Today I had a longish chat with Arjun (my co-founder) about creative expression, typography, writing and more. Our discussion slipped into a critical analysis of why he is unable to write as much as he wants to despite having an amazing blog setup in his site. We discussed some really good reasons but I think there is more to it than just not having time and priority. If you are giving similar reasons, then this post is for you.
I was thinking about it all the way I drove back home. Here is what I believe is happening in our human system when we write.
When we write, we externalize our thoughts as words and our eyes read them as they are. It is like a mirror that shows us the way we are. It does feel a little naked on the screen or paper.
The way I look at it is: To clean up (take a shower) our thoughts we must undress first. The nakedness is a part of the process.
The process of writing makes us think better. The process of thinking makes us write better. It works both ways. Most of the times, till the pen hits the sheet, we don't know what to write about. When the pen flows, the ideas also flow along.
Words are nothing but thoughts made visible. But even before the thoughts are made visible, we get paralysed by the blank canvas and we give up.
Here are 7 tips to shackle our writer's block and start writing:
- Start with the word "THIS" on the paper and suddenly words flow. Blank canvas is scary but just having one word there makes easy for words to flow. Don't believe me blindly. Try it.
- Writing is misunderstood as one process. In all honesty it is three processes bundled as one. There is writing (raw thoughts), editing (polishing and smoothening the thoughts) and publishing (packaging thoughts for the audience). Decouple all of them and you will be able to write better. The idea is to write everyday. You can always edit later.
- It is hard to set boundaries with words so set boudaries with time. Set your time timer to 25 mins and just write. Do not sensor thoughts or ideas. Capture all that flows. In the editing process deal with making it flow better. You generally write more than what you think.
- Have a schedule in your calendar for writing. It helps to establish a routine to write everyday at the same time. Write everyday. Make that a habit. Whether you publish everyday, I'll leave the choice to you.
- Read more to write more. In our digestion process, we need input as food to digest and excrete. Similarly, in the expression process, we need ideas to write and publish. It is like visiting the pot everyday. Dump it. You will feel better (trust me on this).
- No idea is a bad idea. All ideas are great. Don't judge your ideas even before they are born.
- 7.5 billion people on this earth are too busy dealing with their s**t. No one has time to read yours and analyze. Don't be too afraid to hit publish. You write for you. It is like you eat for your body. You don't eat for others. Writing in public you helps you be more responsible and that is all.
Start writing. It is also a muscle. You build it by breaking it everyday by hitting to your creative gym. Build yourself better.
🥂 to writing!