The only two steps you need to be a better writer

This blog is multipurpose, but all for personal reasons. I want to keep people updated on what’s been happening in my life. I want to share the things that are on my mind in a space where others can react. But most of all, I want to improve my writing.

How to improve:

There are two core steps to improving one’s writing:

  1. Read.
  2. Write.

This of course, doesn’t take into consideration the life experiences, writing style, or general creative genius that will vary from person to person. However, I do believe in these two steps wholeheartedly, even if I haven’t been practicing them perfectly. WE often hear that rules are made to be broken, but I feel like these breaking these two steps are like saying, “Mother nature says you need to breathe in order to live, but whatever, rules are made to be broken!” Yeah, okay whatever.

Step 1: Read.

I’ve been told that reading fiction is a waste of time; others have told me that it’s bad for the mind and soul. However, I firmly believe that if there’s something that will inspire you to read, then go ahead and start, because reading is the mind’s cardio. I used to run track in high school, but we didn’t have a track, so we would all have to jog to the next town over and share a track at one of the public parks. I’m a sprinter, so running alongside my friends who were distance runners made me dread track practice. I then learned to do HIIT instead, which let me go at the pace I was more comfortable with, while keeping up with my well-paced friends.

My friend Lin has always been faithful in endorsing me to her good reads, whether a book or blog. She showed me Nothing Spaces, a personal blog by Carina Santos. Carina has a series called “The Sunday Currently” where she updates all the little things on her mind. This has been one of many inspirations pushing me to write, since one of my goals is simply to give an update on what has been happening in my life (with Huan). She isn’t a billionaire or the CEO to a Fortune 500 company, but the fact that she helped me get my feet on the ground makes her a worthy read.

Whatever gets you to where you need to be is all that should matter to you.

Step 2: Write.

Muscle memory is something that people in all professions. Going back to the track & field example, I was a sprinter and did high hurdles. I’m clumsy, but eventually my training got me to finish the 100 meter dash – without thinking, my strides would open a certain way, my arm would stretch, and before I knew it, I was done with the race. Muscle memory applies to many things, but I feel in a way it applies to the way we think, too. We learn communicative patterns, and our words sometimes flow without us thinking.

I actually write a lot, but all of it goes into my journals. By habit, I write the most when I have no one else to talk to and I need to straighten out all the things in my head. Something I was taught in high school was to itemize the things bothering me, then review the list to see which I needed to address first. This also works for seeing tangibly the pros and cons of a situation (like in Sex in the City). My journaling habit has helped me make sense of a lot of situations in my life, but I’m hoping that my blogging will get me to continue the habit of positive writing.

I’d love to know: what are the things that inspire you to write? 

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