• Elizabeth Bartasius

Six Writing Agreements: The only work we artists need to do!

Twenty years and I’ve finally discovered only a very small part of a writer’s life is writing. What it takes to be a writer has become quite simple, at least for me, in the Six Agreements. They are as follows:

Move: To turn on the faucet for ideas to flow.

Nourish: To feed your creativity.

Clear: To make space to create.

Muse: To assimilate and integrate ideas.

Create: This is the artist’s work.

Love: The Whole Point!

Agreement #1: MOVE

Movement comes in all shapes and sizes.

Movement of the physical, emotional, and mental

Movement of stuff.

Movement of others.

Movement of money.

Movement of time.

Movement of energy.

Move bowels, hips, an armoire, potted plants.

In a story loop?

Move thoughts.

Move conversations.

Body or mind stiff?

Go swimming or boxing.

Take a yoga class or unroll your mat under a tree and do 5 cat-cows.

Play Tennis.



Dance out the children’s song: Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes, Knees-and-Toes.

Take an action, any action.

Resistance = stopped, so Move!

Doesn’t even matter if its a good move.

Just that you move.

(I wrote more on “Moving: How I Get Unstuck” here.)

Agreement #2: NOURISH

Drink tonics.

Massage with essential oils.

Soak in an oil bath.

Apply aloe facials.

Savor yummy meals.

Lay in the sun.

Float in salt water.

Warm your hands over a fire.

Send Chinese lanterns (100% biodegradable) into the sky with a wish.

Play with the kiddos.

Binge on Netflix (sometimes).

Join a Women’s Circle.

Did I mention food?

Leave the desk and eat, please.

Agreement #3: CLEAR





Storage shed.

Energy - especially others.


Filing cabinets.




To-do lists.

Admin bullshit.

Emotional baggage of the past.

That’s right, shift it.

Clean house.

Brush your teeth.


Make a blank canvas so you can write and live. Read more about how I do that here.

Agreement #4: MUSE

Stop sometimes.







Stare at nothing.

Converse with the Muse.

What are my Muses?



Snarky monkey thoughts in my head.

(Distinct from fear thoughts. You can read what silly things Fear has to say here.)

Agreement #5: CREATE

Be open to possibilities.

Do the work.

Implement ideas.

Go with the flow.

Develop your support structures.

Rearrange the furniture for a new look.

Build a cottage.

Cook meals.

Complete your novel.

Sometimes to create you must first destroy.

Tricks to get going?

Start small and offer bribes.

Starting is so very important.

(You can read more about starting here.)

***Hint***Set time for 10 short minutes to begin.

Usually, I’m sucked in. If I don’t start with 10 minutes, I can resist the entire day!

Agreement #6: LOVE

Wise Women.




Rick & Brett, Fran & Dan, Jerry & Manuel, Mom & Dad.

Miss Verna.

Kieran & Kalyani.

The Germans.

So many more.

Bring love to the table.

Ask what would love do?

…with each other?


…idiot exes?

Move-Nourish-Clear-Muse-Create-Love; this is how I do it.

How ‘bout you?

What is your formula? What are your agreements?

***A shout out to artist, Ryan McGuire ( &, who took the fun, kooky photographs.