Can Your Writing Change the World?
Writing isn’t something to scoff at. It’s an endeavor and requires the respect due any craft. Even those of us who have made a habit of it need to respect it. When you do it right, you change the world. But that doesn’t mean that it’s something impossible.
You can write, and you should write.
Writing is organizing your thoughts, making them permanent. Even if you don’t believe you can become a seven-figure selling author, you need to write. It makes your life easier, and it lets you be who you are more truly.
Writing isn’t just about a pen or a keyboard. It’s about putting words in order, and words are powerful things. Whether you’re telling a story, selling something, or recording information, you’re changing the universe forever.
Sure, it might be in a small way. But if you write well, it will make an improvement. Every improvement you can bring to the world is worth bringing!
And if you’re worried about not writing well?
There’s always revision. Anne Lamott brings this up in Bird By Bird, her book on writing. If you can craft elegant prose on the first try, tell me how. If you can’t, start with what you have. Not only will your first effort get better over time as you make more first efforts, but you can’t revise and polish what isn’t written yet.
And no, you can’t write in your head. The writing that goes on in your head is for immediate transfer to the page. Find some way to make it permanent.
We’re lucky to live in an age where we carry recording devices with us at all times. If you type your rough drafts, you can revise like a sorcerer. Taking out just the words you found out of place and improving individual sentences is a modern innovation, and it sure beats the old-school way of doing things.
Start with the blank page. Then you can move on to great things.
Don’t let your first drafts get you down. The process of writing is constant improvement.
You Are A Writer
Writing is an act and a skill. There’s no writer card you can get that magically makes you a writer.
Just because you don’t have a MFA or membership in a professional writers’ association doesn’t mean you can’t write. These things may help full-time writers, but everyone writes before they get to that stage.
When you first write, even if you’re not happy with your current writing, you are a writer. Take that energy and turn it into future success. Each day is an opportunity to live as a writer.When you first write, even if you're not happy with your current writing, you are a writer. Take that energy and turn it into future success. Each day is an opportunity to live as a writer. Click To Tweet
So live as a writer!
Have you ever heard someone give this piece of timeless wisdom?
“Fake it until you make it.”
You want to embody that. Not because you’re faking it, but because the very act of trying to write makes you a writer. You might not be an excellent writer, but you’re moving in the right direction. A mix of confidence in your ability to grow and humility about not being there yet (no matter how well you’ve done) moves you forward.
So keep that mixture in mind. Take confidence and humility and make them your bread and butter. Every day should be a call to write.
You Can Write Anything
You don’t have to write just what exists already. Many people who struggle write exactly what they love, with their own unique take on it. The problem is that you’re comparing yourself to your heroes. Sometimes that’s fine. But usually it’s a bad recipe.
Learn to take inspiration from what you see. Don’t make it a mold that you pour your writing into.
Write anything that seems right to you. Remember that writing is organization. You’re taking loose thoughts and turning them into something unified.
Organization is not the same as applying a formula.
When you write, write anything you feel like writing. Even if there’s no market for it, even if there’s no coherent outcome, you’ve practiced those skills and flexed those muscles.
So write when the alternative is not writing. Write when you have free time. Learn to love writing by following your heart. You might find that you discipline yourself and adapt to certain forms, or you might stay among the avant-garde and experimental sorts who refuse to tailor their writing to others’ expectations.
But you’ll never know this if you don’t write.
You can write. The question here is how you get from where you are to where you want to be.
And the answer to that is simple. Write to hone your writing.
You have this within you, even if you’re not typing out the next Great American Novel or Shakespeare play. Take what you have and make use of it.