How many days, months, or years have you spent thinking that one day you’ll write something? You probably never wrote anything to be proud of in school and have no idea why this thought keeps popping into your head. It’s like having a dull headache that you only notice if you pay attention to it. It appears when you stop doing everything and take a deep breath. That thought follows you around like a loyal Collie who will never leave your side until you realize you have to do something about it.
But what exactly? You’ve never taken a creative writing class and know nothing about the craft. What should a paragraph contain and how lengthy should it be? What topics could you write about? Are you taking journaling a little too seriously? Should you merely keep a notebook and write daily ‘Dear Diary’ entries? You already know that’s not the case. You have a story or some ideas that you want to share. Right now, you’re not very good at articulating your ideas, and probably there is no one to listen to you either. You’ve had years of adventures and experiences that seem too good to be buried in your memory alone. Even if you’re not sure what you want to write about, you know there’s something in there.
It is time to polish that lamp so that the genie could appear.
The first step is not difficult. Set up a space. A space that is clear of clutter and distractions. Shop for some pretty stationery to motivate you to sit down and get a feel for the paper and pens. Maybe you want to use your laptop and start a blog – like this one. Notion is great, and so is Substack or good old WordPress. Watch a few videos to learn how to set up your blog online. Substack is quite possibly the easiest to set up and it comes with a built-in option to send your post as a newsletter to email subscribers. Just as paints and colors were discovered to make great artists, today we have great apps to make amazing writers. More on writing tools later in another blog post.
Step two might give you pause. What do you write? If nothing comes to mind, write about the process that got you sitting on that particular chair at that particular table with that pretty paper or your own online blog. Explain it step by step. Add some pictures of your space. And voila! You have a blog post.
What happens next? The trick is to do this on a daily basis. Consistency is essential. If you’re stuck for ideas, write about how you got out of bed this morning and made your coffee. Describe your daily routine and what you enjoyed about it. It’s fine to write it in the style of a journal entry. Later, when you gain confidence, write about your unique talent. Your gardening, cooking, auto repair, academics, being a parent – anything that defines you. Share wonderful moments and give tips. Teach what you’ve learned.
Continue until you discover what you were meant to write. You’ll see it one day. Your major undertaking – a short story, a novel, an article, or even poetry. Maybe you will love being the blogger you have become. And that is a wonderful achievement.
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”- Franz Kafka