How To Write
My writing back in the day was truly embarrassing. Heck, it’s still horrible from a grammar perspective (sorry!). But I want to share some blogging tips for potential bloggers and wanna-be writers.
Not because I think I’m this amazingly talented writer, but rather because I’ve sort of got the whole “being authentically you” thing down and people seem to appreciate it.
At least the people who email me about my various articles here. It’s also because people don’t really know how to write. They lack soul, they write fluffy BS to make themselves look cool or smart or deep or whatever.
But really, they are so damn cliche it annoys me enough to want to write a blog post about it.
Take Dave Ursillo for example:
I like Dave Ursillo. He seems nice enough, but his writing grates me (example). Particularly because he’s a master at saying nothing and falling victim to his own writing tropes.
…our creative practice is literally threatening our wellness, safety, stability, control of life…
…my workshop was bothering to navigate all of the discomfort of writing the full, whole, authentic truth of her memoir…
…part of her remaining hidden; unexpressed; unrealized; shadowed in fear; buried in What IFS…
Insert eloquent bullshit. Add an adjective, adjective, adjective, adjective and then finish off the sentence off with some feel good nonsense.
Fluffy feel good babble.
His writing comes across as lacking soul for me. Like he’s trying to be something he is not. His in-authentic style is what makes his writing so difficult for me.
He’s made the claim that he’s been maligned online as a bullshit artist and truly not knowing why anyone would say that about him.
Perhaps he is being genuine, but when I try to read anything he writes my eyes roll at how silly and lame it all is. He never goes deep. It’s all a convoluted word salad.
He writes the way Michael Eric Dyson talks. Big words, no meaning.
I also find it annoying how he structures every other sentence full of adjectives:
The coke can was red, silver and icy cold as I held it in my left hand.
I drank the soda because I was painfully, desperately, hauntingly thirsty for days, weeks, hours, months perhaps even years.
It gets annoying . Particularly when he writes this way:
I can write like this too, ready? OK! Read:
I awoke from my comfy, soft, safe, pillow laden water bed. With the bright, yellowy orange glow of the Monday morning sun peering in through a tiny, insignificant, ever so miniscule crack in the nook of the bedroom window. Violating my eyes in the most toxic masculine way.
I had a thirst unbeknownst to me, a thirsty thirst of that of which I’ve never experienced during my unexpress, soul centered morning ritual of journaling to find my authentic self, meditating to be “centered” and drinking the finest, darkest, pugnant coffee to align my emotional state with my authentic truth.
Nay! My mind intrudingly exclaimed with harshness, rudeness and discomfort. I needed a tall, cold, foamy glass of the finest Narragansett beer straight from it’s shiny red and silver can into my favorite embroidered mug purchased on a deep, harrowing, shadow filled trek to Walmart.
I wish he would tell stores instead of describing everything with 10 adjectives. How about lessons you learned from trips abroad with your now ex GF? How about difficulties and problems you actually have in your life and relationships?
Real problems. Not “authentically you”, becoming centered, heart-soul-mind fake fears. Real fears.
You’re a person, not a damn Vulcan from Star Trek.
How To Write #1 -Write clearly – NO fluff
Write what you think, write what you believe, write in a careful and thoughtful way (also pay attention to grammar). Write about your story, your life and the change you want to see.
Most writing is simply a regurgitation of ideas you got from somewhere else. Most ideas are also not your own, particularly if you’re a 20 something giving life advice (I’m 100% guilty of this!).
Unless you have some sort of unique perspective. I think it was Socrates who said no one who is younger than 30 should be allowed to write about how to live.
Also, most new writers and bloggers have trouble being authentic. Yes that is cliche to say, but we try to curate a digital presence that shows how awesome we are at this moment.
Sort of like how on Instagram, your pictures are simply captures of moments in time and you happened to be there. Pictures of happiness without all the baggage/drama that gives moments actual depth.
You simply see the surface. You see the picture. Which is why pictures are wonderful in some sense. You get the best parts without all the baggage.
Real writing however is a balance of inspirational but also keeping it real. Life is hard for everyone, share you struggles and how you overcame it.
How to Write #2 -Avoid Cliches and “trying” to be deep
I covered this ad nauseam. Just read anything Ursillo writes as an example of how to NOT write.
How to Write #3 – How to actually write by being YOU:
Find your voice. Then, live your life and share your story by TELLING A STORY.
They do a good job of balancing difficulties they have experienced with what they are actually doing in their lives.
They are relateable and inspirational. Their writing is casual, helpful and based on experience. Not esoteric non-sense by a D rate philosopher who read a few literary works of genius.
Final Words – Where are the good bloggers?
Writing is art.
Creating is art.
I want blogging to return to an art form it once was. I miss having multiple good blogs to read. Now-a-days everything is simply keyword focused or in-authentic.
As a future writer, your style will develop as you continue to write. At first you can only suck at writing. My personal issue has been grammar and spelling.
It’s a never ending, undying, forever bothersome…
Been reading to much Ursillo 🙂
The next phase is that you will imitate what you read. Eventually, if you’re good you’ll finally step into your own.
If not, you’ll be perpetually stuck copying the styles of others instead of having your own style.
Your writing will be different than other writers you like. Just like how YOU would make music or a YouTube video differently from others, once you’re good and stand out, you will only do so because of your uniqueness.
Like Casey Neistat on YouTube. His style is his and others copy him at their peril.
Another writing example would be Nick Kelly at BoldandDetermined.com, writes nothing like Ryan Holiday BUT both men are very talented. They both have their own styles and are professionals at writing.
Write With Courage
To engage in combat requires courage. To stand your ground and physically fight is no small thing. It’s the same with words and conversation. To engage in intellectual combat requires you develop courage, a courage of your convictions and the verbal tools to defend yourself and attack others.
Most people don’t have this sort of courage because it’s dangerous to stand up and stand out. But if you have something to say, if you feel compelled to say it, then say it.
…and bear the consequences of it.