It may seem like the most complicated thing imaginable: thinking a thought and making it come to life. For some, staring at the blank screen in front of them is a nightmare; the writer’s block can make it even worse. There are rules in the written world about how to apply yourself to the community, which can be crippling before the first sentence is even considered. How can we become any sort of writer, much less an original one? For some, they worry about formatting because they may not have a strong grasp of the language. For others, it may stem from concern about being offensive.
The first secret, contrary to popular belief, is allowing the words to flow without inhibition. Stop worrying about what your audience will want: this is for you! Even if you are promised compensatory benefits for your work, ultimately, it will always come down to whether or not you, the creator, can even begin. Once you start putting requirements on what is written, the art form is stunted. You have already put limitations on what you can create, based off what you think the reader wants. Why would you want to do that to yourself?
Thinking for Yourself: Human 101
From the moment we take our first breath, someone is already planning our future for us. Whether it is your parents who have already enrolled you in college before grade school, or your government needing workers for their system, your life has been planned out from day one. Though you may believe you have control, even the laws that bind you to society can prevent you from ever fully expressing yourself. A swat on the bottom for a four-letter-word might change your relationship with language altogether. If you can be punished for speaking without knowing what is being said, what happens when you say something knowing it could be considered rude?
Many of us live in fear of consequences, since from a very young age we are often conditioned to act a certain way. As adults, we see what happens on the news or through word of mouth what happens if you go against authority. Speaking up about how you really feel about a situation, regardless of if you are choosing to agree or disagree with an opinion, can be punishable by death in many countries. If many are terrified to speak our truth to our closest friends and family members, how can we even begin to consider writing down our deepest hopes and dreams?
Relating to Your Audience
There have been many obvious acts of rebellion against government systems across the world. Some are choosing to speak out regardless of fear. Whether it is hiding under a false name or having someone else publish their words, people are being heard. Though censorship is a very real attack against humanity, recently it has become obvious that it is doing little to discourage people from saying what they really believe. Indeed, some have started taking it to the extreme to communicate any opinion they so desire. While it has had some interesting results, many of them have been used to open up the doors globally.
Humans are inherently curious creatures, sometimes as easily distracted by bright lights and shiny devices as any rudimentary being could be. Unfortunately, this has done little to help others when it comes to social interaction. People want to be impressed, surprised, amused, and seduced. What used to work for the masses is rapidly becoming a challenge of how to entertain those who are no longer interested in being enticed. As a species, we are becoming bored with what little we see before us. We are interested in exploring greater options. This is where you, the writer, come in.
Being Authentically You
There are so many rules required for writing an effective article that it can stop you before you start. Many people just want to be heard, but the thought of writing an article to express their feelings can feel daunting. It seems that everybody has an opinion, but some are simply afraid to speak up about it. For others, it can feel like a lot of work to write something down, just to potentially face criticism from others.
Ask yourself what you believe in. What would happen if you were to write something that was authentically you? If you are concerned about judgement and ridicule, or someone telling you that your work isn’t good enough, then your fears are valid. Someone will always find something about you that they don’t like. The secret to overcoming it is to not be afraid of how you think. Easier said than done, of course, but for many, that is the first step.
Think about you for a moment. Maybe look at your outfit for the day. Check out your hairstyle in the mirror. Observe your smile. These are all things that make you who you are. Even if you are in uniform, there is always something about how you carry yourself, how you present yourself, even how you introduce yourself. It isn’t something you can control. It is simply who you are.
The words that you choose when you communicate are also a part of who you are. If you always speak up against the bully, that is your voice. If you hold open the door for an old lady and call her ma’am, that is who you are. Even if you are an inherent prankster with a dry wit that can be quite offensive in the wrong company, that is still all you.
When it comes to writing articles, find a subject that gives you enough passion to want to speak up. Take time to ask yourself why your words matter and then work to convey your message powerfully. Not everybody will relate to your words, but trust me. Right now, there is someone waiting to hear exactly what you are thinking. Only way to find out who, however, is to write it down.