It’s no mystery why so many people hate writing. Someone (usually a teacher) made them feel stupid because of something they’d written. This is a horrible thing to do to a child — or an adult. Confidence in all of us is fragile and it can be broken way too easily.
Writing in particular can make us feel exposed to other people’s judgments. It can seem like the moment you write, someone is peering into your brain: “Let’s see how smart you are?” This worry about other people’s opinions is probably the root cause of most writer’s block. Who wants to start writing if there’s an invisible judge waiting to pounce?
Of course, that’s not how people actually look at your writing. No one wants to assess your intelligence when they read your stuff. They just want to get the information, inspiration or fun that you have to share with them. Unfortunately, knowing this may not be enough to set you free: a little trickery can help! So let’s look at a few hacks to make writing more fun.
1 Safe Solitude
Be really, really clear that when you sit down to write, no one is looking. It’s up to you if and when you share a draft with someone else. Whatever you write is as private as the thoughts in your head — until you decide otherwise. Tell that imaginary onlooker to take a hike. For now, your writing time is just for you.
2 Get Playful
Now you’re clear that no one is looking, get playful. Write silly stuff. Rude stuff. Wild stuff. Meaningless stuff. You’re going to delete it immediately (unless you throw out some gems—that can happen!) so don’t hold back. Your goal is to start creating happy memories of writing. Over time, you’ll connect the action of typing or handwriting with a feeling of pleasure. That gives you a whole new starting point.
3 Find a Friend
Do you know someone who isn’t judgmental? Who maybe even shares your anxieties about writing? Buddy up and swap drafts, agreeing only to focus on what’s good. It’s likely we learn more from what we do well than endlessly trying to correct what’s wrong. You have unique capabilities as a writer: everyone does. Let your friend point them out to you. Get used to getting praised for what you write.
4 Use Tools
Writing by hand is fine, but if you’re also comfortable with a keyboard, there are all sorts of digital tools that can make writing easier and faster — and therefore more enjoyable. One of these tools is Braincat, which leads you from a disorganized start to a crystal clear outline. That’s relaxing! So is using the Discover mode in Braincat, which helps you along by asking questions. Try playing with the ‘cat and see how it frees up your mind — and your writing.
If you’ve always hated writing, it may take a while for the feeling to dissolve. But these simple hacks, repeated over time, will assuredly begin to change your experience of writing for the better.