“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ― William Wordsworth
Writing can be a wonderful way of self-expression and telling your own story.
Whether you write a journal, pen a few lines daily or if you are wanting to write your book, the art of writing confronts many of us at some time of our life or another.
For some, writing can be a pleasure and for others it can be an escape into a world exclusively theirs.
For many others, writing is just a reminder of painful feelings and beliefs that their writing is just not good enough for others to see.
Here are a few ideas and questions to ask yourself if you are a writer locked up inside and have been refusing to give yourself the permission to write regularly or to take your writing to the next level.
These ideas may also be helpful if you occasionally write and have other competing things that fight for your attention and have not made up your mind about the role of writing in your life.
“My bursting heart must find vent at my pen.” ― Abigail Adams
1. You Simply Love To Write
This is the big “why” question. The answer is self-sufficient and you do not need to justify why you write or rationalize it. You simple love to write and would not have it any other way.
Writing feels like an organic expression of your feelings and desires and you understand its efficacy and importance in your life.
2. Writing Relaxes You And Allows You To Release Difficult Feelings
“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”― Ernest Hemingway
Writing feels highly relaxing to you. It becomes an active tool to allow personal expression and letting go of stress that accumulates in your body and mind.
Through writing you are effectively able to release built up stress, anger and tension that you find difficult to identify and let go.
3. Escaping Into The World Of Writing Is Not An Option But A Requirement
“let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences” ― Sylvia Plath
You do not force yourself to write but your writing becomes more of a requirement than a hobby or an option to follow.
Quite simply, you are addicted to putting pen on paper or sitting at your keyboard and writing away.
The world of writing becomes your own world of possibilities, hopes, challenges and trials. You experience a part of your life through your writing.
4. You Did Not choose to write, It Chose You And Nudged You
“For it would seem – her case proved it – that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fiber of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.” ― Virginia Woolf
The choice has been made and you have been chosen to write. Messages and synchronicities happen that move you towards your writing.
When you stop writing, you feel resistance and you get reminded again and again as silent nudges or whispers from your highest self to pursue the work of your life.
5. You Feel Incomplete Without Expressing Your Thoughts
“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” —Virginia Woolf
Everything is going pretty well but you feel like you have settled for less when you do not allow yourself to write.
You feel like something is missing and you are unable to pinpoint the reason for your restlessness. When you begin writing, you feel like a missing piece of the puzzle has fallen into place.
6. You Feel Excited And Energized After Writing
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”― Anne Frank
When you write, you feel energy rushing into you and you can shake your troubles away. You feel enthusiastic and energized by the habit of writing.
Even though writing itself may be difficult and full of chaos, you feel a rush of accomplishment after you write.
Writing may be challenging and testing your skills but the flow state that you may reach while writing is well worth the trials of getting started and continuing.
7. You Feel For The Plight Of Your Characters And Their Happiness
“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.”― Anaïs Nin
This is a very important sign that writing is a purpose or a passion call for you and not just a past time.
You get transported to the world of your stories and the intricate webs of the lives of your characters.
Their trouble and triumphs begin to mean something to you because your writing has the power to invoke deep feelings in you and your readers.
8. You Express Your Creativity Through Writing
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”― Stephen King
You always had a feeling that you were a highly creative person. However, you have ended up in a job or a life setting where you feel like you are unable to use your natural creativity.
But when you begin writing, you allow your creativity to flow through you and on to paper and then to the world.
Writing becomes the expression of creativity for you and vital to keeping your creativity alive and in touch with you.
9. It Feels Immensely Natural For You To Write
“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.”- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
You just melt into the writing at times as a stream flows into the ocean. You feel a deep sense of satisfaction and happiness by expressing yourself through the medium of writing.
At times it feels like you were always meant to do this in your life. However, you have been conditioned out of it to believe that you were not a good writer and all the other clutter and chatter.
However, you see great glimmers of hope and excellence in your writing, albeit irregular they might be.
You are beckoned to follow the cue of writing like a little boat with a lamp on the rough seas of life.
10. You Express Your deepest Feelings And Aspirations Through Writing
“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.”― Anaïs Nin
You write because it one of the ways that you can express yourself deeply and completely. You may have tried to verbalize those aspirations but found no words to express them.
You may have tried to draw them out but no strokes came to you.
When you write, you are amazed that your expression takes on a life of its own and expresses ideas that even you did not know existed in your consciousness.
11. You Are Addicted To The Written word, And You Love To Read
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” —Samuel Johnson
Yes, you love to read. If given a chance, you do not hesitate to escape into the inner world of a great book.
You feel like that there are not enough hours in a day, enough weeks in a month and enough months in a year to read.
You read not to keep up with the joneses or some other intellectual pursuit but because it fulfills a deep need, an insatiable desire to know deep inside of you. You really do not care if others watch you read.
In fact, if you can escape with your book, you would gladly do so to prevent entertaining any questions that others may have.
12. It Annoys You When You Have To Attend To Distractions During Your Writing
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”― Ray Bradbury
You make an attempt to remain pleasant when disturbed from your writing, but in reality you are annoyed.
