Writing is like listening to you talk. The ultimate self-talk listening practice. And hence, you’ll discover yourself as you write and it magically works the opposite way. It not only unravels what you truly are but it can also transform you. In simple words: You are what you write! You write through what you are, and you can become what you write about.
Writing may change your life! I’ve tried to put that across through my first blog & blog 42: Reasons to write every day and even in my book THE FLOWER OF FULFILLMENT. However, I felt there’s still more I could do in embracing what writing could do, and specifically, in this blog, I thought of sharing a few practical points that might help you become better at writing.
First of all, when I say writing, it is writing your own words. It is something out of your own reflection. And it’s not something you write just because you have to. I’m not referring to content writing or copywriting here.
At first, I thought there is a split here:
- Writing for yourself
- Writing for people
But as I moved through my writing journey, I realized that there isn’t any split here. If you want to get better at writing, either for the public or just for yourself, it’s all about the simple practices that you do consistently.
How to become a better writer?
- Observe – It’s what artists do right? See what no one else could. But do they do that? Read further to know.
- Capture – Note-taking changed my life!
- Think – Like I mentioned in my blog: The Biggest Problem to Humanity, when I say “THINK”, Reflection, self-interrogation, wondering, pondering, visualizing, whatever you may call it, I mean all of it.
- Repeatedly repeat steps one to three – How can artists see what no one else could? Simply observing does not create that magic. The magic is in the loop. When you observe something with what you’ve previously captured and thought of and interpret what you observed based on that, that creates magic. [There is a risk here, of course, you may tend to lose sight of the truth. For that, you need to have to be great at discrimination (Viveka). But that’s an entirely different topic I’ll not touch on in this blog.] So, even though I’ve mentioned “observe” as the first point, I think it’s not in that particular order. Because even to utilize what you observe, you need to have captured, you need to think, don’t you think? Anyway, the order doesn’t matter. Because probably there isn’t one.
- Info vs Reflection – Write what I’ve realized vs write what I’ve read. Try not to write just because you’ve thought of something. Write what insight those thoughts led you to. Write around that inference. Without it, why write? Especially if you’re writing for a public blog, please remember that if someone has to trade their time for your writing, make sure it’s worth it. And understand that writing is not just a way to transfer information. It’s a way to move someone. It must either bring awareness or inspire people!
And here are a few key practices that can help you observe, capture, and think.
- Log – Summarizing or even detailed writing about your day at the end of it. Or you may even choose to write in the next morning, or do it once a week. This will help you see your life from a wider perspective, recognize patterns in your behaviors and keep track of your life. It helps you both capture moments of your life and also observe patterns and can even lead to deep thinking sessions.
- Journal – This is the self-talk that reveals your ‘self’. It may be like a brain dump when you’re overwhelmed and feeling low. When you write why you are feeling how you are feeling, you’ll find answers, and you’ll meet ‘you’.
- Note-taking – Note-taking is the practice used to collect everything from within and from external resources, but mainly, do this to capture your self-talk, which is noteworthy. That is, mainly use note-taking to capture those insights that emerged from within. At least, that’s how I use it. Then, of course, you can use it to capture “resources” from external sources. And to capture info that you don’t want to clog up your brain’s memory, I move such notes to the “Archive” category.
- Blog – You can either have a personal blog or a public blog or both even like I do. Blogs are like writing prompts but blogs make you more committed. At the least, writing blogs will help you keep the practice going. Writing blogs helps especially when you are committed to writing consistently, as it naturally forces your brain to come up with ideas to write about consistently and when you choose to go public, it makes you socially accountable and provides valuable feedback.
- Big Project – It might be a novel, non-fiction, or a storyline for a movie. This is something very essential if you ask me. You may know how much I embrace people’s need to learn to use what they’ve learned and be what they were trained for. Engineers should build, artists must make art, and scientists must innovate. Similarly, writers must write! All the practices mentioned above should push you into this. If that happens, that means you’re on the right track! That means you are practicing the art of writing well! Very well indeed if you are able to complete such big projects.
I believe this blog was at the least a provoking thorn for you to start writing, note-taking, journaling, etc.
Sanath Kumar Naibhi