Let me count the ways

It is hot. It’s past 8pm, and I am still sweating as I knock back a Miller Lite on the porch. Even my cat, who usually joins me in sitting outside, has chosen to stay inside. There’s a heat advisory out for tomorrow, with the prediction that the heat index will be around 105 degrees. Oh, how I miss the Santa Barbara weather.

I must admit I’ve spent a considerable amount of time today just thinking of what I wanted to write in this journal….well, and watching episodes of ‘Mad Men’ (trying to catch up before the new season starts this Sunday). Though I did gather some usable ideas, I really wasn’t in the mood to write about ECT or mental health. Just as I was ready to give up on writing something for the day, I came across a page that I thought was an useful reminder for me to look over. It’s copyblogger.com’s “73 Ways to become a better writer.

Here’s the first several ways:

  1. Become a blogger.
  2. Use self-imposed word limits.
  3. Accept all forms of criticism and learn to grow from it.
  4. Read what you’ve written over and over, until you can’t find any more problems.
  5. Show what you write to a trusted friend for feedback.
  6. Outline. And then write to that outline.
  7. Edit, and edit again.
  8. Live with passion.
  9. Be open, curious, present, and engaged.
  10. Take a break between writing and editing.
  11. Learn a new word a day.
    And more……..

Maybe some of the rules don’t necessarily apply to casual blogging (and if they did, it would take a very long time to write a single post), but I thought it’s a good list of advice to think about. One of the thoughts that came to me was about the self-censoring that I’ve found myself doing lately. I realized that it’s not that I don’t have anything to write about; it’s that I don’t know if I want to write it out.

The sun’s gone down, the moon’s out, and there’s finally a slight breeze in the air. I should be working on my take-home exam tonight, but instead, I think I will read this list again and try to regain some confidence in my writing. Maybe a little boost of assurance in my writing abilities will come to help in writing my exam later :) (Okay. Really, I’m just procrastinating….)

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4 Comments to “Let me count the ways”

  1. Don’t doubt your writing abilities. You’re doing more than “just fine.” You’re blog is exceptional. (PS I’m an editor by profession, if that makes my comment carry more weight. :)

  2. Oops. “your” blog, I meant….

  3. jnc, thanks for helping me out with my confidence. And yes, I totally look up to editors, so your comments definitely mean a little more :)

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