I have been struggling with not-being-able-to-write problem since quite a while! I procrastinated a lot up until recently but finally made up my mind to write, no matter what. I had a problem in front of me and I had to solve it. After all, I’m a designer by profession, problem solver by nature and a logical thinker. I had to live up to it!
Idea was to know all the reasons of why I’m not writing and make an article about it. Two birds, one stone. Simple and smart. So, I made a list of reasons I would give myself to not to write or write something but not publish it. There might be few of you (like me), who’ve lots of unpublished articles lying under drafts.
Anyway, so here is why I don’t (didn’t?) write
- I’m not a writer
- I don’t know what to write about
- I’m not an expert in anything
- My English isn’t top notch
- No one would read it
- Someone else has already written about it
- I wouldn’t get any “likes” which would discourage me
- I may write something childish/foolish and people would laugh on
- I can’t write more than 10 lines & those wouldn’t make a proper blog post
- I can never make money out of it
After identifying the problems, I decided to deal with it — one by one. I’m going to share every possible detail of the brainwashing technique I used to convince me how those problems are not actually such a big problems.
Before that, let me tell you a secret
Every blogger — good, great, the one who you secretly aspire to be, has been into the very same phase. After all, The expert at anything was once a beginner. So, there is definitely a hope :)
Let’s get to the brainwashing and figure out how can you start writing too
You might find few words little harsh. But most of these are the dialogs I had with myself. I decided to be blunt with myself; Make fun of the reasons I had. Please don’t take anything personally
1. I’m not a writer
This one is the funniest among all for two reasons - You don’t know that because, YOU AREN’T WRITING! No one is asking you to be a Shakespeare! So stop feeling that complex already! We expect too much in little time. We think of getting our book published or article being read by millions of people. That’s not going to happen. Few of your friends or colleagues are (probably) going to read it and that’s okay. Focus on long term goal; If you start writing, may be someday, you might have thousands of followers.
2. I don’t know what to write about
You have your friends, family and colleagues around you. So, why not do a survey? Make a spreadsheet, write everyone’s name on it and the topics they think you can write about. Start with yourself; Type in what you think you can write about. Alternatively, you can go on Quora and simply start answering the questions you know the answers to. Guess what? Quora also allows you to be anonymous. So, no one is going to know if you make any mistakes there.
3. I’m not an expert in anything
One quote and I take you down — “Expert is the beginner who never quit”. Have you even started? Reason disqualified. Period.
4. My English isn’t top notch
It really isn’t. But can you convey what you want easily? You’ve had group discussions without any prior experience in English, given lot many interviews and cracked those, you speak 30–40% of your time in English in office or while chatting. So, you can speak English. Most importantly, it isn’t your mother tongue. As they say, you can speak another language. Haven’t you seen English native speakers? They hardly know “Namaste” and “Shukriya” but do you judge them on the basis of Hindi they speak? NO! Then they are sane enough not to judge you on your English. Dint you read that article in HBR that says stop “sounding” smart and convey what you want in simplest English possible? Listen to HBR at least! Alternatively, don’t you have friends around you, who you secretly admire for the kind of a English they speak or write? They’re your friends! Reach out to them and get your writing reviewed/improved. Simple!
5. No one would read it
That depends. Can you ask your best friends to read it for you? They will do it. See, you’ll have at least one reader. It’s your perspective of looking at it. And again, you haven’t posted anything… how would you know, right? Haven’t you read ‘1-year-since-I-started-blogging’ stories of the people? They had 2 readers when they started and today just because they kept writing and improved an article by article, have thousands of followers
6. Someone else has already written about it
Did you witness how every mobile company brought thumb print scanner to unlock phone after apple did? Did they say, Apple already did it. NO! Do you see Mashable stopping to post something that TechChrunch has posted already? You follow all those channels and the news are more or less the same. They do write because, everyone has their own network of audience.
7. I wouldn’t get any “likes” which would discourage me
Oh yes, the greedy you… You haven’t written anything, you have no confidence that you can write something good and you want likes already? Well, not happening. So, change your success metric. Why not consider 1 view = 1 like? Why it’s fair? Because you behave the bloody same way! Do you like/recommend every article on Facebook, LinkedIn or Medium? No! You might have liked it but you don’t give it that much of an importance right? Another best example is Quora. See, how you secretly use all those tricks and techniques you’ve read in Quora answers or flaunt the knowledge to your friends that you’ve picked up from Quora? You don’t go back and say thank you to that guy or Upvote every answer right? Yet, it helps you. Hence, 1 view = 1 like. Because something you write might just help someone, sometime!
8. I may write something childish/foolish and people would laugh on
Aren’t you smart enough to proofread your article? Again, don’t you have single person around you who can help you write well? Get past this already!
9. I can’t write more than 10 lines & those wouldn’t make a proper blog post
Hard truth. Do you remember reading it in Bhagwatgita or Bible or any other book of rules to live by your life that the blog article has to be more than 10 lines? You may not have because there’s fucking ain’t such rule! You follow that guy on medium who sometime posts single line of medium article write? He is still a winner! Because he writes consistently.
10. I can never make money out of it
LOL. How many articles have you written? Like 0? Loser! Believe it or not people, this me throwing attitude at myself worked really well for me. After this brainwashing, I literally had no reason to not to write. I had figured out a solution to every reason.
This article was supposed to be the first one I publish, because “I din know what else to write about” right? However, I wrote 2 case studies in between, 1 blog article, many Quora answers! (Proud!) Nevertheless, it’s all good now. The only reason I don’t publish anything now is because I’m still finishing it.
I really hope this article would help if you’re in the same boat as I was. If it does, do let me know for it would be so satisfying knowing I helped someone. Do share with someone you know who could benefit from this.
This article was originally posted on GSIUXD publication on Medium.