What do you do when you start feeling repetitive as a writer?
I’ve written similar posts. About reading. About writing. Similar quotes, similar thought patterns, similar formats. Same stuff; repetitious.
But the thing is, these things run through my mind constantly. Every time I’m faced with a blank screen, my mind shoots to Hemingway:
Think about what you know, most deeply in this moment. And then write one true sentence about that.
And then write another true sentence. And eventually, you have an article. Everyone knows something to be intimately true right now.
But I’ve thought about that concept before. Discussed it, thought on it, asked for feedback on the concept, and then thought about that feedback. Is it still interesting, even though you’ve read it before? That’s a question to those who read this. I don’t know. What makes people still interested in your writing? Is it the relationship you have with the readers? Is it that every time you write a post, you’ve gotten an inkling better, and readers like to see that progress?
The way I see it, writing consists of concepts and stories. Concepts are ways of living – we should read more. Here’s how to read more. Here’s what you should read.
All founded upon the concept of reading, then segregated into the sub-categories of how, why, what, etc.
And then there’re stories. But stories are only fun to read if they come to a conceptual conclusion – I went rock climbing the other day with my friend. We scaled a forty foot cliff over and over until we got tired, and the sun blew shadows through the trees.
I learned that sports like rock climbing, and mountain biking, and scuba diving are innate, and visceral. You don’t think while climbing – it’s all motion, action, and moment-thought. Now you’re back pedaling: you said rock climbing isn’t about thinking. It’s not.
When I was on the wall the other day, I wasn’t worried about mowing lawns, or my girlfriend leaving for college. I was in the moment, in my body, focused on the next grip. Focused on the weight of my body and whether that slant, that’s not even a notch on the wall, would support my foot.
And when you’re not cluttered in the mind, when you’re feeling the body and mind as a single entity, you can get some serious thinking done in your unconscious. Not thinking like, I’ve got this math problem in my mind, solve it sub-consciously while I’m climbing, please.
I’m talking about fruity thinking that only that mind body connection can give you – the thinking behind contentment, behind being still in the moment.
I’m not sure if it can even be called thinking. More like the philosophy behind living. Your philosophy behind living is created by those moments of stillness. When you’re spent and resting on the narrowest of ledges, only breathing.
That’s where your philosophy is born. It’s not developed in the daily thinking of anxiety, stress, and responsibilities that everyone has sadly become accustomed to.
Philosophy that says something like, I’m not sure what this post is.
It’s something new born of the fact that I’ve been writing, for me, a while. And I’ve started to become repetitious. And this is me breaking out of that – this post didn’t have a set theme when I started. This post is more a developing story that I’m coming up with as I go along.
And if it had a culminating point, it would be that even if you don’t feel like writing, don’t have a topic, and know that basically stream-of-consciousness writing doesn’t sell too well – oh my god, this is my blog about teenage rants, angst, follow me pls – just put in the freaking work.
Because if I’m writing something now, when I’m not in the mood, what happens when I’m actually in the mood and trying to turn out an excellent piece?
There’s a concept in meditation. It says the time you most don’t feel like meditating, that’s the time you most need to do your practice.
And in writing, when you write even if you don’t feel like it, it’s weird: sometimes people enjoy your work more. Because you have less barriers.
I was listening to an interview with some blogger and he said one of his most popular posts was one he didn’t really care about – he was tired and just started writing a facetious post about how everyone should quit their jobs and work on passive income streams. And that post went viral.
I’m not sure, man. I hate to be that asshole who flexes and screams, Put in the work, pussy. No matter if you’re tired.
But. I mean. You know.
Put in the fucking work.
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