A universally cruel fact found by the end of the year is that New Year’s resolutions tend to fail. Come November, do you find that this year is again overwhelmed by work, for which you always reward yourself with materials? Thought might be like this: heavy workload is okay, because there will be cocktails awaiting me at night. But as the alcohol digests in your body through the night, so does the sense of satisfaction dissolve. You might wake up next morning hungover and finds that material comfort does not fill the void where you find life boring and monotonous. The good news is that what cocktails cannot do for you, writing can.
Writing makes your life full of charm by feeling a long-term sense of achievement. However, getting writing started can be scary and requires your Herculean effort to finish the first line that you write and erase alternatively. To reignite the passion in your life, I have three tips for you to find writing enjoyable.
1. Bird by Bird.
‘Bird by Bird’ is an equivalent of ‘step by step’, termed by my favorite American writer, Anne Lamott. Once in childhood Lamott’s brother had not started his term paper on birds the day before due. Her father walked over, opening the Audobon book for the little son, telling him the simplest philosophy of writing: read about pelicans and write about them in your own voice. Do it again on chickadees, and then geese. Write one bird by the other. Writing seems hard because we tend to think of it as a long journey indicative of uncertainty and hardship. However, the truth is, it is okay not knowing where your writing would end. Write out a little chunk at a time, and the others, go through the point where you realize ‘you’ve made this far’ and put the finishing touches to them.
2. Inspiration is everywhere. Unexpected places mostly do.
You might not prefer everyday reading to find inspiration to write about, but you live the life every day, and that is the handiest source to find where to start. To manage this, bear in mind that even the ordinary details of life have something unusual. A few best places to practice are trains by which you commute, the cafés that you stay to kill time or even the queues for restaurant tables. Be a keen observer by taking a close look at people’s clothing on the train. Is there any dress code that everyone celebrates together by coincidence? In cafés, what are the words to describe the balance between the bitterness and the milkiness in the sip of your latte? Likewise, outside of restaurants, do customers who ask for ‘table for one’ seem lonely or comfortable with their solitude?
3. Bury your perfectionism.
This principle is good for people whose fear of writing comes from their unconscious ambition to pursue perfection. Perfectionism is a double-edged sword. It boosts your writing when used at the end, but restricts your imagination when used at the start. Remember, you might not be able to write at your best every time you try－it is all arbitrary! However, do not give up the fragmentary words popping into your mind, you always have more chances to redraft. And the truth is, the more you write, the more quickly you can create your ideal versions of first drafts.
By the end of this year, hold your pen and paper tightly again. Use your imagination and become your own self-helper of life.
Start with a great journal and document daily experiences and moods. You can explore your creativity from there!