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Just write! Don't worry about being right to write.

Today, let’s talk about writing, and how writing is fun and not as hard as we writers always make it seem.

Sure, there is a very real level of difficulty to good writing. But sometimes I think we bang that drum a little too loud, so any would-be writers get scared by the noise and run away.

So, if you aspire to be a writer, but you keep hearing about how hard it is, let this post be a reminder that writing is not all that hard.

It’s not that unapproachable.

If you have tried to write poems and stories before, and you just hated it, I think one of two things happened.

You a) have a wrong perception of writing so it took out all the fun or b) you are not called to be a writer.

If you think you’re more like A, I believe this post will help. And if you just don’t know, keep reading.

From what I see, being called to write looks like this: it’s just hard to stop writing. You find stories in everything. You love making up stories or poems.

But the moment you begin to write it down physically, you get this burden of rules and this expectation that writing is this hard job and you begin to think that maybe you shouldn’t write.

If that’s the case, I’m guessing you have a wrong perception of writing.

But if you keep trying to write stories and poems and aren’t enjoying it one bit, and you’re stressing yourself out, and don’t even enjoy the possibility of becoming a writer, maybe you should look at things that you do enjoy. You may not be called to be a writer – and that’s okay! You do you.

But to all the want-to-be writers, who are having trouble writing, here is some free advice on how to get started:

Just write. No rules. No regulations. Forget grammar. Write something. Just start somewhere.

Because honestly, you can “add-in” rules later. You can always indent paragraphs and add quotation marks and fix grammar later. But if you want to write, just write, and know that your first draft of anything is probably not going to be that great.

Now I could be completely wrong. You could write something down once and it can be completely and utterly amazing and that is so awesome for you! Because sometimes, that happens.

But if that doesn’t happen, I need you to know that you’re okay and the first draft of anything usually isn’t that great.

I had a story idea a couple of years ago, and rereading it now, I can say “yikes”. There are a lot of technical mistakes (and the writing itself is…eh. Characters liked to yell a lot in that story. Lots of caps lock going on). But at the time, I had an idea and I just wanted to get it out. It got the juice flowing. It got me writing. So, I say all of that to say that if you are feeling encumbered by rules, throw them out. Just toss them in the trash for the moment and pretend nothing is hindering you from telling your story.

And to every other writer out there who just cringed reading me that, throw out the rules, relax. We add in rules later. That’s called editing. Editing is not writing. Editing is fixing up your writing – it’s making it pretty and logical (at the very least, readable).

But write. Just write. And if it sucks, rewrite it. Or start a new story. And then rewrite that. And then maybe edit that or just start a new one.

Everybody’s writing process is different, but this is the one that works for me:

1) Get an idea. How? I’m not sure. I usually just talk out story ideas until something new or unexpected comes to my heart. Or, I open a blank document and start typing. Something comes out. Usually not something good, but hey, it’s writing.

2) Find an idea that makes me go “oh! I like that!” and run with it. Write it. Start typing it. Open a new document or just pick a random spot in an old document and just start writing.

3) If it’s just a small scene, reread it. See if I like it. See what I don’t like about it. Add in those extra spaces or letters that I missed. And if I like what I read…

4) I ask myself if I can push it further. What happens next? Can anything happen next? Or has this scene run its course? If more can be added, add more. Expand on the idea (try changing locations or character viewpoints. One of my favorite things to do is to rewrite the same scenes but from the perspective of different characters, because everybody will perceive something differently).

5) And if the scene has run its course, then I edit it! Add in all the right grammar! Fix sentences that sound awkward!

6) Sometimes, I reread it and think that maybe things could go slightly differently – so then I rewrite that same scene! Now, you don’t have to do this. But I think you would be surprised how the smallest change of details changes how a scene goes. One of my favorite parts of a story was a rewrite. I had an idea, I liked it, but then I changed just a few details – how a character knew another character, who came down the stairs first, how another character came back – and it made a HUGE difference and I love it (I almost cried reading it).

7) Find a place to put it, even if it’s just to the side. Sometimes, you may have a great idea, and you love how it’s written, but you don’t necessarily have a place (a story) to put it. My advice: don’t toss it. You never know when you may need it. Keep a section of notes (I have whole documents labeled “insert story name here” Notes, full of previous drafts of scenes. It’s come in handy multiple times. I only recently threw away notebooks from ten years ago of old writing. But I don’t delete a whole lot).

8) If I feel really stuck, and I don’t have any new ideas, I just reread old things that I’ve written. I read parts that I like. I go back to old stories and just enjoy them.

So that is usually how writing goes for me. If you try this and this helps, great! If this doesn’t, then that’s okay too! You may have a different process! Find what works for you. Bottom line – get started. Enjoy it. If you keep thinking “maybe I could write a good story. I really want to write but I don’t know how”, then just write. You can edit later. Just start writing.

And remember, my friends, you are deeply loved, and you have The Heavenly Father and His Son cheering you on.


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