I love to write. I didn’t used to. There was a time when I never really even thought to write. Now it is a regular practice in my life.
What is a writer? Someone who writes. How do you become a writer? You write. And keep writing.
You can share it with others or lock it away, if you choose. You can even use a pen name. Then you have total liberty, as no person knows who Dan Snoglebort is. There can be great freedom found in being anonymous. Then you can say what you like without fear of social repercussion.
Writing, for me, and many others, is a great creative release. Got a bunch of energy that is wound up inside of you? Pick up the computer or pen.
Some would-be writers don’t write, as they feel that what they write would not be of value to others or that they would not be “good enough”. These are the voices of Fear and Doubt attempting to self sabotage. We have to learn to not listen to those voices and, instead, just create.
Any new activity will require a process. We can’t compare ourselves to Shakespeare or any other great when we are just starting. Try not to make writing about that. First, just write because it can be great fun. Go through the process. It is a process of discovery, figuring out, fantasy, secrets, finding tools and release. It is about finding our unique way that enables us the best way to personally express ourselves, to overcome obstacles and learn a little more about ourselves. We have no control whether what we write will be of value to others or not. Do as Martha Graham, the dance pioneer, advises: Keep the channel open.
Writing can not only serve as a healthy release to get the garbage of the mind out on page, which can lead to a more clear-headed day, but can also serve to stimulate the imagination. Writing can serve as a meditation, give one access into their subconscious, enabling one to learn more about themselves and find additional inspiration for creating.
A great way to start is to do as Julia Cameron recommends in her book “The Artist’s Way”, which is a great book, found on many artists’ shelves. She teaches people how to become unblocked as artists. She recommends that you write three pages a day, without fail. Wake up, grab coffee if need be, pick up the pen and pad and start writing, more or less the first thing you do.
Here is the trick: Let this be stream of consciousness writing. Whatever pours out of your head, let it land on the page. It can be as trivial as your thoughts about the cereal box or what you will wear today. Don’t censor yourself one bit. Write as though no person will ever see this but you. Don’t look back. Just keep writing. It can be private or not. It can be gibberish or poetry. There are no restrictions. Just write. Don’t let your hand come off of the page. And don’t bother reading it for now. Look back at it in a year or so. What you will likely find is a blueprint of your frame of mind at this particular point in time.
Doing this exercise, I have found that in looking back, I was aware of problems that I had not consciously yet realized, but reading a year later, it became obvious to me that my subconscious knew. My subconscious was articulating dreams, desires, solutions, symbol. Not everything was dynamic or interesting, but there were some things I found personally fascinating in there. Reading this material taught me something about myself.
This began my writing process.
So, if you have any inkling to write and have yet to begin, try it. Write.
Jim Hart is the founder and owner of The International Theatre Academy Norway. Hart presently serves as Rektor.