Trouble Adding Volume To Your Writing?
And get past the second sentence? Here’s what you can do.
When I started my writing journey in earlier days, I had no dearth of ideas to write about. I would start a new story with great enthusiasm, but after 3 or 4 lines, I would be staring at the corner of the wall or the blinking cursor.
I am stuck.
After some time, I would give up and take a break. Then, rejuvenated, I would pick a new story only to hit the same wall — volume.
And the only thing, whose volume kept increasing, was the number of unpublished stories — drafts.
I couldn’t help but think about other writers being so verbose about their ideas. How are they doing it? And then creeps in the much-dreaded companion of a writer — self-doubt.
Are you also facing the same issue? And it’s a bitter pill to swallow? Well, there are ways out. Hold on.
Stop chasing perfection
The thing that hinders the flow of thoughts the most is the desire to achieve perfection on the first go. Of course, desiring to be perfect is not bad. But to do so on the first attempt might not be a great idea.
Do not beat yourself up for that. The more you write, the more your thoughts translate into words and finally land up on the page. So do not worry about the structure, flow, or look yet. For that, we have our friend-editing.
Let your inner voice be loud. No matter what it says, let it speak.
I remember our English teacher would make us do this when we were in school. She would give us a word, an image, a thought, a gesture, just about anything, and ask us to write. Anything. And not necessarily about the reference object. And you cannot stop to think.
That was just the starting point. One thing would lead to another and another. Absurd things would pop in mind. But she would encourage us to go with it.
Nothing is silly or stupid. Nothing is wrong.
It would be like a reinless ride. I remember once she gave us an egg as the go-word, and I had landed up in weird places like the toilet and the space!
It was always fun, and we all looked forward to doing such activities. She always said — respect the voice within you, and it will respect you.
Write for yourself
The biggest block to your flow is fear of rejection. So, when I started submitting my articles to publications, I would immediately become the editor of one and start picking on myself. And before I know, I am blocked. Nothing seems good enough.
Then I started publishing the stories myself. I immediately felt a lot more confident about writing because no one was going to dump my work. This is a fool-proof way to get yourself to drive your writing wagon full throttle.
When you sit down to write, distance yourself from all distractions. Treat your writing pad/ page as your beloved, who wants all the undivided attention.
And by distractions, I mean both external and internal distractions. External would be checking emails, checking stats, new messages. And Internal would be the urge to edit as you write and self-doubts.
From the moment you decide the broad idea you want to write about, empty yourself of all that comes to your mind. Thoughts are so fleeting; one needs to catch them right then and there.
I might sound really bonkers right now, but trust me when I say that it worked for me. I took a break from reading other stories for a certain period of time when I focused on augmenting the volume quotient of my writing.
For a few days, I stopped reading other stories. I just kept writing. And I had nothing to compare it to. Mine was the only one, and it was the best. The more I wrote, the more I liked it, and hence I wrote still more, and I liked it better, and on went the cycle.
As a writer, we have to slog it out. As I keep saying, writing is a slow pot recipe. No potion, magic, or formula can make things perfect for us. It is an untrodden land we have to discover and traverse ourselves.