Write Like…You

Many writers grow up thinking that ideas for articles and books well up from living exciting and adventurous lives. That’s true for some writers (James Mitchner comes to mind), but for most it’s a myth.

So relax, you don’t have to risk life and limb trekking through Pakistan to be a good writer. That’s a big a relief because I hear there’s no Starbuck’s there.

Most writing stems from common places and things, from family, a favorite teacher, or a joyous day. Good stories require emotion and meaning. A writer’s job is to learn to pay attention. We only need to change the way we view and describe the people, events, and scenery surrounding our lives to have fodder for our craft. A closer examination of the small, everyday circumstances and happenings, will fill our basket of ideas.

Writing is a notebook of reflections. A place to put all the meaningful things – ideas, observations, memories and opinions – that we gather. A portfolio of small items that lead to bigger ideas, thoughts and events.

Why I write about one subject and not another is what defines me. A comment to one of my blogs read, “Why did you write about politics?” The answer is because that’s me. While most of my blogs are about business writing and digital marketing, every now and then something captures my attention and becomes a blog.

Writing takes courage. Sometimes I feel scared and full of doubt. Who do I think I am to write about this (or that)? My grammar is weak, maybe I should just stop embarrassing myself? My family doesn’t even read all this stuff, who am I kidding? If I listen to that voice I lose my path. That voice means I’m suffering from a lack of faith (of Faith). That’s unacceptable.

But it’s good to expose my fears because it helps me zap their power. They’re just sniping, it’s what they do. I, on the other hand, decided long ago that I was not going to let my fears govern my life. My life would be governed by my aspirations, my strengths, no matter how few.

Mornings are when I feel strongest. Mornings are fun. It is a joy to get up every morning with a full cup of courage and life. To stare my demons in the eye until their courage (not mine) wanes.

I have a plan, a purpose and a reservoir of experiences to draw upon. They are all aligned with my strengths and passions. I can’t predict the future but it is a blessing when I’m wise enough to know the joy is in the journey.

If you’re reading this it’s likely that something, maybe a writer, is trying to burst out of you. If that question intrigues you then ask yourself, “Why do I want to write?” and fill a page with the answer.

If you’re like me the process of sifting through ideas, organizing your research, selecting the right words and communicating with, well, everyone, feels natural. Go with those feelings. Write like you.


  4 comments for “Write Like…You

  1. September 7, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Great post Steve. Writing is finding your voice and staying true to it. Grammer is the least of it. If it were all grammer, ee cummings would never be a famous poet and James Joyce would be no literary giant.

  2. September 9, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Very inspiring, Steve. I was one of those people who felt like I had to wait a while to write professionally until I had experienced life and “had something to write about”. Now I realize that that was a really bad idea. Started a blog last year and realized how much fun I was missing. Hoping to keep the creative juices flowing, but I definitely feel that pressure to produce something great every time and have a lot of self-doubt. I need to keep reminding myself that writing takes practice and the more I just do it, the easier it will be.

  3. September 10, 2009 at 4:11 am

    Rhona, thank you for the comment.

  4. September 10, 2009 at 4:12 am

    Karen, you just made whatever work I put into this post worthwhile. Thank you and keep writing.

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