These past weeks have found me busy. Just like you.
And like every writer on the face of the earth, I am exhausted.
I enjoy writing most times, but writing professionally is such a serious thing that I have started to question if I want to do it for a long time.
Never mind, it’s the anxiety talking.
This week’s essay should have been a different topic. I had it all planned out until I decided I wanted to write something different.
I decided I wanted to sit with my thoughts, and deeply reflect on the best writing lessons I have gained recently.
To write well is to be comfortable with making lots of mistakes; no one has ever written a beautiful first draft immediately; drafts are ugly as they should be-accept that.
Your input can only be as good as your output; pay attention to the things you read because you’d reproduce the same things; there’s so much a good essay and story can do to improve your imagination; read; read more; write; write more; as a starting writer, your focus should be on volume; you are doomed if you write little.
You lose out on a lot of ideas if you are not writing; writing is a way to connect ideas, yes, but it is a greater way to generate them; don’t wait, 80% of your ideas arrive when you start writing; writing forces you to think, to pause and question; ultimately, if you want to learn something, write about it.
Don’t bother about originality; summarize blog posts of your favorite authors, write your opinion about an article, publish; stand on the shoulders of giants; study the works of people that have walked your path; be willing to borrow ideas, be willing to imitate and get inspired.
Dare to write fast; set a time and discover how much you can produce, it is a way to stretch your creativity and imagination; Journal; it feeds your mind.
Keep an idea box, a folder of prompts and notes; you won’t always know what to write; the human mind is not built like that; you create what you feed yourself.
Writing is a way to connect with like-minded people; you create a pathway of your ideas with writing; it is the most radical thing you can do from your sofa; it is easier to prove that you are a writer when you can show what you have written.
Dare to be consistent; dare to show up every day; the best writers understand that you choose consistency over inspiration; you choose discipline over talent; you choose a pattern over spontaneity; and expertise comes through that.
Get inspired; lean on the shoulders of giants; have a hall of fame, a list of writers that you go to, to get inspired; be willing to be coached; accept that you might suck at writing and become teachable; criticism is hard but love it; improvements come out of corrections and feedback.
Have a circle; have a community of trusted friends that help your creative work; it is easy to feel lonely, depressed and anxious; healthy associations help you through it all.
Write something different sometime; write comedy; write poetry; try writing a short story, write an article, stretch yourself a little, do something you haven’t done before and watch you become better.
Visit places; change your environment; free write; try writing in a different place; eavesdrop; listen to what people are saying in the buses, be interested in gossip, expand your idea reservoir; you will need it.
Take a writing course; pay for lessons that can help you; buy books; understand you must invest your time and resources into a skill you want to get better at; you can’t cheat your way to being an expert.
Stay; face your book; there is so much you can write using your experiences; the next person may be writing about capitalism; it is not a sign you should write about capitalism; look within yourself; fall in love with an idea; that is the one you should write about.
These books can help you a lot in writing well, Julian Shapiro’s handbook on Writing well, Gary Provost’s 100 ways to improve your writing, Ann Handley’s Everybody writes well and Joe Pelluzi’s Content Inc.
With these few points of mine, I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that …you can be a better writer.
Thank you. Thank you.