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5 Easy Tips That Should Make Writing Less Boring and More Fun
Seriously, writing isn't what you think
6 Easy Tips That Should Make Writing Less Boring and More Fun
When I was eight, my friends and I would lower the rim on our neighbor’s basketball hoop and dunk.
We would spend hours throwing alley-opps to each other like Lebron James.
Our neighbor was furious.
One day, he elevated the hoop to 10-feet and hid the crank. “The next time you dunk will be post-puberty.”
We lost interest in basketball, and my friends and I went our separate ways in terms of athletic pursuits.
I often wondered what might’ve happened if our neighbor hadn’t raised the basket.
Would we not appreciate the game?
Would we never learn proper shooting techniques?
Would we have lost interest anyway?
Would we continue to have fun, keep playing, and actually get better?
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What does this have to do with writing?
Like a little kid staring up a ten-foot basket, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that writing is hard and boring.
I’ve had that mentality before.
What’s more desirable is to focus on activities that inspired you to write in the first place, so it’s less of a mental and physical challenge and more fun — slam dunks.
Academic author Angela Duckworth said in her book Grit.
“Passion for your work is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, then a lifetime of deepening.”
Let’s talk how to have fun writing and making content.
1.) Write like you’re pissed at the keyboard
The need to impress others cripples the writing process.
There’s a beautiful book from the 1930s called “If You Want To Write” about how aspiring writers sound “pretentious”, “lying”, and “dull” because they’re programmed to think writing is special and not just putting your voice on paper.
“I found that many gifted people are so afraid of writing poor that they cannot summon the nerve to write a single sentence for months. The thing to say to such people is: “see how bad a story you can write. See how dull you can be. Go ahead. That would be fun and interesting. I will give you ten dollars if you can write something thoroughly dull from beginning to end!”
— Brenda Ueland, from If You Want To Write
When you focus on perfection, you’re engaging the engineering side of your brain when you should fire up the creative side. As a result, you tighten and grow frustrated with writing.
Write like you’re fucking pissed at the keyboard.
Do not think about grammar, style, or who might read your work.
I promise you will see how “not dull” you are.
2.) Make reading part of your routine
You can be a great reader and not write, but it is impossible to be a skilled writer and not read.
The reason is simple: writing is less about grammar and prose and more about making connections that most people overlook. Reading is the best way to groom your intellectual insights and flex the connectivity muscles in your brain.
In a study published by Brain Connectivity Journal, researchers asked students to read a novel while they monitored brain activity. After each session, they found high engagement in the areas of the brain related to memory, receptivity to language, and perceptive talking.
In other words, reading exercises three key ingredients to storytelling.
“Not long ago the great readers were the great writers, the great critics were the great novelist, and the great poets were the great translators.”
By incorporating reading into your routine, writing will become easier and feel less like a chore and more like a relaxing exercise.
3.) Publish 49 times before you get pissed
Discovering your style will take time and practice. Let’s call it getting in your reps.
I recently read an internet marketing book by Pat Flynn called Superfans. He talks about the arc of his podcasting career similarly. He said his first episodes were absolute garbage — his friends and fans said nothing made sense till the 49th episode. 49 shows!
Publish twenty stories on LinkedIn, Instagram, or your blog site without judging yourself; write carelessly and honestly.
If you’re patient, you will find your stride and enjoy the process.
4.) Tell a personal stories
Sometimes we don’t have the energy to research a new topic, let alone write a compelling story. But we always have the means to talk about ourselves.
Look into your past; write 15 events that taught you a lesson about life, work, or love; pick one and write about it.
Lead us through the story. Introduce the characters, the villains, the stakes, and the climax.
Tell your story and tell us what you learned.
Even with nonfiction, I pretend I’m going through the Star Wars hero’s journey and ask myself the following questions.
· What’s the theme?
· What’s the climax
· Who’s the villain
· Who’s the hero
· What’s the jeopardy? (The trouble that occurs)
· What are the stakes (What’s on the line.)
5.)Write about cool shit
The big debate on Medium right now: to write for yourself or for your audience. For the context of this article (finding writing enjoyment), I’m going to side with the former. You will generate more clicks when all your pieces adhere to the internet’s “what’s in it for me” culture, but his type of writing isn’t always fun or sustainable.
Writing for an audience forces you to predict what the masses will be interested in next — A strenuous exercise that’s difficult to achieve with consistency. You will grow resentful of your audience, and that bitterness shows itself in your work.
Influential journalist and the creator of the blog “Brain Pickings” Maria Popova once said.
“The second you start doing it for an audience, you’ve lost the long game because creating something that is rewarding and sustainable over the long run requires, most of all, keeping yourself excited about it.”
I wrote this article because I talk to so many people who want to create something but are held back by perfectionism.
Don’t go down that pit. Just have fun. Fuck the haters.