People who say they can't write spends most of their time asking themselves,"how to start writing?". de facto, by the end of the year you still haven't written anything. You know what you want to write, you have access to the write tools but you can't write. Ever asked yourself why? If not, then it's fine, I am going to reveal a very easy writing tips on how to start writing about writing when you already made your mind that you can't.
In the last post, I've shared my writing journey (writing-not writing-quit writing). I was a person who says and believes she can write until I started making money out of my writing skills. My first experience as a writer was daunting. Do you think the day comes in your life you actually feel like you know things but can't write them down? If yes, I am happy for you for being here. You already take the one step ahead to sort this thing out.
"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
―Sylvia Plath,The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
The 4 W to ask before 'How to start Writing'
Why can't I sit down and write it down without wandering off?
Where should I start with?
Why I can't make it work even when I want it to?
Please don' read ahead without asking yourself these questions. Do you feel the same? I understand. When you say you want to write your unique voice without wandering off. I can assure you that you do have a list of ideas you want to write about. We both know a lot about writing, writing tools, and finding writing work. Everything is on our fingertips, isn't it?
But here we are, talking to each other, how we can't write, and seeking help.
It's time to reveal the secret.
P.S. Don't trust me when I say," this secret will get you in the chair, in front of the screen, tip-tap-tip writing away." It will.
The secret is although no more secret because most of the famous writers are already owning it. But it is, still a secret that's why you ended up here. You know, you already own that. It's inside you and not on the internet or on the motivational page you follow.
It's called Self-Belief (I tried to put extra pressure with caps lock ON).
Writing Tip : SELF BELIEF
The Internet is getting old to tell you every day about it. To grow your self-belief starts from believing in your ability to get things done. Being honest with you, achieving self-belief is not easy. At least it wasn't for me. Because negative thoughts make us doubt ourselves quite often. In my case, I am an emotion-driven person. I am either in a full emotional zone or no zone at all. The only reason negative thoughts always stab my self-belief...
(flown in emotions)
Anyway, that's my boring self but I can help you with it.
Your level of self-belief can also influence how hard you are writing something. The more belief you have in yourself, the more you feel driven to write through challenges on your own. It’s also important to decide before you start out on writing that you won’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t work out. Remind yourself, all you can do is try your best.
For some of you, the answers jump out but many of us gain it after several attempts of talking to ourselves. I am writing down the general self-limiting belief I dealt with:
I don’t have time to write it.
I’m not smart enough to write it.
I’m too busy to write it.
I could never be successful at writing, as a writer.
I’m afraid if I’m successful then will it last long?
I don’t have enough money to publish and promote my writings.
My mother/father/partner/friend says that I should have done a job than writing.
Do you want to know what I did after this introspection?
I write it down. Everything. I answered the whys of the above mentioned general beliefs. I wrote down my negative thoughts and emotions that come in my mind every time I sit to write something. It was difficult to come up with honest answers that were holding me back. So I made a 3-step guide for myself which can be helpful for you too.
STEP 1 - FLIP THE BELIEF
You already have made a list of self-limiting beliefs. Put the opposite of every element in the list. Turn the process from negative to positive. How?
My old belief: I don't have time to write it.
My new belief: I have time to write it. I will write every day after work out and before breakfast. I am completely free at that time.
STEP 2 - PICK NEW BELIEF
Now when you flipped your old beliefs with new ones, pick any 1 out of 3 new beliefs and practice them every day. Read your new beliefs daily. Spend an hour on one new belief daily. Give a week to one belief and shuffle all beliefs week after week.
STEP 3 - GROW NEW BELIEF
Create a specific action plan to grow your belief. But before that, understand this - " it's going to be a long way process and not an instant transformation." While creating an action plan, you can add tasks like, write a page daily, read a page daily, grammar tests...
The thing here is don't be hard on yourself. Make the action plan in a way to grow your belief and not stress you out.
Be patient and free throughout the process. I know you will feel bored in the midway and you might be thinking of quitting it and jump into something else. Please. Don't. Stay right there.
Think it this way - an hour spent on me is better than an hour wasted on scrolling the internet and laying down like a broke. You may find things on internet that help you in your process but it will not help you in writing at the same time.
#ruleofwriting You can't write and scroll together, you can only save it for later.
Writing Tip: Acknowledge
What is the first thought after reading a piece of information full of cliche, jargon, abbreviations, and technical terms...
What's wrong with the writer?
This is too hard o read on. I should look for something easier and clear.
It may happen with yourself too. Ever find your writing so hard after spending days and efforts? Well, I too, and here's why?
