3 Simple Questions I Use To Get Out Of My Head And Write Something Helpful

Justin Zack
3 min readOct 13

Are you a writer like me?

  • Wake up
  • Pour a cup of coffee
  • Sit in your favorite chair (in the dark)
  • Fold open your laptop—and blind yourself
  • Click “Notes.” Type the date. Then debate going back to bed.

Unfortunately, I lose the debate 90% of the time.

The other 10%?

I dump an incoherent mess into my journal. And walk away pleased that I wrote, but frustrated that I didn’t publish.

Here’s what I’ve realized:

Writing is hard—when you make it about you!

I took a hard look at my morning “writing pattern” and walked away with 3 ugly and embarrassing truths:

  1. I’m lazy
  2. I’m selfish
  3. I think I’m a fraud

Lazy because…

When I do write, I choose not to do the thinking required to polish up my thoughts. I get enough of a dopamine hit from barfing on the page that I’m content to move on. Only to regret it later.

Selfish because…

Dumping a random stream of conscious is helpful. Helpful to me. I get to see what’s going on in between my ears and watch the tangled mess unfurl on the page. It’s garbage for someone else (until I move back to point #1).

I know I’m beating myself up a little here, but the truth is life is so much better when you give away your life instead of keep it to yourself.

So, yeah, selfish.

Fraudulent because…

Look at me! I’m writing. I’m a writer. Just seeing those words and I think, “No you’re not.” Worse, because I don’t believe in my writing, I look to other places for help: books, popular creators, ChatGPT, etc. The more I pull from “source <> me” the more I feel like a fake.

Dirty laundry on the table.

Let’s clean it up!

3 Simple Questions I Use To Get Out Of My Head And Write Something Helpful

Justin Zack

Project leader. Product thinker. Write about human things. Find me at justinzack.com