Writing without resistance ∞
I readily admit that I have a yearning to just write, to write something all the time. But I also have a filter in my head. It prevents me from turning my thoughts into words on the screen. It does this because of the self-doubt that we all have within us.
- What if the words we put out there are not adequate?
- Who would even want to read it?
- What is the point?
✌🏼 Two perspectives
On one hand, this resistance is quite pragmatic. It serves to make sure that we review what we share and thus protect our reputation.
But, the very knowledge that you will never publish most of what you write, puts you in a dilemma. Especially so for writing your unfiltered thought straight from your mind. The question you grapple with is why should I write this down if I am probably not going to share it with anyone?
We forget that the filter in our head deprives us the opportunity to practice writing. And without this practice, our writing does not improve.
Writing for its own sake is the way to go. Write because you want to get better at it. This is akin to exercise. Yet, you must retain the filter in your head and use it before sharing your work with the world.
The filter presents to you a host of benefits which you should not discount. It is quality control with a purpose to moderate what you share, not what you write. Disconnect the two actions in your mind and you will feel liberated as an aspiring writer.
Write your thoughts down no matter what they are. Edit them to make them interesting, concise, rich and yet easy to read. Do this just as a matter of practice. Only then apply the filter in your mind to share a fraction of what you create. The work you share as a percentage of that you create may even decline with time. This happens as your filter gets refined with practice.
But, it is certain that if you write more, you will share a lot more than you would have done otherwise.
Writing is art
To illustrate my point, I borrow the words of two people. One is among my favourite contemporary cartoonists. The other, a great English poet.
1️⃣ Scott Adams said:
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Allowing yourself to make mistakes leads you to explore your own creativity.
2️⃣ Alexander Pope said:
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learn’d to dance.
To find your rhythm in creativity, practice your art form. This applies to writing as well.
The only reason we do not write is the uncertainty whether our work will be adequate as per any standard. Do not write because it has to meet some ideal. Write just to experience the pleasure of writing. Write to get better with practice.
Once you have written, you may consider to share with others if you feel they will find meaning in your work. Write more to afford yourself this choice more often in the future.