I have not written anything lately, simply because …
- I have not bought any new books lately due to the reason that I wanted to spend time re-reading books in my collection that I have not yet committed to fully read and finish the books.
- I have been experiencing a writer’s block.
- I have been feeling like less, and less of a writer when seeing other people’s work.
The metamorphosis of writing is quite the rollercoaster as you grow to shed layers in your writing process and get to mature slowly as a writer and a storyteller.
I do not particularly believe writers are born, writing is not a talent like singing, if you cannot sing, you cannot sing—as far as I believe…however, with writing you just need will-power and a yearning to acquire the skill, constantly work on it and hope you get the heck of it eventually and deliver fire content that captures your audience, entertains, educates, inspires, and it is value for their money and time.
None of us is born writers, least say “good ones” for that matter and that is the reason that when you decide to take that plunge to dive in and say “I can do this, I will do this writing thing” it becomes a rollercoaster.
With all that said, let me get into my 9 stages of writing development.
1.The childhood urge
As a little girl, I wanted to be many things, included in that list, I also wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a renowned magazine editor and write books about whatever experience I go through each decade.
Life does not come with a manual, so least we can do is share some expertise from experience with each other, right?
I was always fascinated with books from a young age. I found my haven in books and I found it fascinating that in books you could get someone who exactly understands you, and give you guidance to whatever dilemma you go through in life.
Books have always helped me level up in life.
* Going through friendship frustrations—I shall seek a book for that
* I am broke—I shall seek a book for that
* I don’t have a boyfriend whilst all my friends have one— I shall seek a book for that because it feels weird not having one when all your peers have them, and you start having questions like: What is happening? And become in need of answers in which others share their exact experiences that give you solace, and answers to your problem.
When I was in my teens, my mother FORCED—well, not really; she encouraged me to keep a journal and perhaps that is where my writing passion began.
Constantly she kept on emphasizing the importance of writing my thoughts on paper and keeping a record of what I feel.
She emphasized there is no better way to know oneself like putting thoughts in writing because you can keep track of triggers that either lead you astray or help you to become a better person.
As a teenager, that time when she was encouraging me to keep a journal, I felt like that was stupid, my brain can keep a record of my life duh! (eye roll), but the more I kept on writing my feelings and thoughts in the journals that I kept, that was the more I felt like: “Okay this is fun” and the process sparked the writer in me along with reading as well.
A thought came to me that perhaps I can write for others instead of writing for myself, and share with the world what I know from my experiences.
The second stage of the writer’s rollercoaster is excitement, this is where you take the plunge to do this!
Yay! I will become an author and write.
3. The punch
This stage I refer to as the “punched stage” as in when a tyre is flat and short of air.
See how a car slows down immediately after a tyre has burst and its flat? Well, writing is like that too.
You go in with 100-speed confidence only to have a flat tyre once you really start that writing.
You then see that reality is not like your expectations and you wonder why in the first place I thought I could do this?
Why of all the careers and things I could do with my time, I chose writing? I must have been high.
What was I thinking really? I might as well have thought that I could be superman at this instant.
4. Writer’s block and doubt
Then comes the worst stage of all, the writer’s block, now your mind is clouded by the self-criticism, you no longer know what you are doing, you are frustrated and all over the place, you no longer even have new ideas. Your confidence is sinking in deep.
The writer’s block then leads to binge watching tiktok videos instead of writing or watching the Sun rise till it sets, basking in the Sun hoping to get some inspiration but instead you get Sun burn and rash—this has happened to me.
Though there are various ways to combat writer’s block, more especially for blogging, due to the mixture of doubt, this then turns to make or break point where your thoughts are positioned like this: Quitting vs Continue trying again and hope for the breakthrough.
At this stage now, you somewhat come back to your senses and shake off the negative self-talk and you try to encourage yourself that: “I can do this, I just need to believe in myself a little more right?” yes you can do this, you got this because that is what other writers say right? That you are your biggest critic and you need to believe in yourself.
We all can discourage ourselves and motivate ourselves without anyone’s help.
Me, I do not know why I have not quit yet because I have been trying to do this writing thing ever since I was a teenager.
As a teenager, I wrote for myself. When I got to university however, I learned about writing and realized that for me to witness growth, I had to get out of my comfort zone and cocoon and start writing for an audience, not for myself.
