How to learn from your writing

Liz Strauss challenged us last week to write posts that were about linking and thinking.  This came at a good time for me, as I’d been reflecting on what I was trying to achieve with my writing, and where I wanted to go with it.

One of the most amazing things about writing (for me anyway) is how much you learn in the process of writing your stuff down.  Things that were muddled miraculously become clear.  Or maybe you knew them all along, but it took seeing them in print to recognise, or understand, or have the courage to believe what you know to be true.

Anyway what I’ve been learning this week is the importance focus, and intention, and purpose.  I’ve learned about linking with positive intention, reading feeds without going mad in the process, and writing blogs with a purpose.  I’ve been reflecting on what I have learned from those who give so generously to us and people who inspire us with their words.  Who spill their spirits, and in so doing, spill ours.

And although some of these pieces have been written with ideas and suggestions for you - the person who can learn the most from them (of course) is me. (Jan, I hope you agree this is suitably circular!)

So what does this learning mean for Confident Writing?

I realised that in order to read, link and write with intention I had to be a lot clearer, a lot more specific about what my intention was.  The answer: to articulate the ingredients of confident writing.  The elements, the components, the values that I believe lie behind this thing that I’m writing about, that I’m explaining, promoting, inspiring (I hope).  I’ll write more about those ingredients shortly.

But this simple act of focusing on the things that were most important to me has freed me up to make some big changes:

  • To recategorise all my posts (yes, this was a big job), to link them back to the wider purpose
  • To use the categories cloud as a visual reminder to me (and you) of the most important things that I’m writing about - and if there isn’t a link, to ask myself if they’re really worth writing
  • To highlight the list of ‘ingredients’ on the front page, and to declutter the site

More than that - it will allow me to read, link, comment and write with a greater sense of purpose in future.  More on that to follow.

And I hope the learning will stay with me to write with courage, with confidence, with honesty.  When it’s time (and it’s not always time, but there are times when you just know that it is) to take off the mask.  To write from the heart.  Spirit spilling.

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