For the next three weeks I’m going to be taking Jeff Goins’ writing challenge ‘15 Habits of Great Writers‘ and blogging about it here – yes, you get some actual content that doesn’t just give you a teaser then make you click through to somewhere else. Good, eh?
Jeff writes a blog which I recently stumbled across, and on which I’ve found some gems of writing and inspiration (like this). He’s written a couple of eBooks about writing, and for the next 15 week-days he’s going to be taking a load of us through some exercises related to his book. (It’s not too late to join us – sign up here!)
The first is to Declare that you are a writer.
I am a writer.
I still tend to think ‘I want to be a writer’, but actually, as the evidence from this blog alone shows, I write quite a lot already. Not all of it is really what I want to be writing, and very little of it gives me the satisfaction of feeling ‘That is exactly what I wanted to say, in the best way possible’, but you know what – my writing is getting better. I can see that when I compare it with early posts from my other blog, but more importantly, I can feel it. I know that I’m getting closer to where I want to be (which is something like a melding of Aaron Sorkin and George Orwell, in case you were wondering).
It’s a high bar, and I feel very inadequate to reach it. I’m torn between fear of trying and failing and fear of reaching the end of my life and realising I never even tried. Which would be worse? I honestly don’t know. To have my words fall into the well and make no more splash than a feather, when I’ve poured my all into them…that would be a crushing devastation, and the fear of it is almost paralysing.
And yet…and yet…
What if they do make a splash? What if the sound of their impact is felt for miles around? What if they were able to unleash springs of life-giving water flowing through a parched and barren land?
I want to try, and if the first step on that road is to stand and be counted, then here I stand.
I am a writer. I hope you’ll join me as I start to throw my pebbles into the well.
(There’s a link on the sidebar where you can sign up to receive email notifications of these posts as I write them, and you can leave me a message in the comments to let me know if you’re taking this challenge too – I’d like some company!)