1. HAVING WRITTEN > BEING READ
Though I have yet to develop the writing habit I one day wish to have, I am convinced that the satisfaction that comes from "having written" far exceeds the satisfaction that comes from having your writing read.
Though people's comments on how your writing has impacted them can be fulfilling, it does not compare to the fulfillment of knowing that you have consistently committed yourself to your craft regardless of the size/response of your audience.
2. QUANTITY > QUALITY
Inspiring, poignant sentences don't just happen. They appear after many uninspiring, bland sentences have been written first. Coherent, cohesive paragraphs don't just happen. They come to fruition after many incoherent, jumbled paragraphs have been written first. Shareable, relevant content doesn't just happen. It gets created after much unshareable, irrelevant content has been written first.
My best writing has never been a result of me trying to produce quality writing. My best writing has always "risen from the ashes" of the quantity of bad writing I have produced!
3. RE-COMMITTING > QUITTING
I have quit writing more times than I have quit anything else in my life. I have been consistently inconsistent in my quest to become a committed writer. I have fallen short of my writing goals so much so that I'm not even sure if I believe that I am capable of reaching the goals I continue to set for myself.
But what I have found to be true is this, what makes you a writer is not whether or not you quit, what makes you a writer is your resolve to re-commit after you quit. What makes you a writer is your decision to start writing even though 3 months have passed without you writing a single word. What makes you a writer is the inner voice that tells you, "You will try again because if you don't you will be neglecting not a hobby, but your responsibility."
4. LESS > MORE
When I use 15 words to communicate something that can be effectively communicated with 5, I force the reader to work harder than they should have to.
Use less words. Communicate more clearly.
(I want to write more about this, but if I did I'd be violating my own lesson!)
5. FOR ME > FOR OTHERS
Though I hope you get something out of this post, I wrote it primarily for me. I wrote it so I could process and synthesize the lessons I've learned through almost 10 years of writing.
I have found that writing "for me" has made it easier for me to write over the years. Writing what I am learning. Writing what I want to remember. Writing in a tone that I am comfortable reading. Writing about experiences I am having.
Though this may seem self-absorbed, selfish, or inconsiderate, when I take this approach my writing becomes most natural. It flows. It's real. It's honest.
Every time I become overly concerned with what others will think about what I am writing, I tend to lose my way. I tend to lose myself.
Write for you. You'll be surprised. It will end up serving others as well because more people are like you then you think!
What lessons have you learned about writing? Please leave your comments below. I'd love to learn from you!