Growing as a writer

I've been reflecting on my writing, the status of my daily blogging habit, the purpose behind all this content creation, and today I asked myself some questions around why and what. Why do I want to keep doing this? What's the purpose? What am I looking to gain for myself out of this? What should I be doing differently, or keeping the same, to achieve my goals?

Why do I want to write daily?

The answer lies in the blogpost I wrote about [[Writing 20201111180006 - The power of being prolific|being prolific]]. At the end of the day, I want to grow as a writer. And my belief is that if I want to grow my skills to the point where one day I can be recognized for it, I need to focus less on the idea of brand building and audience building and instead put my head down and work on being a consistent creator of content.

Reminding myself of this goal is important because ever since I started this journey, I've fallen in love with the excitement of creating something to publish on the blog daily. I don't actually think about becoming a better writer anymore. Not in the active sense at least. I do aim to improve my writing as I go along, but that purpose I started out with has been out of my head for a while now. And that's really not a major issue either. I think it's a blessing to have found something that I genuinely enjoy and embrace so much.

But while finding joy is a great thing, I think that trying to achieve the initial "vision" I set out with doesn't have to be a mutually exclusive activity. I can treat my daily writing as something I just enjoy doing whilst also growing myself as a writer (roll credits!). I can also treat my blog as my personal space on the internet where I can write what I want without worrying about my audience, whilst ensuring that I am growing as a writer. There's nothing that says that to grow as a writer I have to experience unhappiness or sell my soul.

Basically, all of that to say that I can still write what I want daily, but I'd be serving myself better by also adding in the question of "Does this make me a better writer?"

What needs to change

After much reflection, I think I've come to realise that while the links and notes format was a great way to get started and build up the continuity of my writing habit, it's become a crutch now. Something that I can rely on to stop myself from putting in that little bit of extra effort on any single topic.

This isn't to say that I've been doing lazy writing all this time. At least I think I haven't been doing it. There are definitely a bunch of links and notes posts where the inner titles could easily be blog posts on their own. But by extra effort into any single topic, I mean picking a topic and committing to it and saying "this is the single most important thing I want to write about today".

Making that conscious choice about a topic forces me to change my approach a bit. In the past, I could write some words on a topic and be done with it without any need for some structure or "point". Going forward, if I was to focus on a single topic, I'd also need to think about those areas such as structure and reasonings.

This doesn't mean that I need to write well thought out 15,000 word essays. But it does mean just a little bit of extra effort.

This also doesn't mean that I need to scrap the links and notes format forever. Some days are just going to be links and notes kind of days. But the overall trend should be more towards single topic posts in the future.

What I'm looking for for myself

I'll be honest. I'm writing this particular post quickly. I'm going to be publishing the first draft. I think some parts of it ramble a bit. Some parts don't quite get the purpose across well enough. But that's ok.

Because the thing I'm looking for for myself is the challenge. The challenge of accepting my current status of mediocrity, and working towards being better. I figure that if I was able to write a hundred or few hundred single topic posts at a stretch, by the end of it I should be decently skilled at writing a worthy first draft on any topic that interests me.

As I progress on this journey of more single topic posts, I am looking to review my writing over time to ensure that I'm not stagnating.

But most importantly, I'm just looking to have fun. There's no pressure that's forcing me to change the choices I make in the way I write. I still barely post to Twitter about the blog posts I write. Most of my posts vanish into the ether that is the greater web. And that's all fine. I'm just having fun. And if this change takes away the fun for me, I'm done instantly.

For the moment though, let's get to it

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Posted on May 21 2021 by Adnan Issadeen