It’s amazing how much you can forget when you go back to work for a year and are forced to put everything you’ve been so engaged in on hold. Like getting back into running. And writing. It’s taking me longer to re-establish meaningful routines than I would have expected, but I’m getting there.
One of the lessons I had learned from attending several writing workshops a few years ago is captured in the title of this blog post: to write, sit down and do it. Every day. Read a lot, too, and pay attention to how others write. But to really develop your craft and your style, as Nike says, “Just do it”. I had forgotten this important maxim, even though I had originally started blogging expressly to give myself a venue for frequent practice. It was a recent blog post from a local artist (and yoga instructor) in my area that reminded me of this and several other lessons I learned in writing workshops. Her list of “Ten ways to paint like yourself” resonated with me as equally relevant to aspiring writers. I can imagine that the sentiments are true for any creative endeavour. Check them out.
Now let’s see how we might adapt Donna’s list to come up with a similar list for writers.
10 ways to write authentically
- Write often.
- Write by yourself. (But consider sharing with others from time to time.)
- Don’t be prematurely critical. Don’t spend time making what you’re writing perfect, just keep on writing. You can perfect later. Don’t erase; you might erase your best idea by mistake.
- Keep lists of creative ideas on your phone or in your notebook.
- Journal while you are writing to remember your thoughts, feelings, lingering concerns, and choices at the time.
- I’m not so sure about writing standing up or dancing (!), but make sure you have a writing environment that helps you stay energized and fully engaged.
- Develop your intuition and self-awareness.
- Practice self-compassion and patience.
- Develop your skills and then break the rules.
- Remember that you are the boss of you and your writing. Beware of teachers and well-meaning advice-givers who say there is a “right way” to do things.
I think it works remarkably well for writing too, with hardly any tweaking. Thank you, Donna, for sharing this advice.
Do you have a favourite item on the list? Do you have other items you think belong on the list?