It sounds simple enough, right? Well, if I’m truthful I would say that’s a loaded question. Yes, you can write. You can write about anything, whether it be the weather, the frustration of training your dog, your nosey mother-in-law, or even the dinner you burnt the night before. There’s always something to write about and oddly enough, I’m certain I’ve seen blogs on all of them. So now what?
Now you read. I reposted this earlier from writer Charles French, a fabulous addition to the blogging community by the way, and if you scroll through my blog you will see it several more times as well. Read. Read. Read. First of all, reading is good for you in general. It increases intelligence and boosts your brain power. It can make you more empathetic and help you to relax, plus it’s been proven to help fight Alzheimer’s disease. You can find the full article here Science Backed Reasons to Read a Book. Some claim that reading a real book, meaning one with physical pages, is more beneficial and that may be true. For me, however, the key is simply reading no matter how you go about it. Besides all of the great benefits listed above, reading is extremely beneficial to writers, especially if you plan to write publicly. Find a style you like, different ways to play on words and develop strong sentence structures, character qualities, etc. The sky’s the limit!
This really doesn’t need an explanation, but I’ll give it a go. Ernest was a smart man. Do not expect to be left gasping for breath whilst wiping away tears of joy when you read your rough draft. You’ll cry alright, but more than likely it won’t be from elation at the golden nugget set before your eyes. Instead, you may find yourself asking ‘what is this garbled junk?’ or ‘I didn’t write that, did I?’. You’ll be amazed at the time spent pressing the delete key. You’ll probably even be astonished at the missed words and punctuation errors. It will be shit, just as dear old Ernest predicted. Get used to it now, or you’ll be sorely disappointed later.
Well, it doesn’t get any better than that, does it? I blogged about this a few weeks ago which you can find here Why Do You Write? In this post, I talk about dropping the expectations and learning to just write. How freeing it is to let go of the pressure, mostly put upon us by ourselves, and how that can improve your writing. Should you shoot for the stars and dream big? Absolutely. Should you want to sell millions of copies and be on the New York Times Bestseller list? Sure, why not! But if you write with the sole purpose of achieving those goals or else, then you’ve set yourself up for failure before you’ve even begun. Write with the premise that even if those things never come to pass, you’ll be okay. And you will.
Ah, and there it is… the silver lining. Letting go and learning to accept that it is what it is. Be resilient and brave, for there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Fortunately, we’re all cut from a different cloth and what works well for one doesn’t necessarily work for well for another. Don’t be deterred if that’s the case. Write for yourself first and foremost and the rest will fall into place with practice!