It might not be great for the environment but…

… I’m still going to do it.

I find it easier to write down my words by hand, perhaps because I write quicker than I can type. I can never manage to keep up with myself when I’m writing from my laptop.

The keyboard and screen of a phone, computer or laptop is no comparison to a Biro in hand scrawling away on a sheet of paper in a notebook.

At times the words are barely legible but that signifies the urgency to pour out all the words within.

That feeling is a beautiful thing, it’s one of the things I love most about writing, seeing my handwriting and the words I’ve written.

But I’m also aware of the very present environmental crisis on planet earth, so perhaps I should be more willing to go paperless.

Reasons to stop checking the stats

Focus on doing things that are helpful and try not to get distracted by the seemingly significant things that are also known as stuff.

If 764 people read this post, I might come to the conclusion that I should write ‘Reasons to…’ posts more or that this length or writing style is the winning combo.

But in doing that I wouldn’t be giving myself the freedom to explore and develop as a writer. At the crux of it when you have a passion for something it will never just be about the numbers. It’ll always be more about the feeling, something you can’t measure.

When you’re in-flow and the words pour out with an almost trance like ease it might not be the most popular piece of work you’ve created but it took something for you to create it.

Even if you find a formulas that works you still have to innovate to some degree and after a while you might get bored because you’re no longer just being creative.

The use of a formula adds rigidity and constraints.

Checking the stats could also be done for reassurance that there’s at least one persons on planet earth reading what you’ve written and there’s nothing wrong with that because nobody puts stuff out there for it to go unread.

You might find a way to convince yourself that checking the stats will make you as better writer when the truth is writing will make you a better writer. The stats are just a distraction.

 

I, you and we

I’m a personal journal/diary writer. It’s my trade of 10+ years and from doing that writing in first person using ‘I’ is something that comes naturally to me.

But when writing in a space for other people to read I’ve started to realise that unless I’m writing for you to get to know me then I should start using you or we.

And sometimes that means writing and then re-writing. But it’s not just about the use of I. It’s about having this space not feel like my journal (minus names and places).

But sometimes the use of I is necessary because I like to throw in bits of my life here and there so you know where I’m coming from rather than just throwing out things that are ‘helpful’.

When you’re not in-flow

Having a daily writing practice means that writers block isn’t an excuse I can use.

There are days when writing feels a little more rigid and I suppose I feel ‘blocked’ but I don’t feed it because whether I feel in-flow or totally out of flow I still have to write and share something.

I think one of the easiest ways to loosen up and allow the words to flow is to write and it’s ironic because we’d usually do the opposite.

Perhaps the first 100 or even 500 words might be what you think of as rubbish but once you get past that you get to the good stuff. All of sudden you’re scoffing at that supposed ‘writers block’ knowing that you should have listened to Seth when he said:

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

Seths Blog: Talkers Block

Is this worth sharing?

A question worth asking before you click publish in order to avoid that dreaded feeling of sharing something you’re not happy with.

Not everyone will get something from what you share each day but that’s not the point. The point is to share something you’re happy with.

If it sparks a thought or shifts a perspective etc then great but if not there’ll be something new tomorrow.

And the day after that.

Tortured writers and the appeal of tragedy

And sometimes we write simply out of necessity.

It’s not that we have groundbreaking points to make or ideas to share but instead that we feel drawn to putting pen to paper or tapping away at keys.

It’s something we do for ourselves, everyone else is secondary because no matter how many people read, comment or enjoy these words they don’t really know what it took to pour them out.

I think that in a lot of ways that’s exactly how it should be.

We all go through things in life but some of us just choose to express it through the medium of words or maybe the words chose us.

But we don’t have to be these tortured writers who know nothing more than the tragedies of life. When we focus too much on being that way we fall into thinking that we need those things in order to write.

We think that no good words can come from days of sunshine and laughter which causes us to constantly seek out experiences that evoke feelings that get us to that mental place of tortured-ness.

On the other hand maybe we’re already in that place and writing is the only thing that helps.

Alphabet soup

One afternoon I decided that instead of going to lunch at the usual place with the usual people, I would have alphabet soup.

This means nothing more than I sat alone with my headphones in listening to music ranging from The Preatures to Chance the Rapper and The Stone Roses to Amine.

I was sat writing for less than an hour but managed over 1000 words. Despite the fact that I skipped lunch at the end I still felt pretty satisfied.