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How not to write

Simple instructions on feeling bad about your writing.

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If you want to become a writer, you could just become a writer.

Instead, you read this blog post on how not to become a writer. But maybe you don't want to become a writer. Either way, it's best if you read on.

Content

You could write about so much. You could write about the time you got lost in Hachiลji, in the middle of Japan and desperately needed a place to sleep. You could write about growing up in the suburbs of Graz, playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters on the Super Nintendo with your friends. You could write about your enlightenment that sleeping naked makes you feel liberated from the weight of the world and how you got so used to it that you're not able to sleep with clothes on ever again. There are endless opportunities of things you could write about.

Instead, limit your content to a certain topic. After all, you should stick to your niche.

Routine

You could write every day. You could do it first thing in the morning. Without regards to the topic, you could just write and learn the craft. You might hate your work in the beginning, but some morning you could wake up a brilliant writer.

Instead, write only once, every 2 weeks. And since you haven't written a single line in the past 2 weeks, you feel stressed. After all, you decided on a schedule, so force yourself into keeping it. Most importantly though, feel bad about yourself if you don't deliver on time. Because the world will end if you don't stick to your schedule.

Audience

You could write just for yourself. You could use writing as a tool to reflect. Reflect on Hachiลji and the insatiable kindness of Japanese people. Reflect on watching your best childhood friend Flo play Donkey Kong Country 2 on the Super Nintendo. Why are you not friends anymore? What happened? Reflect and tell your story. Tell it just to yourself.

Instead, write for everyone else. Everyone else but you. Think of all the potential readers out there. The people on social media. After all, aren't they the ones you are writing for? Also, they help keep the pressure up.

Writing process

You could start with a rough draft. You could just dump everything that's on your mind, with no regards to a perfect writing style. As soon as you have a first draft, you could read over it and make changes. Improve your writing, cut out paragraphs, use different words, get rid of previous ideas. You could simplify your writing. You could even sleep over it and read it again the following day. Does it still make sense with a fresh mind?

Instead, only write your next paragraph once the one before sounds flawless. Spend as much time as possible on writing perfect sentences before you move on.

How not to write

You could ignore everything you have just read and do the following:

  • Write about anything that comes to your mind. Why limit yourself?
  • Write every day just for the sake of writing. Master the craft.
  • Write only for yourself. Let others merely partake in your story.
  • Write a draft and work on the foundation. All the details follow later.

If you want to become a writer, just write. Don't limit yourself to a topic, a schedule, an audience or a process. Get rid of all the insteads and just write.

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