“People aren’t afraid of failure. They just don’t know how to succeed.”
-Jeff Gitomer, The Sales Bible
This is my thirteenth post. I finally feel I’m starting to develop a writing habit and I’m enjoying it.
But it wasn’t always like this. (In fact, this the third time I’ve tried to get this blog going)
I used to hate writing. I had hated doing it since I was a little kid. I’m not sure why I exactly I do it. Maybe it’s my yearning for everything to just be perfect, maybe it’s my fear of judgment, that someone will look down upon my work and declare that I am poor writer. Maybe it is one causing the other. I’m not sure.
Another problem I had was bringing ideas together in one session. I would see something interesting on the internet, come up with some ideas and then feel like that it wasn’t enough, that it wasn’t good enough. I used to tell myself that I would revisit something, but never did.
Despite my struggles, I always wanted to write. I wanted to be able to express myself: to share the insights I have gained with people so that they can benefit from them.
So, what is different now? What did I do that turned me from someone who struggled to express themselves through type into a growingly avid blogger?
Change of Mentality
As I mentioned above, in the past I had this mentality when writing that it had to be perfect. This not only made writing itself difficult, it made coming up with things to write about almost impossible (should I be writing about this or that?) I have since adopted the attitude that writing is not for someone else, like it was in school, but for me. If other people enjoy it great, but that’s not point. My goal went from trying to write a masterpiece every time to simply expressing myself. I believe that with practice my writing will become better and more natural. This has really allowed me to let loose and just enjoy blogging.
Changing my Writing Process
I used to try and get every sentence right as I was writing it. This was almost impossible and I struggled. Now my approach is that first draft is for me: I just let the ideas flow out. I find it therapeutic. I do not care how it comes out, though it usually comes out better than I expected. In my second draft, I try to make all the parts fit together and make sense. It’s like solving a puzzle, which I love doing. Taking on this approach to writing has made it immensely easier and much more enjoyable.
Developing a Habit
This tip is really about doing it, and making writing become natural. After reading the Power of Habit, I realized something that was stopping me from developing a writing habit was I wasn’t rewarding myself. Now I do, and it’s working. My only goal every time I go to write a blog post is to have written a blog post. Nothing more. I reward myself every time I write a blog post, usually with a treat.
I’ve found developing this writing habit has been immensely beneficial, often in unexpected ways. I feel I can express my ideas more clearly and coherently. It’s also connected me with other people who are living interesting lives and posting about fascinating things.
So there you have it. Go out there and express yourself. Don’t care what other people may think. Make it and habit and don’t forget to reward yourself. Thirteen posts and counting. There’s really no magic to it.
And for the record, this blog post is based on a draft I revisited. You don’t have to succeed right away.