Writing every day: Write with your heart

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I strongly believe everyone should write, keep a daily journal where they jot down their thoughts.

Write for yourself.

Write with your heart.

As Sean Connery said in Finding Forrester:

“You write your first draft with your heart, and you rewrite with your head.”

When you write for yourself, even on a public blog, you will not feel the pressure to impress.

Writing everyday clarifies your thoughts. It’s a form of release, detox.

When you are stressed and write about it, you feel a weight off your shoulders.

When I started blogging seven years ago, I was going through a difficult period, and I needed an outlet to vent and rant. Once I got the hang of how wordpress works, I just got addicted to writing.

I followed George Orwell’s Six Rules for Writing. After a while I decided to come up with my my own rules.

Here are Orwell’s rules, edited:

1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. You don’t need cliches.

2. Never use a long word where a short one will do. Avoid long words.

3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

4. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Write in the now.

5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. When in doubt, say it clearly.

6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. Better to be interesting than to follow these rules.

The reason business writing is horrible is that people are afraid.

Afraid to say what they mean, because they might be criticized for it.

Afraid to be misunderstood, to be accused of saying what they didn’t mean, because they might be criticized for it.

Orwell was on the right track.

Just say it.

Say it clearly.

Say it now.

Say it without fear of being criticized and say it without being boring.

If the goal is no feedback, then say nothing. Don’t write the memo.

If the goal is to communicate, then say what you mean.

My best tip is this:

Buy a cheap digital recorder. Say what you want to say, as if the person you seek to persuade is standing there, listening. Then type that up. Simplify. Send.

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