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Jul 29, 2019 05:24:27

Writing is like a muscle

by @valentino | 978 words | 60🔥 | 358💌

Valentino Urbano

Current day streak: 60🔥
Total posts: 358💌
Total words: 170604 (682 pages 📄)

I'm going to reveal the secret to writing. Right here and now, at the beginning of the article. Most people would hold it back. Force you to read the whole piece to find out. You should stay because you enjoy the content, the whole thing. And not because I'm purposefully withoulding the very piece of information that you're seeking for no purpose apart from keeping you hostage. I could have easily shared it upfront so you wouldn't have to waste time if you wanted it and nothing else.

**Writing works like a muscle. The more you use it the more you improve.**

This is true for most things in life. If you expected a kind of shortcut I'm sorry to disappoint. Unless you are born with powers I don't possess you will need to struggle like everybody else. The good thing to know is that if they made it, so can you.


## The Struggle

For these past few years, I struggled to find topics to write about. I had no ideas, or so I thought. And even when I found an idea the first thought would be. Other hundreds of other people are writing about this that have way more knowledge and experience than me on the topic. Why should I write about it if I have nothing to add to the conversation?

You have always something to add though. Even if you have little experience you might notice things that people more experienced skip over. You also have a view on things that's unique to you. Your thoughts are more valuable than you give yourself credit for.


## Decide to Write

One day I had enough. Enough inactions. Enough thinking about being a writer and not doing anything. Enough writing for myself without ever publishing anything out for the world to see.

So I told myself "Write whatever comes to mind." No matter how shallow or uninteresting you think it is. It will [suck at first][0], but it's still better than not writing anything.

If you don't have any ideas these always helped me. Write about something that happened during the day that made you:

- Think

- Learn

- Ponder

Or made you feel:

- Ecstatic

- Angry

- Happy

- Sad

## Write for yourself first and foremost

If it's something that other people can relate, even better, but it should not be your only goal, at least at first. You need to be comfortable with putting out your writing to the world before trying to find topics that might interest people. I still think that if you're genuine and write what interests YOU, you are bound to find someone that can be related to your writings and what you're passionate about. You should not feel forced to write anything just because that's what my readers expect from me. With that, I don't mean that you should not listen from advice from people reading you, but don't let them pull you towards a place where you lose the will to write.

On the other hand, it is paramount that you are open to criticism and don't take attacks too personally. If you put yourself out there sooner or later someone is going to complain about you or something you do. Usually, it is nothing personal and you shouldn't take it as such.


## Take Notes

Have a place to write notes (digital or physical, doesn't matter). It is better if it is as available as possible. You don't want to be walking around (or doing anything else) and come up with an idea just to find out that you left your Mac at home. It needs to be portable and always with you. That's why I generally use my phone to jot down ideas most of the times.

Every time you have an idea or think about something that sounds like an interesting topic **write it down**.

Yes, even if you're about to fall asleep. Or busy. This is not a must, but you will miss out on many ideas if you don't.

At the same time, life is busy and at times you won't be able to. Don't get too pissed when you can't. If it's an important idea, it will come back. Trust me.

Here we are not looking for quality so feel free to always write down whatever comes to mind. We are going to go through them later to find out the best ones from the pack. So don't fuss over it.


## Refine Your Ideas

After you have your ideas in a safe place you can come back to them after a few days and try to pick the best ones to refine further. Your definition of best ones will change based on the day. There might be periods where you get more ideas or ideas that you feel are more interesting to develop in complete articles and there might be periods with less or shallower ideas. I call them idea abundance and draughts. It is normal. You will go through the cycle as everyone. 


What's not normal is not having any idea at all. It might happen at times, but when it does it's usually a signal that you are not having enough meaningful experiences and/or are not growing as a person. This is not always the case and it might be a generalization but it's what I've seen in my own experience. 


Fortunately it is an easy problem to fix. Just going to a park sparks me with creativity while staying home strifes it. You need to find what makes it tick for you though since we're all different and the ambient that lets you come up with ideas might be different from mine.

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