Learning as a New Writer
Today is another day where I really don’t feel like writing. This is often the case for me. I go several days of feeling pumped to write and then several days (or weeks or months) feeling like I have nothing to say and not feeling up to trying.
This month I made a goal to try and write every single day and to publish more often on my blog. While sitting here thinking “I really don’t feel like writing right now”, and knowing that if I don’t write I definitely won’t have anything to publish, I made the decision to ask one of my writing friends to sprint with me. When someone agreed, I opened a document and I made a commitment to not let myself get up until I have written for 20 minutes.
Over the past month I have learnt a lot about myself through the commitment and time I have put into writing. I have learned that trying to make myself sit and write until I have hit a certain number of words does not result in quality. Not even something that can be edited into something good. While I will sometimes make a word goal for myseld, I usually will only do so if I am in a “morning pages” mode. When I make the commitment to write a certain amount of words then I allow myself to brain dump until I hit it. Often, at the end, what I have written doesn’t make a lot of sense, the grammar and spelling is terrible, and there is no flow to my writing. However, I find it to be good practice because it forces me to work my writing muscles but I don’t find it to be a good way to get writing done that I can share with the world.
I have also learned that the best way to overcome writers block is to force myself to write and tell someone that I am writing (hence why today I got someone to sprint with me). In general, accountability pushes me to do better. I am far more likely to actually finish something if someone knows that I am doing it (even if they don’t ask me how it went afterwards, just knowing that they might pushes me to get it done).
Finally, I have learned that I need to write both for myself and for other people. I have always said that I want to be a writer. Starting this blog has pushed me from “I want to be a writer” to “I am writing”. When I am writing knowing that someone may stumble upon it and read it motivates me to keep going. Thus, I need to write for other people. However, I also need to journal, write thousands of words saved into documents only labelled with the date, take notes and do other things of the sort just for myself. When I don’t write for myself then I don’t process all that is going on in my head and my blog posts become less frequent because I become more bogged down in a perfection mindset.
My current top tips to new writers like myself would be the following:
- You can’t get better at writing unless you are writing.
- Write for yourself and don’t edit what comes out.
- Write for others and share it, but don’t focus too much on making it perfect. Do your best and know that sharing with others will teach you to get better.
- Read other people’s writing (not just books, blog posts and articles and social media posts too).
- Set yourself goals and stick to them.
These are all so true! Thanks for this post, AJ. 😉