Writing – it’s not just for writers

If you can’t write, then by all means, write. / Photo by Caleb Roenigk, Flickr Creative Commons

by Laura M.

Some people (maybe you?) have writer’s block about even trying to write a grocery list. You might have an image in your head of what a writer looks like: arms crossed, hunched over a typewriter, cigarette hanging out of the corner of her mouth. She tortures herself to craft the perfect turn of phrase. And you think, “Well, if published authors have it that bad, how and why would I even try?”
Here’s the thing: Writing ends up a being an incredible practice in self-discovery and articulation. I find that when I write, by the practice of searching for the most appropriate word in writing, I’m that much better at expressing myself in spoken word. It’s a pretty nifty by-product.
I encourage you to try your hand at writing. Here are a couple more objections you might come up with which I am promptly going to shoot down:
Objection: I don’t have the right tools.

Photo by David Melchor Diaz/Flickr Creative Commons
Counter-argument: You can use whatever tools suit you best. Some folks like pen and paper, some prefer writing on a computer. If you have dyslexia or poor motor skills, consider using a voice-to-text app on your mobile device.
Objection: I wouldn’t know what to write about.

Photo by Anselm23/Flickr Creative Commons
Counter-argument: Writing prompts! Or stream-of-consciousness writing. With a writing prompt, you write about whatever subject the prompt is. With stream-of-consciousness, you write about whatever pops into your head for a set amount of time[say, 5 or 10 minutes].The trick there is to never stop writing. No pausing to think about what to write. You can even write “I don’t know what to write about.”
For starters, why not try writing your own bio? I’ve actually had loads of practice at this since I’m single and use online dating. Here are some common questions you can answer to flesh out your bio:
What are you doing with your life?
What are you really good at?
What is the first thing that people usually notice about you?
What are some of your favorite books, movies, TV shows, music, food?
What are six things you could never do without?
What do you spend a lot of time thinking about?
You know where you can stick this fancy new bio of yours? On Facebook! They now have a section where you can write a brief bio. Post it there and let us know if you get any feedback from friends. They’ll probably learn something about you that you didn’t know. Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

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