You want to stay drunk on writing because you realize the importance of the flow of the moment to your writing.
13. Writing Feels Therapeutic And healing And Connects You To the Human Condition
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”― Robert Frost
You are deeply moved by your writing. It feels cathartic. It feels like a healing is taking place and you are the recipient of the healing energies, the source of which you do not know.
You are continually surprised by your writing, whether it is to laugh at your own shallowness or to marvel at your own depths of understanding.
You are unquestionably vulnerable and human and you feel authentic when you write what feels true to your heart.
You are instantly connected to the suffering and the celebration of the human condition.
You are inadvertently connected with the sea of humanity in your oneness with all others as discovered through your writing.
14. Ideas Come To You and You Feel Compelled To Put Pen To Paper Or Risk Losing The Idea
“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.” —Henry David Thoreau
You are an empty vessel and ideas just show up and taunt, nudge, cajole and convince you to write.
You are aware that this is a one time invitation and the ideas may disappear into the ether that they whence came from if you do not jump on the idea.
Ideas come to you when you are in the shower, when you are napping or when you are walking. The stream of ideas is continuous and whether you capture them or not is your choice.
How compelled are you to write?
15. You Cannot Shake Off The Idea
“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.”― Friedrich Nietzsche
You attempt to brush off writing as a pastime, a possible waste of time, a luxury that you cannot afford and something that benefits you little.
But there it is again, and you cannot shake off the idea and the urge to write.
You rationalize and you connive and you joke that you are a terrible writer.
But the feeling to write does not leave you. It comes back at the unlikeliest of times and places and overwhelms you with its unrealistic demands.
You cry out loud that poet you are not but why is the poetry rushing through your mind, urging and beckoning you to follow?
16. You Don’t Care What The World Thinks…You Want To Write Anyways
“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”― Isaac Asimov
The world is a wonderful place but you really do not care what it thinks when it comes to your writing.
Yes, when someone speaks ill of your writing, it wounds your spirit but you still continue.
Like a spiritual warrior on a quest, you follow the cues of writing regardless of what opinions polls and people say.
You may be crushed by criticism and ridicule and stop writing but you still want to write anyways.
“We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
17. Your Writing Is Your Child
“I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky. ”― Sharon Olds
You guard your writing and your writing time like your precious child. Every piece of work that you create has a personal investment for you because you sometimes navigate your word through the efficacy of your writing.
When your work is criticized, you feel personally hurt and sometimes a word of caution or improvement feels like an assault against something that you hold very dear and close to your heart.
It is best for you to realize that like a child, you should allow your writing to take its course and bloom into the strong and self-sufficient individual that you want it to be.
You want to develop a great relationship between you and your writing even though there will be times when everything seems rocky and chaotic.
“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald
18. You Choose Writing Over err Social Media
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”― Ray Bradbury
This is a big one.
If the first thought that comes to your mind is your story and characters as you wake up and not updates and likes, you know that you have found your niche.
19. You Are Determined To Find Your Style
“Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.” —Allegra Goodman
You are willing to wander aimlessly for a while to find a path that leads you into your journey on your quest of writing.
You are willing to try out different styles but then you discover that you are a unique style yourself and you just need to find yourself enough to verbalize your words in your writing.
20. You Cannot Sleep
“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” —Ray Bradbury
You wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning with a new twist to your story or a new direction.
Need I say anymore?
21. Writing Is Your Contribution To The World
“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” —Annie Dillard
You contribute to the world and attempt to make it a different place through your writing.
You begin to feel that your major gift to the world involves writing and giving value to others through writing.
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.”- Anaïs Nin
22. Writing Becomes Habitual
“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”― Ray Bradbury
You do not have to be reminded to write.
You move into it because if you do not write it feels like you have not brushed your teeth or anything else that is habitual.
You feel empty and like your schedule is turned upside-down or like you are missing something if you do not write.
23. You Are Scared To Write
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), “Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?” chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
You are quite terrified of the notion of writing regularly and putting your work out there.
Just like good comedy is often driven by the possible angst and discomfort of the comedian, your art is also driven by chaos and uncertainty.
There is a lot at stake and the fear that you experience feels very real and visceral.
You are afraid of incompletion and you are afraid of your perfectionism.
You are afraid if you are a writer and doubt your work.
This is a very natural stage and state of the writing process and denying the fear is neither possible nor recommended.
The only thing that matters is the capacity to move through the fear and continue writing despite the fears and doubt.
24. You Cannot Bear Not To Write And Tell Your Story
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”― Maya Angelou
You just cannot bear to keep the stories that come to you to stay within you.
Even though you may have pretended that your writing does not matter, you are uncomfortable when you have entirely given up writing.
When the power of your conditioning and your beliefs keep you from writing, you feel a sense of agony or a sense of loss. Often, it is difficult to exactly get a handle on why you feel empty and disillusioned.
It may just be that you have not allowed yourself to express your stories through writing and buried the urge to write with years and years of conditioning and mental clutter.
Are you going to have untold stories or are you going to write them and launch them for the world to discover?
Now over to you! Please let me know in the comments below if this post resonated with you. Which idea is your favorite one and why?
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