This piece is a part of the series 30 Words In 30 Days.
A little more than a month ago, I decided to write daily for 30 days (excluding weekends). It’s been difficult and wonderful. Admittedly I’m still a novice and know very little about writing but here are 30 things I learned, in no particular order.
1. Writing is harder than it looks. Chances are, the easier a piece is to read, the harder it was to write.
2. Writing every single day didn’t make me a better writer so much as it made me a better thinker.
3. Writing every single day didn’t make me a better thinker so much as it made me a more disciplined thinker.
4. Writing reveals how little I know and how shallow I am.
5. Writing is less like dancing and more like wrestling.
6. Writing forces me to respect words, to care for them and craft them in ways that honor them.
7. Writing requires rhythm and focus and attention to detail.
8. Writing is liberating and confining at the very same time. This paradox is tricky to navigate.
9. Writing works best when I find my balance for a few moments on that fine tightrope between memory and imagination.
10. Writing is primarily a work of quiet discipline. It’s almost never sexy or exhilarating as it’s happening.
11. Writing is often lonely and uncomfortable because my only company is my unfamiliar self.
12. Writing is 10% remembering stuff other people said, 10% making stuff up, and 80% editing. I think I remember someone saying that once. I don’t know.
Maybe I made that up. I’m pretty sure I made that up.
13. Writing always starts with a word or a sentence. This might sound like a “duh” statement but it’s really easy to forget. Getting ahead of myself is always a struggle.
14. Writing is full of surprises. A piece rarely ends up being about what I initially thought it’d be about.
15. Writing with an audience in mind is always easier than writing for the sake of writing.
16. Writing to impress people always results in worthless, disingenuous bullshit. Sadly, I make this mistake more often than I’d care to admit.
17. Writing to impress myself is a joke.
18. Writing to spark a conversation or propose a question seems to work much better.
19. Writing to discover something, without knowing exactly what I’m about to discover, is always the most enjoyable kind of writing.
20. Writing as an occupation seems hazardous and I don’t think I could ever do it.
21. Writing because I have something that must be said is rare but when I arrive at those moments, it’s intoxicating.
22. Writing when I have nothing to say is common but the struggle shapes me and makes me better.
23. Writing is sometimes a science and sometimes systematic but it’s always an art.
24. Writing has rules but it also invites us to break the rules from time to time; this is what makes writing so exciting.
25. Writing is a powerful medium that will never go away.
26. Writing is a powerful medium that can shape ideologies, theologies, and the way we cook lasagna.
27. Writing can encourage or discourage, build up or break down; that’s why the responsibility is so great for anyone and everyone who writes publicly, be it a book or a blog.
28. Writing helps me sort through the mess inside my head and my heart; it helps me understand things just a little bit better.
29. Writing reminds me that life is big and there’s much to be learned.
30. Writing is a gift from God and must be stewarded as such.