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How to Start Writing
Stop trying to be a writer and just write.
“Don’t be a writer.
Just write.” — The Muse
What is the biggest impediment to writing?
It is thinking you must be a writer.
Thinking about BEING a writer initiates comparisons with greats like Hemingway, Woolf, Dickens, Le Guin and on and on and on. Comparison becomes obsession. The focus moves from writing to how you'll never measure up.
But the truth is this. You may already be a writer...
Do you journal?
Do you write letters?
Do you comment on social media?
Do you make little notes from what you consume?
I could go on, but you get the point.
For those of you who think writing is a higher form of these practices, then I say to you: hogwash! Stop preening and focus on what is art to you. Leave comparisons and lofty titles to the critics.
For the rest of you, don’t try to become a writer. Just write in any form that suits you. If others identify you as a writer, well that’s just swell. You’ll keep creating in the medium of words heedless of their comparisons and titles.
What form suits you?
Take up the practice of Morning Pages. It is a form of journaling where one writes down a stream of consciousness. Commune with your inner self while learning how to write free of form and criticism. Reference: The Artist’s Way
Write notes in your own words while reading, watching or listening. Be open-minded but very selective. Capture what I call “fire Ideas” — the kind that light you up. Create an idea file you can browse later for inspiration. This could be in the form of a digital file, a journal or even a wall full of sticky notes. Reference: How to Take Smart Notes
Use social media the way it was intended. Engage with valuable creations via comments and direct messages to the creator. Share with them what you value, including fire ideas you’ve collected. Watch them respond in kind.
Just three of many ways to write for YOU... without expectation or comparison.
Write long enough via these various forms, and you’ll find writing comes more naturally. A healthy compulsion develops to write even more. Because writing is now a form of expression. The person within, in concert with the universe, has much to say.
🤔 Food for Thought:
What keeps you from just writing?
Have you tried different forms?
Who are you writing for?
⚙️ One Small Step:
The best companion to writing is reading. If you struggle with writing, read things of interest. When you feel the pull of an idea... a fire idea... make a little note in your own words. And so it begins.