To write consistently has been my goal for many years, but I've never managed to reach it. This post is, in-part, a way for me to explore why I fail to write, but mainly a promise I'm making, to myself, to write more.
Why I never get round to writing
Failing to find courage to write is really getting to me now. I tentatively dip in, rarely finding consistency, seldom finding the courage to publish anything. But I so badly want this to happen. I really enjoy writing, when I get going. The cause of failure: maybe the reasons that prevent most people from trying something new, taking a chance – the inner voice: You're shit at writing, your ideas are obvious, your grammar is awful, you'll look stupid, you have nothing interesting to say.
Maybe the voice is right, I dunno. But fuck it. So what.
But it doesn't really matter if I'm shit at writing, because I write to improve. It doesn't matter if I don't have anything interesting to say, because I write, mainly, for myself.
Why I write
I'll try and remind myself often about the following reasons why I write:
- I write for myself.
- I write to think.
- I write to learn.
- I write to explore nascent ideas.
- I write to understand myself.
- I write to connect.
- I write to organise my thinking.
- I write to get shit out of my head.
- I write to practice writing.
- I don't need anyone to read what I write, though it'd be nice.
- I don't need to make money from what I write.
- I don't need to impress people with what I write.
- I don't need to be right.
Process for the win
The following process is to help me write consistently. It's a first pass. My goal is to build a cadence to my working week, to create habits that will give me the best chance of succeeding. I’ll refine process as I go along, or start again if it isn’t working. That's okay.
- Dedicate 30 minutes, every weekday, to writing.
- Publish something every week
- Create a bank of ideas. Always have a notepad or device to hand.
- Build writing into my working week
- Monday Crystallise: I’ll pick an idea and start to crystallise. I’ll write a 50 word summary (This can be revised as I go along, but it gives me direction) capturing the essence of what I’d like to say and draft a skeleton for how I'd like to say it.
- Tuesday Idea Dump: Free writing, don’t think too much etc, just let stuff flow. Surprisingly, great ideas pop out of nowhere. Explore concepts to illustrate the point I’m trying to make, or bring the point to life.
- Wednesday Write : Join all these ideas into a coherent article
- Thursday Edit : Revise the structure, make sure it flows
- Friday Polish and Publish: A second edit looks at improving sentences, grammar revision.
I promise to give this a good go, see where it goes. My aim is to improve: my ideas, my writing, myself. If build the right habits, stay consistent, and manage to quieten the voice in my head, I reckon I'll be golden.
- I promise not to beat myself up
- I promise not to despise my writing and think I’m an idiot
- I promise not to be too hard on myself when I make mistakes
- I promise not to be too hard on myself when I don’t keep to my routine.
- I promise to let go so I can explore.
Articles on writing I've found inspirational