4 Things I’ve Learnt From Writing Everyday For 8 Days.

How I learnt much more about writing in 8 days than I did by learning how to write for months.

Image Credit: Alejandro Escamilla @ unsplash.com

I always thought that writers had it easy, just like I thought software testing was going to be a cake walk.
After all software testing meant finding faults or defects with software, writing to me meant to string words together. The more authority I had on the subject the easier it would be for me to write.

I couldn’t be anymore wrong!!!

What I did not know then is that there is a lot involved, from writing your first draft to getting any content ready to be published. Even though I don’t write for a living yet, I realized that writing entails going for days just thinking about an interesting topic.

Gerd Altmann @ pixabay.com

Sometimes all you have is a faint idea on what you want to write about and your enthusiasm quickly wanes when you either sit staring at the blank screen or are furiously hitting the backspace key trying to get the first sentence or paragraph just write. Sometime if feel your content just sucks and wouldn’t be of interest to anyone.

However I have learnt more in the past 8 days of writing everyday than I did in months of learning how to write. 
It is not necessary for inspiration to smack you in the head with a club, I don’t need to endlessly stare at blank screen or clench my jaws in frustration when I am not able to get past the first sentence.

The internet is filled with articles on the technicalities of writing, so I am going to keep it short here.

  1. Practice.

a. You will not get better at writing if you do not practice.

b. The more the deliberate practice the better you get at writing, challenge your own limitation when you think you are at a comfortable spot.

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
 — Ernest Hemingway

2. First Draft Sucks

a. Do not waste your time trying to perfect every sentence.

b. Our brains process thoughts faster than we could speak let alone write.

c. Think of your first draft as stone block that needs to be sculpted into human statute. You would first need to sculpt the rough shape before you use smaller tools to refine the shape or add details.

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
 — Larry L. King

3. Editing & Proof Reading — Magic Happens Here

a. Once you have first draft, you go over it repeatedly with a finer comb each time, trying to perfect the content. This is where I have ended up spending most of my time.

b. Running an inbuilt spell check is not equal to proof reading.

c. Instead of being pretentious I am just going to say that this is all I know at this point and there is a lot I need to learn about editing.

4. Write for yourself, Not

a. Being an pop or a rock star is not the same as being a bathroom singer.

b. Know thy audience, provide value.

In summary I’ve realized that you need to be really passionate about writing because it takes commitment and dedication and patience to go from being able to write to be a good writer.

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