It’s my opinion that if you’ve got any writing talent at all it’s a gift. For one of the truths about writing is not everyone can do it even reasonably well.
Think about that statement – take it in.
It’s my experience that even when you’ve got the writing gift it’s up to you to steward it properly.
By that I mean you’ve got to take care of it.
My suspicion is if you don’t it will diminish.
Here are three ways you can steward your writing ability:
Write. Yep, you can take care of your ability with words by using it often. It almost doesn’t matter what you write as long as you do, regularly and often.
One of the nifty things that happens when we write regularly is we actually get better at it. It’s like any thing we might practice – with practice, be it piano, meditation, yoga or writing, it gets easier because we improve our skill as we go.
Rewrite. Rewriting is part of writing practice. It’s where we not only spot and correct many of our mistakes, it’s where we find and use our writing voice and make it work. Rewriting also informs our unconscious and helps us improve our new writings.
Share. This blog is, of course, about helping freelance writers make more money, so it’s tempting to say market your writing. For most of us, testing our writing in the market place is what we’re actually aiming at. Marketing our writing can certainly tell us a great deal. Taking that risk of sending it off to a publisher or to a client or posting it online stretches us and our writing.
But there are all sorts of writings that aren’t, at least in the beginning, meant for publication. I write short Zen poems called Gathas that are mostly for me and my Sangha (Buddhist group). I may gather them together in a book someday, or not. Sharing them, however is part of the process for me.
Another example is a the story of our family that I’m writing with the help of my kids. Sure, it might get published some day, but that’s not the point. We want it for ourselves and those who come after us.
And yes, there is a kind of personal writing that’s not meant to be shared, at least not widely. I find my writing somehow wants to be read by at least one other person before it feels finished.
If you write, rewrite and somehow share your writing your writing will, over time improve and, if writing is really important to you, you will probably find at least a bit of contentment way down in your soul – the result, I think of doing a good job stewarding any gift.
How do you take care of your writing gift?
Write well and often,
A writing coach can help you steward your writing.