today I’m sharing on something that’s often celebrated after-the-fact. Most authors can identify with the joyful feeling of seeing your words published and printed…to hold your very own book in your hands, brush your palm like a windscreen wiper across the front cover, delicately turn the pages and re-read the back cover more than a few times to really let it sink it that yes – you’ve written a book or have your work featured in a magazine/journal/brochure. Can you relate?
Writing has a relative, and its name is Reading.
Most writers ✍️ are longtime book 📚 fans and many avid readers aspire to write, or already are gifted wordsmiths in their own way, whether it’s through journaling, poetry composition or a budding book. For a chunk of time, I grew up reading a book a day, and started writing short stories and screenplays as a child.
From gaining clarity in addressing and expanding on a specific topic, to setting and maintain writing rhythm, and navigating the editing, publishing and promotion process, the writing process can be a serious workout for the mind, test of patience, and muscle-building experience. Add a generous dose of joy, and you’re in for a treat! Ideally, eventually there’s a sense of relief (that sometimes comes with nerves) when your work’s completed and ready for publishing. The celebration often starts when you share the highlight with family, friends and fans, upload the front cover to your website, and then see your book placed in a store. But writing itself, though it’s not without challenges, can be a joy and insightful journey.
Here are 3 benefits of writing:
- Quiet ~ even if you write in a semi-busy cafe, writing is a focus-oriented activity and you’ll find that you can create a little, reasonably impenetrable sound bubble in environments that aren’t overly loud. This is considerably easier when you’re ‘on a roll’ in a particular part of your project and riding the wave of momentum. Are you a quiet writer? Some prefer writing to the sound of birds, and some enjoy writing while listening to light music 🎼 , mostly instrumentals. The world is loud, whether you work in a commercial zone or live in a busy area, and so Quiet is fast becoming a precious commodity. It’s something that invites us to take deeper breaths, and slower… more intentional steps. Whatever the case or your space, writing works well with quiet….to work through thoughts, consider ideas, and map a path forward using words as building blocks. For those of you who read and write a lot, can you imagine how much more you’d be talking if you weren’t in the company of a book, pen, kindle or typing tool? Those quiet pockets in time can be so refreshing, and when also we set time to connect with others, a beautiful tempo is created between the two rhythms.
- Focus. Have you ever watched a drummer play? Well, it’s an exercise of focused coordination even though some elements of the instrument have a different choreography. We don’t generally write while speaking because those two activities tap into different brain zones (no medical expert but try having a conversation with someone while simultaneously writing on an unrelated topic.) It’s not the most natural thing, and one area will start to lag…either your speech or writing. Yet, it’s possible to listen while writing and note-taking because those activities blend well together and tap into our cognitive memory harmoniously. Working on something like an article, blog post, term paper, thesis, poem, song or book requires a heightened sense of focus. What we listen to, and the volume the sound is set to can influence the fluidity of your writing. For instance, though you might find it reasonably easy to work on your book while your the neighbour’s mowing their lawn in the distance, it may not be as easy or fun to write if they pull up right beside your window or the phone starts ringing constantly. Writing is a journey of focus, where authors assign pockets of attention to a line – then a paragraph – then a chapter – then the book as a whole read. After that, there’s another process – editing, where any words that stray away from the focus points, or interrupt the cadence, are brushed off, to maintain clarity. This is a helpful lesson for applying to life in general. If we approached filtering our thoughts that way, a healthier thought life can be the beautiful result.
- Insight. (on Google: “the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.”) Quiet + Focus = Insight. Do you journal? Ever tried reading an old entry and either (a) identified a particular way you process experiences (b) acknowledged how far you’ve come or (c) had a revelation about something you’ve overcome or been inspired to handle something coming up…that’s insight. It’s an ‘A-ha’ moment that often comes in moments of quiet. Even if fiction writing is your thing, chances are you have an observing eye and notice tiny nuances in behaviour and patterns in character. Each day brings a new lesson, and the act of learning is not unique to any one group of people, but it’s good to know that through listening, reading and writing you’re connecting the dots that can lead to developing a sharp sense of insight.
“WriteTime“ is just around the corner. It’s an inspiring afternoon workshop designed to help aspiring authors and bloggers nurture their way with words. Come join us for a refreshing journey with pen, paper, journal, or typing tool – in a quaint spot in Barbados on June 24th, 2018. Limited spaces to maintain a cosy writing environment and personalized coaching.