WWA #2: On writing for your Soul

Help others by writing for your self.

Heyyy, Its lesson 2! How did you find last week’s lesson? If you missed it, here’s the link so you can catch up with the group.

You don’t know how much your writing will help people. You can get scary good and impact one person or a million in your lifetime. You won’t always know this though, so you have to learn to work and work without the need for applause or feedback. Shall we?

Writing Lesson of the Week:

So in the month of May, I did this writing challenge for two weeks, where I wrote a short article every day. I was averaging about 30 reads and for a new writer that wasn't bad, I guess. 

But Something happened on the 9th day.

I wrote this piece on how "our actions don’t align with our desires". And it blew up in my small space! Views skyrocketed to over 100. People were sharing it on twitter and that felt really good.

The next article resonated with people as well with a higher number of views and so did the next one! Yo, I felt like Shakespeare man. You couldn't stop my train.  Until... 

I wrote another one. Now, this is my favourite article of all time, because I enjoyed writing it. I still go back and laugh when I read it because it's my whole life on pixels.  I shared it and expected the same rave reviews. Crip, crip, crip, nothing. 

I went mad! I had failed. How could my best not blow up as well?

“Expectations are resentments under construction.” In truth, they are one of the surest fire ways to suck the creative joy out of our lives and work. — Anne Lamott

Here's a daunting statistic for you. If you write 100 articles, about 80 of them may be forgettable and about 20 will be globally relevant and evergreen.

This is a reality you (and I) have to be prepared for. Why?

If you don't write the 80, you'll never get the 20. We should be mentally ready to keep writing with the possibility of limited success. 


The two principles I live by and you can embrace.

1. Write for your soul. 2. Edit ruthlessly for readers. 

This applies to all forms of writing, even technical. Create that user manual for yourself and then edit it so others can use it.

The way to help someone through your writing is to write for yourself first. Write from your pain FOR your pain. Write from your joy FOR your joy. Write from your knowledge FOR your expertise. 

Selflessness in writing is first self-centered.

You first — Then others. 

Share Writing with AO

Challenge of the week: You've been paying attention, so you have some stories to tell. Now write the very best piece you can and do this one thing. Keep it to yourself. Don't even share it with me. Don't share it with anyone. Learn the art of living without applause.

Writing Prompts
1. What change do I want to see in the world?
2. A letter to your future self
3. A "how-to" on something you're knowledgeable about

Quote I’m inspired by:

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
—Cyril Connolly

Articles you should read: The weight of Expectation and Write for Yourself

I’d love to hear from you! Tell me what you’re thinking about, working on or struggling with. Just reply to this email or find me on Twitter.

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