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Real Writers Write, Whatever, Wherever, However

Real Writers Write, Whatever, Wherever, However

Today, I have a confession to make.

Recently, I’ve been so busy (and maybe lazy) that writing is slipping into a secondary priority in my life. I’ve worked more, endured more stress, had lesser sleep and decreased motivation to write words that matter. So serious are the impediments that I couldn’t write the conventional weekly tutorial last Friday.

So, I thought I should write myself this reminder: that real writers always do their job: to write. That they always find time for it. Not because they aren’t busy, but in spite of being busy. Not because writing is easy, but notwithstanding that it’s hard.

It’s their passion, what they were called to do. And they do it.

Real Writers Write

In my experience, most writers often fall into two traps that keep them from doing their job: writing. I fell into the first trap at the beginning of my writing career. I wrote this self reminder to free myself from the second trap.

First trap: just worrying about being enough

This is common to wannabe or beginner writers. They fancy the craft of writing but are too scared to embrace it full time. The fear of not being proficient, of being rejected or of failing always fills them with anxiety.

All day long, they worry about being enough while not doing any real writing. Writing would increase their proficiency and boost their morale but they wouldn’t do it. Worry would dampen their enthusiasm and kill their dreams but that’s what they do.

For many years before I started writing regularly, my teachers and kind friends would tell me I wrote well and could improve with practice but I would have none of their ‘lies’. I only worried and wished I was already proficient. And I went nowhere.

But once I started doing the right thing all writers do – writing – I gained momentum and found joy doing my art.

A carpenter understands this well, and so he doesn’t worry about being a good carpenter. He just does his work. If he needs education or help with a specific aspect of his craft, he gets it and gets better rather than worrying and doing nothing.

Second trap: just talking about writing

If you’ve had some successes with writing, chances are high friends and readers would want to pick your brain. Well, it’s a good thing because you thereby pass on the baton and get better yourself.

But therein is a trap: the danger of always talking about writing, its rules, benefits and challenges while not doing the actual thing that matters most: writing.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve found myself enmeshed in this. I daily answer email questions, social media queries and blog comments about writing. I daily have conversations with friends and readers who want to write better, understand blogging, publish a book or just overcome a challenge that threatens their writing career.

But… I realized I haven’t been doing any real writing, the most important thing writers do. I haven’t entered any essay contest for over 6 months, I’m not writing any book at the moment. I haven’t been writing daily.

I’m ashamed to admit these, but they are true. Admitting them publicly is bitter but also healing. This is a reminder to myself not to self-destruct, not to just talk about writing without doing it… because there’s no more apt definition of hypocrisy than calling myself a writer and talking about it without actually doing it.

Write. Write. Just write

So here’s a clarion call.

If you’ve only been daydreaming about being a writer, now’s the best time to pick your pen. Stop worrying about first learning the rules or being proficient enough. Start writing. That’s what writers do.

If you’ve fallen into the trap of just talking about writing and not doing any actual writing, take a pause. And then a U-turn. Go back. Start writing. Once again.

Each time you show up and do your art, your skills soar, your confidence rises and your mind finds tranquility.

Do it regularly. Maybe daily. Or every couple days.

Just write. Because that’s what real writers do.

Question: What challenge is keeping you from writing regularly and how do you plan to overcome it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.website setup banner

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-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

Comments

  1. Femi Emmanuel Fakayejo says:

    My major challenge in writing consistently is school. The challenges posed by my course of study, coupled with the rigor of being in the final year has taken its toll on my writing. I am however challenged by your confession, and I will do all I can to always be the writer that I am.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Femi,

      I believe with proper planning, there wouldn’t be a conflict between your schooling and writing. You would simply assume your writing to be a compulsory course you’re taking and make time for it on your daily schedule.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Financial instability hinders my writing career. I can’t afford a pc–or even sufficient time at the cafe. Why? I’m dependent. I plan to start now but the money thing piss me off. Is it when I can’t afford a pc–even a second-hand desktop,that I’ll afford hosting and domain? Many aspirers are in my category but who will help? Mom thinks am a rebel. Dad says I’m wasting my time. Are they the ones that’ll help me with their discouraging comment? I,hopelessly,hope that one day I’ll prove them wrong.