Yes, I can write about my experiences, but my experiences need substance and value to help others just as other authors helped me too in my puzzling moments.
Great writing is about helping others find themselves in your writing and stories, help them find some solace in your writing, and find solutions to their problems because when you pick up a book or go search on Google, you have a problem and you are looking for a solution.
Even if someone says they are picking up a book for ‘fun’, you still need to deliver compelling writing that takes your reader through an emotional rollercoaster, engages them and leaves them with a deep sigh after reading and many thoughts to ponder on about the book or article.
For me, pushing myself out of my cocoon and persisting through the emotional rollercoaster meant starting a blog and being vocal a little on social media.
What has kept me motivated till now, has been reading and trying, and trying over again, picking up from where I left off and trying to fill the pieces to make my writing goals a full puzzle piece.
I believe in “The power of the compound effect” which has proven over and over again that when you invest a little, consistently and daily into a habit, harnessing it, the returns will be there and will be there greater than when you started, thus, the more you keep on going, it is the more you learn from your mistakes, get molded and a step ahead into the game.
You catch up, and if you are like me in this stage, well I am proud of you, I want you to keep on going! You are closer to being a great writer.
Those that have done it before us, do also say that the only way to get better in writing is by writing more, even though you feel like you are writing nonsense.
In this article here, I wrote about 13 books to read in your 20s, the last book that I wrote about on “Books on inspiration”, I wrote about Shonda Rhime’s (writer of Grey’s Anatomy; Scandal & Executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder) book: “Year of yes”.
In this book review, I wrote a quote in which Shonda emphasizes that all authors become great authors through constant writing and persistence.
7.Going back to the drawing board
After all the above stages of this rollercoaster, then comes the realization to re-strategize and analyze your writing.
For me, going back to the drawing board meant starting over in my writing process and planning better my content.
Me going back to the drawing board meant starting over a new blog and having a main focus in my writing since my first blog was a hot mess.
When I started blogging last year, It started as a hobby and I did not even have a niche nor a theme; I would just wake up in the morning when I am in the mood to write, open my laptop and just type whatever I felt like typing.
Planning better meant having a structured plan ahead for my blog, it meant having a vision board for my blog and writing, and thus, I compiled a business plan to refer to now and then and make a checklist for my writing and blogging goals.
8. Gaining an identity
The proudest moment of any writer is this stage where you have learned the art of balance.
You have learned from expects about great writing skills, and you have also learned from yourself how to conjoin all this knowledge you have now acquired from others and your mistakes.
Now you know how to maneuver the game and deliver amazing content that authentically represents you and embodies all of you and your vibe.
Recently, I read a beautiful blog post by a lady I follow on Twitter, her name is Khalipha Ntloko
See link here.
In this blog post, Khalipha emphasized how her name inspired her to be brave and helped her find her voice and write content that authentically represents her.
You can tell indeed her writing is authentic, it is vibrant and embodies parts of her personality.
This blog post touched my heart and also inspired me to understand that as much as it is great following others in the same path as you, and observing tactics they use to succeed in their writing journeys, maintaining balance in consumption of other people’s works is vital for the health of your writing too.
You need to learn from others and grasp here and there while also maintaining your authenticity which is your voice.
If ever I reach this stage in my life, you will see my name in book covers, and if I do not make it, well, you will not see my name in book covers.
But If YOU make it here, congratulations! I will know you jumped hoops of fire to get here.
This stage means that you have matured as a writer and have fully mastered the art and process. You have now grown wings and ready to spread them out there in the world.
This stage means that you are now brave like this butterfly on the picture below on top of a Cat’s nose—myself, I am terrified of cats, so metamorphosis symbolizes this braveness in your writer’s journey.
Wrapping it up…
In conclusion, writing is a skill that you work on daily and consistently to perfect it. It takes time (many months to years) getting in tune with your writing and understand your writing and audience.
You must have patience with yourself, keep on learning, doing research and plan better for each piece of content.
You must work at your own pace.
When I started blogging, I was told that I have to be consistent in posting and post every week, I have since realized though that this notion puts me under pressure and I really cannot do it, nonetheless, hopefully in the future, I master it.
For now though, I just need to write consistently, not post consistently because that can be frustrating, and make you literally feel like crying when the deadline you have set up for yourself is missed.
That is it for today,
I hope you enjoyed the article, Cheers 👍
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