How Do You Write?

November Project:Question #11 This question comes from M.D. through Facebook.

What's your secret to writing a blog post Takuin? As I always struggle with writing.

Thanks for your question, M.D.

I have written, in some fashion or other, for quite some time now. I like words. I like to see them accumulate on the page. I also like to look deep into them, trying to find a story or a secret, as there is always something one can find if the eyes are keen.

It is also good to destroy those same words. Murder your darlings, as they say. Sometimes you will only see the right message after you've torn your creation apart. But you must be hearty enough to kill, and not look back.

Generally, I choose to ignore blog-writing advice in favor of good-writing advice. The two are not necessarily the same. Most blog writing is very bland and safe. It follows certain guidelines set-up by professional bloggers, and it is designed for a specific purpose other than inner expression; popularity.

This is also the reason why bloggers trying to become popular always write list-posts. They call it scan-able, and easier to read, and I suppose that is true, as it is meant to attract a certain type of visitor. But those kind of visitors are not my concern...if they are only interested in reading an article shortened for their attention span, what hope will they have for inner exploration? ;)

However, I don't mean to disparage other blogger's ability to write. There are many wonderful writers out there. But if we can be honest here...if I see another list-post I think I might vomit. :)

Life After Death

As far as how I write, I really have no idea what will happen when I sit down to do it. I rarely have any plan, and that includes not knowing the specific topic as well.

I like to try and keep it fresh and a little bit dangerous, if that is the right way to put it. Without prior planning there is always the chance of missing the mark entirely. But when it works, there is a great energy created from that tension.

I like the starkness of the mind as it approaches the blank page. It is delicate, vulnerable, and can die at any moment.

If want to learn how to write, or learn to be better at it, the writing itself will teach you how. It is not enough to simply think about how to be better...you must do it. It will take a bit of grinding to really get into it, but once you do you'll never look back...

...well, you might look back to check your spelling, but that is just fine.