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Some simple but harsh truths about writing

November 5, 2010

A few weeks ago I read a blog on copyblogger called ‘show up and write.’ In this I found some very simple but harsh truths about writing, not just blogging.

Here is a brief summary of the key truths:

  1. Writing is not hard, you simply just do it. Do it everyday, for hours, a couple of mins but do it.
  2. This simple fact to writing is just “too simple” which Lindstrom (the blogger) says is what we love to hate.
  3. Instead we like to hear that writing is difficult, otherwise, why aren’t we all writers? We like to conclude writing is hard as the reason that we don’t do it.
  4. Simple doesn’t mean easy – you said it!

I know that many of these ring true for me (ok, maybe all) as I have always continually given myself excuses for writing. “I’m not a writer”, “I can’t write like that”, “I’m an essay writer, I can’t write other things like novels.”

These are just some of the excuses I’ve given myself for not writing. So much so that I began to believe it too, that this was the limit of my writing ability.

Reading the blog, I kept thinking this should called ‘shut up and just write’ instead. To me, all the excuses that Lindstrom rambled through pointed to one main thing, fear. Writing is scary.

When you were young, you don’t have the worries and fears that accompanies writing a piece of text. The last time I had written such a piece of text was during the primary school SATs where I penned a fictional story about paintings coming alive during a school trip to the museum. I had enjoyed writing this so much that I completely forgot it was even an exam. Hopefully, I can get back to even a vestige of something close to this feeling.

One reason I am not afraid of writing essays is because I’ve simply had practice. I’ve written loads, got my system of planning tapped down. I’d figured it. Now, when it comes to different piece of writing, I am petrified. Silly, I know but no one likes moving outside their comfort zone.

Quoting what copyblogger Brian Clark said during the Blogworld and Media Expo 2010, “Don’t be what you’re supposed to be, be what you want to be and that is the real you…we all change, we all strive to be better.”

I like to think the me writing this blog now is the me taking a step forward to tackling this fear of mine.


From → Writing

  1. It’s so simple it’s complicated.

    Dr. B

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