Q: What do I do with my writing?
A: Before you do anything, you have to be prepared to do nothing.
We’re a third of the way through the latest 90-Day Writing Challenge, and the Eternal Question has surfaced once again: What do I do with all this stuff I’m writing? Many of my writers are entrepreneurs; others just workin’-for-The-Man businesspeople. The point is, they’re used to doing things. Meeting goals. Shipping.
But the 90-Day Writing Challenge asks only that you write for 15 minutes a day.
What’s a Type A person to do?
Recognize the value in practice. Because writing every day is the best way to improve. (I ought to program my computer to type that last sentence automatically, I write it so much.) You’re not going to wake up one morning as Hemingway—unless, of course, you went to sleep as Hemingway. But over time, your good work will get better and your bad work may even get slightly better too.
Not everything needs to drive to a goal. Now, if you have a goal, that’s fine. Write for 15 minutes a day toward that goal. But if your daily writing doesn’t fit into some master plan, that’s also fine. Your daily 15 minutes may surface great ideas you can pursue. Or even good ideas. Or you might just end up journaling. That has value, too. Heck, it might even make you smarter:
A report by the University of Victoria noted that “Writing as part of language learning has a positive correlation with intelligence.”
So ask not “What do I do with my writing?” Focus instead on what your writing is doing for you.
Just write it
Really, the most important thing is just to write. Don’t worry about whether your writing says anything, whether anyone will read it or buy it. Sometimes I think that’s just a roadblock we throw up because we’re scared of writing. If we can convince ourselves it’s a pointless exercise, of course we’ll stop doing it. Score that Mind, 1; Writer, 0.
Remember: before you can figure out if your writing has any worth, you have to write it. Take the first step and the rest will follow.
Time to kick your skills up a level? Join me for my popular Writing Unbound program this October. A serious commitment, for people serious about change.
Also published on Medium.