Everybody wants to be a writer. I have seen no one who isn’t interested in writing. Because everyone wants to write, many are bemused about where to start. They want to know the best way to learn writing. Few days ago, I met someone who read some of the posts on my blog. He was so enthusiastic and told me: “Shehu, what are the secrets to writing.” To him, there are secrets writers hide from their audience.
Likewise, two days ago, a high school friend of mine called after a long time. At the end of our discussion he said: “Shehu, I visited your blog days ago, and I am impressed by what you do. Though I find it easy to express myself in speech, it’s always difficult for me to write.” He confessed.
This is happening within a week. These and many more are questions I get from friends, family members, colleagues and readers of my blog.
Writing is both difficult and easy. Your perception to it matters and goes a long way in shaping you.
Today, I am revealing the best and only one way to learn writing.Before that, let me make three shocking revelations:
You have no excuses for not writing:
Most at times, whenever you are asked about writing and why you have not started writing. It’s easy to bring up one thousand and one excuses. These excuses may include: Lack of talent, No adequate writing resources, Lack of mentors, Writing is difficult, There’s no time to write etc. While most of these excuses are true, it’s true that even with all these, you will still make excuses.
Peter elbow, while making his submission on this in his book, Writing without Teachers, aptly puts it thus:
People without education say, “If only I had education I could write.” People with education say, “If only I had talent, I could write.” People with education and talent say, “If only I had self-discipline I could write.” People with education, talent and self-discipline – and there are plenty of them who can’t write – say, “If only …” and don’t know what to say next. Of course, you can make excuses for not writing but there are none actually.
Writing is your right:
Yes, you heard me right. It’s your right to write, and it’s only when you write that you can claim your right. Without writing, you’ll lose your right to be right, but when you write you’ll become right.
Abdullahi Muhammed in his book, Your right to write puts it this way:
“A lot of people are so scared to assert their right to write. I was scared too. Very much frightened. How could I call myself a writer? I had no Degree or certificate to show for it. I feared I could be challenged. That I was only pretending. That I was a serial impostor. Maybe you are, too. But in actual fact, you need no certification to write. It’s a right you’ve always had …your birth right. If you write, you’ll be right. Go a step further and author… that’s how to become an authority. Whatever you conceive, and solemnly believe, you can achieve.”
No barriers to Writing:
If there is any profession that gives everybody the freewill to do whatever they want to do, in the best way they can do it, irrespective of their backgrounds, then writing comes first. There is no barrier to becoming a writer irrespective of your discipline. What matters most is your ability to learn how to write and writing always. Many great writers today, never studied Arts or Humanities in College or University. Though studying these related courses is good, but not studying them isn’t a barrier. I love the way Seth Godin puts it: “The biggest challenge is that there are no barriers. If you want to do it, go do it. Ideas worth spreading, spread.” And I say: “If you want to write, just write. Ideas worth writing, write”
Now, you know that:
- No barriers to writing
- Writing is your right
- You have no excuses for not writing.
Then, what’s the best and only way to learn writing.
If I may ask you:
What’s the best way to learn how to walk? Walking, isn’t it?
What’s the best way to learn how to speak? Speaking, right?
What’s the best way to learn how to cook? Cooking, am I correct?
So, the best and only way to learn writing is:
There are no two ways about it.
It is only when you write that you can master the art of writing.
If you read the best of books on writing
Possess the best resources that can aid your writing career
Subscribe to blogs that can make you a better write
Attend writing conferences to equip you better.
Does these actions make you a writer?
The truth about writing is that, if you don’t write, you are not a writer.
So, if you want to learn writing, you need to write.
Stop procrastination. Pick up your pen right now and write.
The first draft might look messy and frightening, but that’s the best way to go. When you write, you learn and master it. But if you fail to write, you can never learn writing. Proficiency isn’t what you need now. You need to start. When you start, you learn and become better.
On a Final Note
Writing is a daunting, time-consuming and lonely task I admit. But if you wish to learn it, you need to start writing. It’s only when you write, that you can be called a writer. When you write, you claim your right. When you author, you become an authority.
Over to you:
What are the fears you have about writing? How has writing made you a better writer? Make your submissions in the comment box.