As It Is Written, Pt. 1

thoughtful-pen-writing-24581037-2560-1702In case you and I aren't familiar with one another, I need to tell you that writing is a large part of who I am and what I do. I love writing. I'm a romantic about it. I believe in the power of the written word with all my heart. You may not consider it a big deal, but consider this:

  • Have you ever found a card someone sent you months or years ago? Did you re-read it and smile?
  • Did you ever receive a letter or poem from that significant other? Did it make your heart soar when you read it? Did you feel any emotion well up in your heart?
  • Have you ever tried to put something together (the kind of thing that says "Some Assembly Required" as if it'll take 2 minutes instead of 2 hours)? Did you ever get frustrated in the middle of the assembly when you realized you hadn't followed the directions, or that they weren't as clear as they needed to be?
  • Have you ever read a blog post, a magazine article, or a line in a book that made your day? That convicted and challanged you to be a better person?

Words are powerful, and the written word is VERY powerful. That's why I blog regularly and write books. Writing is the channel thorugh which ideas, good and bad, are spread. I'm not telling you anything new; but just because something is common knowledge doesn't mean it can't be profound and powerful.

Some have asked that I share my writing process, and in the hopes that I might inspire you to write more, I'll do so here. These thoughts are not well-organized points, but random tid-bits that, as you read, you should feel free to pick from as you see fit. Not everything I say will work for everyone.

  • Write every day. I try write in the morning or late in the evening. Those two periods work best for me. Not everything I write is published on my blog or in a book. Some things I write will never see the light of day if I can help it. But just like athletics and music and other pursuits, writing is a craft that must be honed and developed. It takes practice. Good writers have a little talent and a LOT of practice behind them. Write every day.
  • Create a method of saving ideas. I think of an idea for a good blog post or point in a book every day. These ideas come to me at the most random moments. Instead of trusting myself to remember them later (I never do), I take out my iPhone and record a voice memo of the idea. I record everything I'm thinking so that my memory can be jogged later. If you develop a similar method, you'll seldom be at a loss for ideas to write about.
  • Read. A lot. Read anything. Books. Blogs. Magazines. Read. Good writers are those who read a lot. If you read and track your ideas (see above), you will NEVER be at a loss for something to write about. NEVER. I promise. I read several blogs every day on my iPad. Usually while eating breakfast. It will surprise you how much you can absorb in 20 minutes. I also have 1-2 books that I'm reading at any one time. I read whenever I'm experiencing "down time" (e.g. waiting room, standing in line, etc.).
  • My writing is better when I've gotten my thoughts down on paper, allowed them to "marinate" or develop over a few days, then published it. This isn't always possible, but it's a general rule I try to follow. There is always something I want to change when I go back and read over something. But don't allow fear of mistakes to keep you from never hitting the "publish" button. You can't live your life that way.

That's all for now, but tomorrow, I want to share some additional thoughts, especially to the process I use to write books.

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