.

Time to bring the writing out of dusty practice rooms.

Time to give it a shove between the shoulder blades and push it stumbling and weak-kneed onto the stage.

To me, this habit might better be named “performance” than practice. Yes, practice is necessary. But when you’re talking about going public, then it’s performance time all the way.

We 21st century writers are lucky. We have a stage readily available, with performance times open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People can enjoy the show for free (good for them, not so good for us) and a often as they like.

I’m talking about the internet, of course, and I make great use of the world wide web as a performance venue for my writing.

But sometimes I think it’s a little too easy.

After all, I only have to write something for one of my blogs, hit “publish” and there it is.

Easy peasy.

As much as I appreciate the format, blogging is not the Carnegie Hall of writing. Remember the old joke about how you get there?

Practice, practice, practice.

So maybe I should be working a little harder, aiming a little higher. Toward magazines, essay collections, even a book.

The Carnegie Halls of writing will take a lot of practice too. No more dashing off those cute blog posts or glib book reviews. The kind of writing I have in mind will take careful thought, research, revision.

I’ve got the ideas already in my head. I’ve just never had the initiative to move forward with them.

Perhaps this 15 Habits of Great Writers is the shove between the shoulders I need to get me on the stage with a whole new repertoire.

Stay tuned. We’ll see what the program looks like.