Writing is a creative outlet. To write is to free the soul. It is not only writing fiction books. Writing is in everything we do daily, from filling out a form to a to-do list to pouring your heart out on a journal. However, when we take a pen in hand, it’s like grabbing a block of ice, giving us brain freeze. You may know this as the writer’s block. You have plenty of ideas and marvelous ideas to write about; however, your brain submerges in deep fog when writing comes, making it challenging to find the correct words.
There are plenty of books out there that promise to help you bring your creativity out of your pores. And they do, but none of those books with ingenious ideas will do the work for you. All of those authors have one thing in common: they have their formula for success. It is a formula they share with the rest of us in their books, with advice on finding your voice, mojo, and writing zen zone. All of which is great. However, the author won’t come knocking on your door to say, “Hey, it’s time for you to write.”
In other words, one must do the work. One must walk on fire first—no way around it. Only by writing, we learn writing. Furthermore, by making mistakes and learning from them, we grow. We start to find our voice, writing voice that is, and soon enough, you’ll have developed a routine that will transform into a system/formula of your own to share with the world.
Moreover, you will start to notice how comfortable you are when writing. You’ll even go to have favorite words, phrases, and punctuation marks. Your words will have meaning. They’ll mean, “Hard work paid off.” It is then when you will understand that to write is to feel your soul.
Here are some recommendations to find your inner writer and bring it out to the world, because to be a good writer, you have to love to read.
1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. She has plenty of books for you to read about flourishing your creativity and writing, and this book is an excellent place to start. Next, follow it with The Morning Pages if you want to learn about how having a routine and a journal will help your writing: game and life changer.
2. Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. A little book that is not what you expect to be. It’s simple yet to the point, especially for beginner writers who need to overcome their fears. In the Nike style, he says, “Just Do It!” Then I would recommend reading his inspirational trilogy, start with The War of Art, then Turning Pro, and finish with The Artist’s Journey. These three books complement each other. Also, and just for good measure, if you are into writing fiction, it can be applied to non-fiction too, the book Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t.
3. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. You may know Dillard from her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. This book is not a how-to book; instead, it gives insight into Dillard’s writing life, ups, and downs in short stories. Nevertheless, it will inspire you to keep going forward, not wait for the perfect word, to show you the writer’s real life, not a romantic tale.
4. The Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury. It’s a compilation of essays on writing and creativity by the master of fiction, Ray Bradbury. Not a how-to-write book; however, he shares how his works came to life and how he found his voice and stayed true to himself. Inspirational and philosophical. A must-read.
5. Dryer’s English by Benjamin Dryer. He is Random House’s copy chief and will provide you with exceptional advice on how-to-write. It’s a book that walks you through grammar and style, using anecdotes and footnotes (yes, don’t skip them). This book, along with Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, is a must-have on your writing desk.
Write to free your soul!
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