The Psychology Of Effortless Writing
by: Saleem Rana
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.
Writing has always been a highly pleasurable form of art for me. I find it surprising that many people view it as something to avoid as much as possible. The most baffling thing to me is how people complain of "writer's block." I've also heard of metaphors like "squeezing blood from a stone."
Not only is it a delicious experience to read and to write, but it's really easy. After all, it's talking and expressing your view of the world. Sometimes your views, like that of Nelson Mandela’s, can even change the course of history.
Through writing I can convey my entire experience so that someone else can benefit from it and learn from that experience without having had to be there. So, by writing I can give others much more than I can in person. In addition, writing bends time and I can convey my experience to someone centuries away.
Anyway my point is not to wax eloquent on the joy and gift of self-expression. Rather it is to demonstrate how easy it is to write quickly and with delight.
Here are five simple things that you can do to make your writing effortless.
1. Read. Enjoy your favorite book, luxuriate in the imagery, and allow yourself to drift into someone else's experience of the world. When you read, your brain starts to warm up. It starts to hum and sing. It discovers the pleasure of its own function.
2. Write. After getting inspired by the writings of others, it's time to cut your own piece of the pie. Sit down and write. Let the words flow; fall into a reverie; and go swimming in the river of your own cogitations.
3. Edit. Go over what you've written. Cut out extra words and tighten sentences and rearrange paragraphs. Make it a game. Play with the idea of how you can make it shorter, simpler, or more expressive.
4. Proof. Read over what you've written. See if there are any typos or spelling mistakes. See if there are any grammatical errors or awkward sentences. Prune, correct, and shear.
5. Publish. Get it out there. Do a blog. Post a letter. Gather it into a volume and pack it off to a publishing house or post it as an e-book.
Finally, bless the work and let it go. Don't be attached to the outcome. Your pleasure was in writing. You can't do anything about how others respond or fail to respond.
Writing can be a chore only if you set about it the wrong way.
Here are five ways that people like to turn pleasure into pain:
1. When you confuse the inner editor with the inner writer, you feel confused and pained and blocked. First, let the writer show up. Then, the editor can do its thing. Keep both functions separate.
2. When you write under pressure, with no sense of beauty, and with no sense of magic within. This is easily cured by reading a good book. Let the flow of language carry you. Your subconscious will then be attuned to replicating the beauty.
3. When you spend hours editing, trying to get it perfect, and upsetting yourself because it's impossible to read it through and not make a correction. Words are plastic and they can always be molded better, and each time you read you can see more to shape. Hence, just edit it once and let it go.
4. When you cling to the outcome. When your work is not published and you feel rejected. When it is read by “friends” who make comments that have nothing to do with what you wrote. When you expect something for your efforts and nothing comes back to you. After you write and send it out, let it go.
5. And when you're unclear on an idea and it never comes out right. You can’t get it right because your thoughts are all jumbled up. In this case, outline or wait for inspiration.
In conclusion, write. It will do your soul a world of good.
About the author:
Saleem Rana got his masters in psychotherapy from California Lutheran University. His articles on the internet have inspired over ten thousand people from around the world.
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© 2005 Saleem Rana.