Photo by Lucas Sankey

Anchoring my Thought-Boat

I’m a horrible planner. Really. And the tough truth about writing is that it’s mostly planning. An interesting title, paragraphs with logical flow, some cleverness, and a tidy ending; just some of the ingredients needed to get from an empty page to a proper blog post! But damn, I’m really horrible at this… The reality is that I often only get through a few lines before I give up entirely. Lately I’ve decided to start thinking about the reasons why this might be true for me. So naturally here I am trying to write about it too. It’s time for a ramble.

There’s no singular reason I can detect that forms my writers block. The hurdles are numerous and they can sometimes appear suddenly and from nowhere. One trap that I sometimes fall victim to is selecting a title before I begin writing. By doing this I feel as if I’m forcing myself to write for the title itself. Strange, I know. But if the title is witty and the content beneath it is not… well, I feel as if the whole operation is an entire failure. Sometimes the title acts like an anchor preventing my thought-boat from moving ahead on its ocean of ideas. Maybe we’ll just leave that field blank for now. But be cautious, for there are other traps ahead.

Perhaps like me you’re more effective at speaking than writing. If that’s true, maybe you know the pain of reading your own sentences out loud. Don’t do it. At least, don’t obsess over it. Often I will begin to read my words aloud only to find it would sound better if I wrote it…. like this! Or like that! Or perhaps… this way! Before I know it, hours have passed and I’m much too exhausted to continue. Now that I think about it I’ve been struggling like this for multiple decades. But I think I’ve found a personal solution that works.

Rambling has been a strange way for me to get out thoughts without obessing about what the words look or sound like. I can open up a simple program on my computer like notepad and just start typing as fast as I can without thinking about the words churning out the other end. I don’t stop to proofread, I don’t stop to correct or filter my thoughts… I just don’t stop. I find it’s better to get as much content down as possible in the beginning… to just write as much as you can think of. By doing it this way I can focus more on refining the content of my blog when it’s finished rather than worrying about how those pieces thread together during the conception of any individual sentence or paragraph.

Without a doubt I want to become a better writer, and the only way to achieve this is to practice and to experiment. So if you’re still following along at this point thanks for joining me. Rambling all the way to the finish line didn’t produce much in the way of good paragraphs, or cleverness, or a tidy ending, but we’re here at the end nonetheless and the thought-boat is still afloat with clear skies ahead.

Photo credits to Lucas Sankey @ https://unsplash.com/@lucassankey

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