Active Writing

August 09, 2019

If you never tried to publish a few words every day, chances are you don’t know how hard it is. It is a typical case of Dunning–Kruger effect: it looks easy until you actually have to sit down and type on your keyboard.

We all write every day - a tweet, an instant message, an email at work - but it’s not a deliberate focused practice. Most of the time, it’s not even for an audience we care about.

When you start writing to help others or to develop yourself, it’s another matter.

The first problem is coming up with interesting stuff to talk about. It takes serious focused observational skills. Inspiration is not innate, it is trained. To become interesting, you need an interesting life: read books, alter your perception of reality, have a meaningful work, develop meaningful relationships… writing daily implies a deep lifestyle shift.

Even when you manage to get ideas, you still need to be organized enough to remember them and put them on paper. It quickly gets out of hand if you’re not disciplined. We all have jobs wearing us out all day long. We all have people to take care of. It’s never easy to make time for writing, but it’s simple when you get your priorities straight. You need a reason, a reason so primal it will drive you every day, no matter how hard it gets.

When you develop consistency, you still need to increase your posts’ quality. Consistency implies quantity, and quantity leads to quality, but you still have to make a conscious effort to improve your researching and editing skills. At some point, you will write for an audience. An audience is a bunch of people expecting a certain form of wealth from interacting with what you create. If this quality isn’t there, you can’t expect people to care about your gift.

The act of writing hides a lot of complexity. It’s a career, after all. You can only acquire this tacit knowledge by actively pursuing it.