5 Lessons I’ve Learned From Writing

I’m coming to the end of my commitment of writing 50 consecutive blog posts for 500 words or more. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about that.

I would say, though, that I have learned a few lessons about writing. And maybe life.

Get Started. I have a number of bad habits. One is procrastination. The other is putting things off. I decided that I would just get going and let things happen as they will.

I tried not to censor myself, meaning that I wouldn’t rewrite or try for anything close to perfection. I wanted to leave things a little raw, This was effective, and it made it easier to just sit down and do it.

I also found that there was power in just getting started. Not that I’d advise it, but if you look back, you will see that there were times when I had nothing. I wrote anyway.

I found that I would find inspiration just by being in motion. So, I write and then (sometimes) become inspired. It seems like the old cart and horse thing, but it really works.

Stick To It. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the saying that mastery takes 10,000 hours of preparation and work. If so, I have a very long way to go. Still, the only way to get better at writing – or anything – is to do it. Doing it badly is the price to pay for doing it better.

Get started and stick with it. I have written over 25,000 words in the last 50ish days. This is 25,000 more than I would have written by doing nothing or stopping after the first day.

Have Fun. If writing isn’t your thing, you might be thinking that this has been a difficult thing for me. And you would be partly right. There were certainly days when I just wanted to fall into bed.

I’d write anyway. And, once I started, I had a good time doing it. Nearly every time.

I figure that if I’m not having fun doing it, I should probably go back to watching Gunsmoke reruns on Netflix.

Get Over Your Fear Of Rejection. Uh oh. This is a tough one, for me. In the first place, I’m a people pleaser, so I don’t like to let people down. Secondly, I have a thin skin and fragile ego. Third, I sometimes think that I’m smart, and I don’t want to write and appear dumb.

All fears that have been unfounded.

Instead of ripping into my occasional really bad writing, you have all been very supportive of me. Don’t think I didn’t notice.

I wonder if, as a people, we worry too much about what other people will think of us when, in reality, they aren’t really thinking of us at all.

Make It Easy To Read. Since this is online, one way to do this is to use short sentences, short words, and lots of white space.

When I started, I wrote like I usually do, with lots of words in a paragraph. Just looking at it is a little daunting. A sea of text on an ocean of white. Now I try to keep paragraphs to a couple of sentences. Short sentences.

Even fragments.

There are a few other things I’ve learned, but I’ll save them for tomorrow.

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