The other night before feeding Cassie her dinner I made her run through a bunch of training routines. We are working on long stays with me out of sight. After about 10 minutes of working on stays I went through some of her tricks . . . roll over, take a nap, peek-a-boo and my favorite, tell me a secret.

She was hungry, really wanting her dinner, but I knew that to reinforce the idea that nothing in life is free, I needed to make her work for her food. Because I had done so much with training before feeding her I decided not to use the Buster cube. I filled her bowl with all the food at once and walked away.

It was completely quiet. So quiet that it took me a minute to realize that I was not hearing the sound of a hungry dog eating her dinner. I was not hearing the chomp, chomp, chomp of kibble between her teeth. I was hearing, well, the sound of waiting.

I turned around and looked at her. She was looking at me. Intently. Focus, they call it. And I realized what had happened. I had forgotten to release her, to give her permission to eat. My poor hungry dog was watching me, giant streams of drool starting to fall from her mouth as she waited for me to tell her okay, go ahead and have your dinner, you earned it. Of course as soon as I realized what I had done I released her and she broke focus and began to eat as though this was just another step in her training. Which I suppose, it was.

You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to write? Are you waiting for someone to release you so that you can tell the stories only you can tell?


Don’t wait. Don’t believe you need permission from anyone to write. Don’t believe you need to wait until someone moves away or dies or in some way, real or imagined, gives you permission to write.

If you really feel like you need permission from someone to write, let me know. I’ll send you a personally crafted permission slip so you can release yourself to tell the stories you are meant to write. I mean it.

Writing is hard enough. Why make it any tougher on ourselves?