If you hate writing, you’re in good company – whether you’re writing an essay for school, an article for Oprah, or a memo for your department at work. These tips on how to love your writing are inspired by quotes from famous published authors who – believe it or not – hated writing.
I like to start every blog post with a resource for writers, so they have somewhere to get more information and inspiration. How to Write It, Third Edition: A Complete Guide to Everything You’ll Ever Write by Sandra E. Lamb will help you learn how to love writing. The book will lead you through all types of writing – and I believe writers should experiment with different types of writing, to stay fresh and creative.
Me, I don’t hate writing. I’m with Dorothy Parker, though: she loved having written. “I hate writing,” she said. “I love having written.” My problem is insecurity. Maybe that was Parker’s problem, too – or maybe she just lacked self-discipline.
Here are my ideas to help writers to learn to love writing – even if they never plan to write another essay after they graduate or another article when this one is finally submitted to the magazine editor.
6 Tips on How to Love Writing
If you believe yourself when you say “I hate writing”, these tips on how to love writing won’t help. But if you’re open to the idea of possibly learning how to maybe someday not-hate or perhaps even like your own writing, then you might find a glimmer of hope in these tips…
Know you hate writing with the best of ‘em. “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth,” said Kurt Vonnegut. He wrote Slaughterhouse-Five and dozens of other novels and short stories. If he felt inept when writing, so should you. Flannery O’Connor said, “Writing [a novel] is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay.” And the great James Joyce said, “Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.”
Tie your writing into your life. Earlier today, I retweeted a link to an article on how storytelling is the best way to capture readers’ attention because it activates the brain and helps them remember emotions, themes, characters. Unfortunately, I hate telling stories because it puts me in the spotlight. But, I’m learning how to remember and tell stories. Storytelling doesn’t just bring my writing alive and connect with readers, but to stay on my journey towards emotional health and healing. How does this tip help you love your writing – or at least get your writing done? It’ll allow you to insert yourself in your essay, article, or memo (when appropriate). This will spark your interest, which will in turn make your readers’ ears perk up.
Learn why writing is such a struggle for you. It took me 44 years to realize how unique my perspective and experiences are. I’ve always felt insecure and insignificant because my mom was extremely neglectful (she’s schizophrenic, I spent time in foster homes as a kid) – and that has a HUGE effect on my writing. I’m a good writer, but I’ve never felt that my own experiences were worth writing (home) about. What about you – what is holding you back from learning how to love writing? Maybe it’s a slight learning disability, or fear of rejection, or lack of confidence, or critical teachers, or insecurity like me.
Find ways to overcome your reluctance to write. I’m starting to share more of myself in my writing. When I first started blogging and freelance writing in 2008, I was very much a “tips-based” writer. Now, I’m flirting with the idea of sharing my own experiences, ideas, and opinions. It’s not an easy leap because my writing insecurities go way down deep to my first few months of life. I don’t have a core of confidence, security, or love. How will I learn how to love writing about myself? I connect with God. I feel peaceful, secure, attached, loved, and taken care of when I pray. God is my source of strength, comfort, and freedom to be myself…and the more I connect with Him in spirit and song, the easier it is for me to share myself in my writing.
Forgive your writing weaknesses, mistakes, flaws. Maybe you’ll always hate writing – but you need to learn how to at least tolerate writing for the moment, to get you through this essay for school or memo for work. You may never learn how to love your writing, but you can forgive yourself for not writing well. You might also learn ways to increase your writing confidence, which will increase your overall confidence in yourself.
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What do you think, fellow scribes – do you hate writing, love your writing, or have a love-hate relationship with writing?