Minding the Borderlands

Mark Koester (@markwkoester) on the art of travel and technology

On Writing: Find a Topic That Pulls You, Then Just Write

Writers like to set goals: word counts, daily posts, time spent writing, pages completed, etc. These objectives seem like a good method to getting your writing done.

Unfortunately we rarely hit these goals. We suck at goals, especially when we set a goal without creating a routine to reach it.

Even worse, when we don’t hit our goals, we end up beating ourselves up. Negativity sneaks into our process. We doubt ourselves. We become the suffering artist.

We fail to write for obvious reasons: Writing can be hard. We get distracted. Other tasks pull us away. We don’t put in the time. Finding a worthy topic can be daunting.

There are always easier things to do than write.

Yet if writing matters to you, you must write. You must find ideas and times to write.

I’ve considered myself a writer since an early age. Yet I don’t write enough.

For the last six months or so, I’ve managed to find myself writing much more often. My 2015 goal was 15 blog posts. I’ve already done 16+ posts so far.

The most obvious metric for writers is time spent writing. You can’t acheive any goal without putting in the necessary time and “reps.” I can see this time in my daily and weekly logs.

But underlying this writing time is a mental shift when it comes to starting and executing on my writing. I don’t think so much about all the possible topics one could write on.

Instead, I find a topic or idea that pulls my attention. Then I just write.

These collected random ideas, titles and initial drafts can be a source. But ultimately it is about getting started and writing through to creation.

Writers create.

I no longer spend much thought or energy debating what I should write on. The well of ideas is there.

I simply put my mind into “writer mode.” I take a breath. I wait. Once this muse grabs me, I simply write.

When something pulls at me, I begin to be a writer.

Don’t doubt yourself. Find where you are comfortable. Wait for it, then simply write it.

The well of good things to write are there. Find it, pluck it, express it.

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