The Truth About Creative Writing

THE TRUTH ABOUT CREATIVE WRITING

I have spent years trying to figure out how someone could be justifiably awful at creative writing…until I realized that it is not something that can be learned efficiently. It is a talent, not a skill. What is the difference? A talent means you are born with a gift; a skill is something you learn. Now here is the kicker: you can learn creative writing as a skill, but you are born a writer! If you are like me, writing is entertaining, freeing and cathartic. It heals wounds; it is a process of neurogenesis. People have had this long-standing belief that neurons cannot be grown; they can only be lost. This is not true. Neurons can regenerate. That means that yes, indeed, you can be born a writer but fail to keep yourself as one. The truth about creative writing is therefore very simple: you have to practice it regularly. Otherwise, those neurons you grew disappear! Let us take a look at an example…

MY COUSIN FORGOT HOW TO WRITE?

My cousin was born a writer. She wrote for the LA Times, but one dinner I sat down with her and, after having done so much writing over the years, she has sequentially forgotten how to write. I heard her once say: “I don’t consider myself a writer anymore.” That mindset is what led her to forget how to write, at least in essence. When you say to yourself: “writing is hard,” you are perpetuating the loss of ability to write. Motivation and perception are the cornerstones behind creative writing (and any type of writing in general). If you say to yourself: “I am bad at writing,” you will be bad at writing! It is that simple. An example is found in my anemic hatred for math. 

THE NECESSITY OF LEARNING WRITING

I always said: “I can’t do math.” Then, one day at school, I had to learn how to do Statistics. I learned it because it was out of necessity: if I did not learn math, I would fail. Rewards and punishments, as they say. I now know I can do math, but I spent so much time telling myself that I could not do it that I eventually clogged my brain (neurons…) with this mentality. It was not true. Anyone can write; anyone can perform mathematics; anyone can paint. It all depends on your attitude toward it, and the necessity of what you need it for. If you want to be a true writer, you need to practice it, and keep those neurons in place. Your attitude and perception of something are what may cause you to inevitably fail. In turn, when you say: “I can’t write,” you are perpetuating your ability to write! You are saying: “I cannot do this, so I quit.” Wrong move. You need to keep practicing!

PRACTICE IS PERFECTION

To keep yourself sustained as a writer, start a blog. That is the first place to start. Blogs like this one may never be read by anyone. This website has less traffic than an abandoned street, but I keep writing blogs because they may eventually be read. If you think: “I will start a blog and post regularly,” you are already done fifty percent of the work. Then, write! Write your thoughts; write your feelings; write for you, and nobody else. I have six books I self-published. They were all very well-received (probably because I am the only one who ever read them), but I had a lot of fun writing them, and that level of entertainment caused me to keep doing it! This is my third blog today; there are two other websites I write for. Now, think about this: if you write a blog and it is never read, why bother? Well, for starters, your goal is to become a better writer. You are not there to have people study your work…but having them available online allows you to read them, and to hone your skills.

WRITE FOR YOU AND ONLY YOU

Write for you. Write a book for you, and publish it on Kindle. Put your largest effort into it. If you can do that, you are succeeding at creative writing. Now, do it for you. Do it for only you. Never expect someone to read it. There are thousands (perhaps more) of blogs written daily, published by the same author six times a day, or by a team of writers that want to drive traffic to their website, or a client’s website. This is not the best way to think. Writing is about loosening the heartstrings and learning. Eventually, you will grow to love it; it will become addicting. I type at one-hundred words per minute, which is well above average. Many people fail at writing successfully because they are not used to typing, let alone writing. If you post a blog once every three days, you will learn to write. You will also learn a ton of other skills, especially if you sign up for a free WordPress website like I did (did you think this was my only website?). Do it for you. Only you. I will repeat that: only you.

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL HERE?

Next, ask yourself what your goal for writing is. Are you doing it to learn? Are you writing a research paper for school? Are you a busy professional who wants to gain exposure? These are all things that take practice, patience, and at the end of the day: a goal. Set a goal for yourself to write at least three times per week. As Stephen King once said: “Write five hundred words a day, and then the next day start writing without reading the preceding words.” This is so true! This blog is about that length, and when I publish, I never proof; I never reread. That is for the reader to correct, not me. I am here writing because I want to do it, not because I have to. No one “has” to write unless it is your job to do so, but at the end of the day it is a great skill to have.

TO CONCLUDE THIS POST…

Writing should be a personal experience. It should exist in your world for personal gain, not professional. This may be a website promoting blog services, yes, but the blog is still there for the sake of (and here is the main point of all of this nonsense) personal growth! I learned how to write blogs by starting. That simple. I learned how to be a businessman because I jumped right on in. If you want to succeed at writing, or painting, or anything at all, you have to dive right on in and do it. If you have a purpose for it, you will fail unless that purpose is to improve. I had a visit with my physician, as an example. We spoke for fifteen minutes about her inability to write research papers. Imagine that: a true licensed doctor who could not write a research paper. That leads us back to necessity: if you are trying to learn how to write, the sole purpose should be to get to a point you are happy with. Without that, you will never be able to do much else. Thank you for your time, and I hope this is read…

Published by Ryan W. McClellan

Entrepreneur, Author & Business Consultant With A Background In Multimedia & Content Development

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