On Writing (II)

(Image: canva.com)

I’ve mentioned writing and particularly speaking English and doing it well in multiple places over the years.

The idea is simple: people judge you by your spoken and written word. The better a speaker or writer you are, the better you’ll be perceived.

But there’s more to it than that. Set aside the quality issue for a moment.

Just … write.

Writing is the only way that your ideas might survive the moment.

  • It’s the only way you’ll remember that great idea you had.
  • It’s the only way you can communicate your great ideas to others.
  • It’s the only way your great ideas can travel outside of your area.
  • It’s the only way your great ideas might even survive beyond your lifetime.

Don’t have any great ideas? Write, and you will.

More than anything else, writing — even if it’s never seen by another living soul — is a way to flesh out your thoughts.

  • It’s a way to help you think.
  • It’s a way to clarify what’s running around in your brain.
  • It’s a way to make sense of the world.

Yes, even fiction.

Sometimes storytelling is the best way to capture ideas and wrestle with your own inner demons. Writing — be it by hand, or by keyboard — forces you to think through issues and make sense of it all.

Thing you’re a poor writer? Keep writing.

Many people are bad writers. First, does it really matter if the writing is really only for yourself? It’s kind of like bad handwriting, — as long as you can read it, it’s served its purpose. Putting down the words matters most, even if you never return to read it yourself.

How do you become better at anything? Practice. Writing is no different. Start sucky — everyone does — and be intentional about getting better. Take a little extra time to edit your sentences, choosing different words, capturing different metaphors, and more.

Not enough words? No idea what a metaphor even is?

Start reading. Voraciously, if possible.

You’ll find that all writers read. A lot. Their reading strengthens their vocabulary and gives them ideas and tools about what and how to write for themselves. Even if they’re not taking notes (I’ll call that an advanced skill) what they read becomes a part of them and can make appearances at many useful times in the future.

When they need it.

When they’re writing.

Read. A lot.

Write. More.