Yes, you read it right – write to learn writing.
I know it’s quite a tongue twister, but it’s the shortest and most straightforward way of actually learning how to write.
Think about LeBron James. He’s considered by many as the greatest basketball player of all time – but did you honestly think that he attained such feat by watching talented ballers perform explosive slam dunks?
No, no, Sir, he did not.
He dribbled, shot, and ran around the court day and night to be great.
Well, he did study how basketball works, its statistics, and the science of it all. But what truly improved his performance was the practice.
The same philosophy applies to writing.
I’m not saying that reading several books and learning the rules of grammar aren’t crucial, because they are. They only make a difference, however, if you apply them in your writing.
Write to Learn Writing – But Where to Begin?
For a total newbie, someone who’s never written about anything, it can be daunting to think about writing.
The judgment, the criticism, and the feedback; it is there no matter what piece you write. Heck, the grammar police can’t even spare Facebook comments, so what makes you think your essay is safe from their critiques.
But here’s the deal; it’s not them that’s stopping you.
It’s your mindset.
Look, no matter what you do on this planet, people are going to judge you just because they can.
So write to learn writing doesn’t start by sitting in front of your computer, or using your smartphone, or opting for the traditional way of pen and paper – writing begins with acceptance.
It begins when you’re okay with people attacking your work. It’s when you’re brave enough to start typing without being bothered by criticism.
Because you’ll have peace, and you can finally focus on what you want to express.
Don’t take my word for it, take Stephen King’s:
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
Got the Mindset – So Now What?
Write a piece, an essay, a review, a rant, or a love letter to your first crush.
Begin by just doing it.
If you can’t think of a topic, try asking yourself the Five Ws:
Ask yourself one of these four questions and then add why.
What do you want most in the world, and why?
There you go, a topic to kick-start your wordsmithing adventure.
How about the word count?
At the moment, it doesn’t matter. As long as you answer the question, that’s it.
What matters is that you start stitching words together.
For the first part of this long wordsmith journey, you have to muster some courage and do it without overthinking.
Don’t bother making it perfect because you can’t, and no one can.
The Benefits of Writing
Apart from getting comfortable and motivated with the work itself, which is writing, there are plenty of other advantages that the “write-to-learn-writing discipline” provides.
No. 1: You Get to Know Your Voice
Believe it or not, you have a voice in your literary works. Unfortunately, you won’t know it until you’ve written hundreds of articles.
Yes, I know it seems like a lot, but it’s not. If you write one 500-word article per day, you get a hundred before hitting four months. Do two, and you’ll cut that time in half.
Getting to know your writing style allows you to have control over it. You get to develop it or change it to your liking.
And in the world of freelancing, changing it to adapt to your clients’ needs is an in-demand skill.
No. 2: You Become an Exceptional Learner
Writing is merely the conversion of knowledge. It’s organizing what you have in your brain to something that can be digested by someone else through reading.
During this conversion, you get to review your thoughts and see if they’re accurate through research.
You get to ask more questions, which makes you seek more answers.
Eventually, it becomes a mantra that you apply to everything you’re unfamiliar with.
In a nutshell, you become a skeptic – but in a positive way.
No. 3: You Communicate Better
By writing, you enhance your verbal skills as well.
There’s something about perfection in the world of wordsmithing. You get to revise your work over and over again until you’re satisfied.
You tend to look for the most accurate words to deliver your message, thus, expanding your vocabulary.
With more words at your disposal, the easier it is to express yourself – even when talking about sophisticated ideas.
No. 4: You Become More Relaxed
By writing, you get to have a positive output.
It’s almost the same as venting to a friend – but without the person. So there are no unexpected, hurtful feedback.
Moreover, each time you finish a piece, you become fulfilled. The same as achieving anything in life, you get to enjoy this quick hint of dopamine that makes your day.
How often do you write? Please share with us your writing practices.