Live Well

10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT WRITING BY WRITING REGULARLY FOR ONE YEAR

Today is my 52 post on this site. I have written and published a post each Monday over the last year. Consistently writing was the next right step for me a year ago.

And, while stopping is not in the plans, I will not be writing as consistently. Although, November is already shaping up, and looking like it will host a new post every Monday.

This past year was full of slow days, yet I look back and wonder where the year has gone. I guess that’s life: slow days and fast years.

As I reflect upon the last 52 weeks I want to share 10 things that I have learned about writing, by writing consistently.

10. Writing is hard.

Period. Writing well is hard. And it requires a lot of practice–probably a lifetime and then some.

9.  Writing is lonely work.

It’s a solitary act, one that requires the putting together of individual letter to letter, word to word, sentence to sentence. In a sense, a labor of love. And, while I enjoy writing, I need people and teamwork and collaboration to be a part of my actual, let’s say, job.

8.  Deadlines are good.

Accountability, friends. It may feel like an enemy, but is, in reality, a best friend in disguise. Perhaps a best frenemy?

7.   Inspiration is rare.

People who teach writing love to say things like, “inspiration is for amateurs, professionals just do the work.” Now, I’m no professional, but if I were to wait for inspiration I would have written very little this past year.

6.  Writing requires reading.

Writers are readers, and they need to read a variety of texts. Reading provides lessons in sentence structure, gives insight into writing styles, helps one improve understanding and better comprehend writing as a craft. Among other things.

5.  What I need to write ≠ what I want to write.

At least, not all the time. I have so many partially finished drafts. I want to take more risks in writing, I think I play it too safe. Writing is vulnerable, leaving one feeling exposed, a bearing of the soul. Perhaps one day I will be able to write with complete honesty on hot topics, with the tough, yet tender skin required for such scrutiny in openness. Perhaps.

4.  I’m still finding my voice as a writer.

Honing my craft, if you will. I’m a work in progress. Blog writing is different than other types of writing, and I’d really like to devote more time to dabbling in different styles.

3.  Writing is my creative outlet.

I have never considered myself artsy or crafty. But, I love organizing and reorganizing sentences and structure, playing with words and meanings, creating through communicating. So, I guess, writing is my art.

2.   Done > Perfect.

In school I was one who used every minute to compete a paper, project and test. And not because I am a procrastinator, but because I can tweak, change, stress and then re-stress over every detail, both significant and non. I’ve had to let go of my perfectionistic tendencies and accept the mantra that sometimes: done is better than perfect. (Because perfect will never be achieved. There will always be a better word or two, commas to remove, no add, no definitely remove, and questions of whether this is the best or worst piece ever written in the history of ever.) I know there are many mistakes, and some just so-so pieces within these pages. I’m okay with that.

1.   Writing will always have a place in my life.

I love words. May the goal of my writing always be to encourage and uplift.

Thank you for joining me this past year. It’s been fun and real, real fun.

I hope you have found, and continue to find encouragement through the words contained within these many pages.

With love,

Andrea

Photo by my talented friend Ashlee Bratton, of Ashography

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