8 Things I Do ~ Write Creatively
I will likely reread and edit this blog post 5 times at a minimum and hesitate to hit publish for 5–10 minutes before doing it. How am I ever going to write the book I’ve been wanting to write since 2008???
Well, “practice makes permanent”, so I am just going to keep writing and eventually I may stop worrying about the audience and being perfect. Writing is therapy for me, it is about overcoming fear and rejection.
8 lessons I have learned from James Altucher when I write:
1. Bleed in the First Line — Being vulnerable, open, honest and writing something I don’t feel 100% comfortable saying. I’ve never connected with a perfect person, so the less perfect I pretend to be hopefully the better the reader or audience can connect to me, which is what I want, connection.
2. Be Honest — Only through honesty is there value. There are a million other writers telling everyone how great everything is and how to be perfect if you do 72 things they say. I connect with James b/c he bared all his shit for the world and I can understand him and relate to him, without even knowing him personally.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of What People Think — This is the hardest for me. I’m constantly self-judging what an imagined audience is thinking about what I write. The general public, friends and family are rarely judgmental so I’m just making it all up in my head. Every time I write I lessen this fake judgment and it becomes easier.
4. Steal — I’m copying these tips from James blog and simply saying how I use them… And I will make a entire blog post out of it. Here is a link to his article to give him some props: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/03/33-unusual-tips-to-being-a-better-writer/
5. Risk — Write something that has some risk in it. Personal risk, reputation risk, relationship risk (not in a manner which will hurt people) but something which puts me out there bare for the public. My writing needs to push my boundaries so I can grow and become better. Risk also attracts readers and keeps them engaged. I will read risk, I will not read 10 tips to be perfect from a fake perfect author.
6. Write Every Day — It’s in my list of 8 Things I Do everyday. I might only write the title or a few sentences and sometimes I delete it all or save it for much later. I write something every day simply to get the shit out of my head. It gets me off my problems and to do list, like a brain vacation. It also hits some fears, issues and personal barriers I need to work through. James has a 2 day rule, he says if you don’t write for 2 days you go back to being a shitty writer. I would agree from my experience so far. It’s like going to the gym, it’s hard to restart from a break.
7. Write with the Same Voice I Talk In — My Grandmother was an English teacher so I can write a damn good term paper, research paper and analytical article. This is not the time to write like that though. In real life I say shit and fuck, a lot, so writing like I talk has been more challenging that I thought, but I think I’m doing a better job.
8. Be Very Afraid — James says ‘Don’t hit publish unless I am afraid of what people will think of me.’ That one I don’t have to work on b/c it’s a voice which is always in my head. Maybe one day it will go away, but that day will likely be when I am dead. Until then, being afraid of publishing is a great signal I have written something open, honest and hopefully useful to the reader.
Like working out and meditating, my writing is more for myself than you, sorry. I’d love to see everyone write and get some of the benefits I have. I am not making money or really even getting a lot of hits or feedback, but I am learning about myself and improving every time I take the action and hit publish.
I’d love to hear your experiences with writing. I read and answer all emails ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
For past “Letters to My Son” blogs go to ~ doughilbert.blogspot.com