“WHAT MAKES ME NERVOUS IS THE WRITING.”
Every day, Quora sends me questions from writers that begin like this:
“How do I write a…”
The thing they’re tasked with writing is irrelevant. The question always makes me shake my head, because the answer seems so simple: Sit your butt in the chair and do it.
But is it that simple?
Yes. Yes it is. It is that simple--
IF you have the one single, secret ingredient.
The simplest version of that ingredient was just handed to me by a high-school chemistry teacher.
We were talking about her efforts to get an advanced degree. She said that the monkey wrench in her degree program was the writing. It made her nervous.
But one day, that changed.
It changed when she finally clarified for herself what she wanted from the program.
Then, the writing stopped being a struggle. Instead, it became simplicity because bot she and the writing were charged with that one ingredient: Purpose.
“Once I knew what I wanted, it became simple. Now it had meaning.”
Purpose is the pole star of writing.
When you’re tasked with writing something--anything--purpose is your guiding light. This is especially true if you don’t consider yourself a writer.
Don’t know your purpose? That’s probably because you’re sitting alone in a room staring at a computer screen.
Get out of that room.
Go talk to someone about the challenge. Say, “Hey, I have to write about BLANK.”
Have a conversation. Let the other person ask you questions that require you to explain it.
During the conversation, an idea will begin to form.
Purpose will begin to peek its little head over the edge of your problem and whisper, "Here I am!"
You’ll begin to feel an electrical charge of meaning and direction.
You will experience the joy of moving from confusion to control.
Go back and immediately sit down to write.
Yes, it will still take more writing than you might want to do. That’s part of the process. Just let the brain dump happen. Shape it and control the words later. Right now, just let them flow.
Know your purpose and your writing will pop.
Your Lean, Mean Creative Director in Park City
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.