Writers write and as with any hobby or skill it must be practiced. So why do us writers procrastinate or neglect writing everything that comes to mind? Why must we blow it off and say, “Heck, I’ll remember that when I actually finally sit down to write again.” Don’t fool yourself, the human brain is incredible but creativity is spontaneous not instantaneous.
Of course, with our age of technology, blogging and social media has made it easier for everyone to record their thoughts and we have an explosion of human creativity and connectivity. It’s a writer’s dream with all those ideas and connections bouncing around out there waiting to be hatched into a cohesive, spell-binding story. Yet, is writing for the sake of writing the best practice? If you are practicing dribbling for soccer and you are doing it poorly, do you continue to repeat the poorly developed skill? Similarly, do we continue to write poorly simply to say that we have written something?
Rather, would it be more productive to seek a better more appropriate expression of our thoughts as it would a soccer player to seek advice on better dribbling technique. Many of us journal, letting out our anger, our joy, our sorrows, our worry, our opinions that we think nobody would want to hear, letting it all out on a piece of paper…but that’s just free writing, writing used to express what we need to express as social beings. That is not necessarily good writing. It’s merely to get the creativity flowing (pardon the cliche).
We must take a step beyond that writing, that journal, and transform our thoughts into a character, a personality, a story that is truly reflective of the human mind and emotion. If we continue to just produce dribble on the web and elsewhere for the sake of wanting the world to hear our words and to say we wrote something, we might want to think twice of what we write and what we produce. Continue to keep in mind that if you expect great work out of others, you must first be willing to go the extra mile to produce great work yourself. Let’s start listening before we speak, before we write. Then write and re-write it, transform it and mold it into the beauty that it deserves to be.
Words of wisdom for writers of all levels: speak softly and carry a big pen.