Steven Pinker is a Harvard Psychologist and Author of 'The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century". In his book, he asked questions which we all have encountered in away.
"why is so much writing is hard to understand? Why a typical reader struggles to follow an academic article or the instruction for setting up wireless?"
He explained it as a 'curse of knowledge'. Pinker says,
"Every human pastime -music, cooking, sports, art, theoretical physics --develop a slang to spare its enthusiasts from a long-winded description every time they refer to a familiar concept in each other's company. The problem is that as we become proficient at our job or hobby we come to use these catchwords so often that they flow out of our fingers, and we forget that our readers may not be members of the clubhouse in which we learned them."
People in business seem particularly prone to this "affliction." You could argue that business has developed its own unique dialect of English. People are prone to an alphabet soup of terms and acronyms at business school, which they then put into use in their day-to-day interactions once they enter the working world. And what starts out to facilitating verbal communication between people becomes the primary mode with which people communicate their ideas in writing, from email to chat apps to business proposals and presentations.
"How can we lift the curse of knowledge?" asks Pinker. "A considerate writer will...cultivate the habit of adding a few words of explanation to common technical terms, as in 'Arabidopsis, a flowering mustard plant,' rather than the bare 'Arabidopsis.' It's not an act of charity but empathy for the reader."
I will not lie. It has happened a lot with me. I wrote a document full and then read it. It took me two-three pauses to get what I was trying to convey. Whenever I wrote a sentence that made me pause to get what it means, I was sure what my readers were dealing with.
#ruleofwriting if it is not clear to me, it is not clear to them.
Writing Tip: Challenge
The job is not done yet. And writing is a life long process. You cannot write for a month and sit back for a year waiting for the miracle to happen. The writing journey is a 3-way challenge - creative, personal, and professional.
The writing challenge I’ve faced in my journey so far is myself making excuses and letting the fear get the best of me. I kept coming up with things that were “so much more important” than writing my novel. Like I found myself with a clean apartment and nothing to do but write. But I decided to get out a sponge and scrub the bathroom floor.
At that moment I knew I had to decide if being a writer was important to me or not. It was. Going all the way, I began to drop the excuses and commit to taking action on my writing every day. Although I didn’t write every day, I got myself within the writing-related circle. For instance, there were more than two days when I hadn't written anything but I didn't waste my time again. Instead, I kept reading and collecting information, solving grammar challenges, writing diary...
It took time but later I’ve made a career out of being a writer. And here I am, expressing out how to start writing right from where I started.
Writing Tip: I can Write
Writing is an art of creating, editing, dumping, and creating again the same content. Whenever you feel low or zone off, remind yourself of the times you were building up your style. All your hard work will be nothing if you sit back after your first success. The diversity of writing lies within our ideas. You should not be limiting your list of ideas to one piece of content. If you do, you will find yourself among the people who say," I can't write.", again. And the loop continues...
If I can earn back the tag 'people who can write' after I zoned off to 'people who can't' I am 200% sure y. Here is my 4 months of this 'I can write' process with 5 easy daily tactics:
I did the exact opposite - the habit of contradiction was a convenient excuse for me. I flip it with 'I can write'. Now every other day when this 'can't write' syndrome tries to kill me, I immediately swap it with 'write it now or never'.
I kept messy drafts on the top of the shelf. Like they were final. Scrabbling all my thoughts on the paper worked as a meditation. I wasn't limiting myself to grammar, punctuation, or structure. I kept on writing the draft to the end. You shouldn't be expecting good written and structured paragraphs right away. A pile of draft felt like a book when I typed it in the document.
I quit online people and took myself as a priority. Yes, I stop asking friends for why I am feeling depressed, why I can't do it right, etc. Instead, I started conversations with myself. I talk to myself and write it down like a diary. You may find it childish but you have to trust me, it works. I no longer limited myself for client work only. I gave freedom to my thoughts and write more often on my area of interest.
The draft pile worked as a puzzle. It kept me engaging ad interesting even when I was writing something I do not wish for. There was a time when too many ideas overwhelmed my writings. So I started putting everything as a draft. I have written 3 sides of the same content with different contexts. I know you must be thinking but that's a waste of time. It is but not when you are learning. Think.
Feel it like you're writing a book. Summarize it. I remember I was writing a business proposal and I researched it two days before the sitting. When it was in the final edits. I felt like the gist was missing even after I had written everything and in detail. I roughly made a summary of it and those short phrases and sentences helped me putting it in a more creative way. Simple and effective.
It was amazing rewinding the back life with you guys. I will be back with my next post on 'rules of writing' but before that comment down who are you? Person who say I can write or who say I can't?
Happy writing. Have a good day ahead.