    • Hi Abraham, I can understand your situation because I’ve been in it myself. I suggest you read my book, Your Right To Write, where I share my struggles and how I progressively surmounted them.

      Just start taking action, however little. Work hard, persevere and be patient.

      • Thanks Abdullahi,you sound as sincere your phone conversation. I will refer to you on my progress eradicating the progress.

  3. This is highly refreshing.
    Notwithstanding other reasons, academics has always been the bar for me to write. I find myself rescheduling my time management on daily basis in other to maintain and strike the balance between my writing and academics.
    Its has been my one and only challenge so far.
    Still bowing to learning…………..

  4. Perfect piece! This reminder is for me too. Thanks for sharing this, Abdullahi

  5. Samuel Edet says:

    I am so glad this Friday Tutorial-cum-Confession isn’t for me

    I’ve been writing at least one piece a day.

  6. I have been trying to write regularly and make it a habit; but, after I successfully maintained this for a period of a week, life pushes me down–I break the rule. I did not find a convenient time to write. It was not till last week, I realized that to make this a lively thing, I have had to develop a habit of doing it regularly. When habit is formed, it’s difficult to break. That is true. A good habit can only be best established after twenty-one-day of constant practice. I changed my writing scheduled time (from night to early in the morning-5am daily).Often, my day starts with writing. Thank God for the habit .Now, for nearly good two weeks, I have not broken the rule except for the past few days when I fell ill of malaria and typhoid. I battled the two sicknesses for the period of 5 days and I could not write at the time of the illness…by the special grace of God, am going back into the habit, start it over again-very soon.

  7. Not just a reminder for yourself but for me (or us) too. Thank you

  8. Emmanuel Ezegreat says:

    The greatest impediment I have so far faced is what I call “‘the action hour zeal decline”. I get filled with ideas and enthsiasm to pen down something, but just at the point of writing I grow a cold spirit towards it. And the possible way I have proposed to deal with that is to engage “on the spot writing”. Also getting into writing contests especially with peers of like mind.

  9. Oye Olaoye says:

    I love you coach. You know what? Your sincerity had healed someone. I started writing as a member of The Press club in secondary school but i abandoned the art while in higher institution as an Engineering student. Consequently, I lost my writing confidence. I no longer believe i can write correctly but your public confession had helped me out. I’m bouncing back even as i’ve made up my mind to make good money from writing and blogging. Thanks so much.

  10. I think my sincere answer to that is procrastination coupled with frequent laziness to write even when the ideas are there.

    With the wake-up kick here though, I should, starting next week, write something consistently each day.

    Even if it’s uncompleted, I’d “Just write…” and fill in the gaps later. That way, I’d learn to be consistent.

    Writing is a big deal, discipline is key like you rightly said.

    Have a nice weekend,
    -Vanessa

  11. my challenges are that i like finding too much time to think and procrastinate about what to write, so that i organize it well, and not just write some jargon..i also like writing much, and this as well brings the fear of typing so much a script, which often makes me lazy to write.

  12. I am a beginner writer and the fear of not being good enough is stopping me.at a point I felt I had to know all of the rules first and read as many good pieces as I could but luckily some of the stuff I read showed me I was doing bad and today you have encouraged me even further.thank you

  13. Paul Ayomide says:

    I think i need more challenge. By God’s grace, I’ve been writing again and thanks to your book “right to write”. It always reminds me to “write to express myself and not to impress”. I wouldn’t mind if i can contribute on your site.

  14. Time and environment

  15. Awesome. I have Been falling into the first pits too. Always wanting to learn everything on writing and blogging first before setting out but i’ve learnt (thanks to you) that you can never know it all, you just have to start with what you know and develop along.
    So I’ve adopted writing down any idea that i get immediately, and also thinking in the course of writing for new ideas. I also wanted to know everything on web design and self host my blog on one of your recommended sites before blogging seriously. But the finance hasn’t been available, i ‘ve learnt to work with google blogger for the mean time blogging from a cafè.
    I’ve learnt to write daily, building a store.

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