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From Beginner’s Block to a Starting Point
Stop waiting for inspiration to come and get better
In June 2021, I made one decision that changed my life: I started writing online. At that very moment, my intellectual life improved substantially; therefore, my whole life improved. I felt incredibly powerful as I realized I could generate ideas and knowledge by writing.
Since then, my experience as an online writer has felt like being trapped on a moving roller coaster. When an idea comes, I feel unbeatable and as if this is the ride of my life, whereas when nothing is “good enough to write about,” I regret getting on board and ask myself why to bother with it; I have nothing to tell.
While going through a whole month with no new ideas and content, I was finally enlightened by the fact that I have a Beginner Block. In other words, I was waiting for inspiration to come instead of writing for the sake of practicing. (Which leads to more ideas, which leads to more practice, which leads to improvement!) In my case, I have been missing the point of writing: Getting better.
Becoming Aware Of Self-Sabotage
As days passed and no writing was done on my part, an excuse invaded my mind: I don’t have a good enough idea; I’ll wait.
What would have been of Ernest Hemingway if he waited for inspiration instead of “writing every morning as soon after first light as possible”? Or of Haruki Murakami, if he didn’t get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours every day without variation?
E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, said it clearly: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper”.
You only get good if you repeatedly do something. And that process can be accelerated by acknowledging your position, where you want to get, and the steps to get there.
You need awareness to turn your writer’s block into a starting point.
Own the Beginner State
Beginners do not have the privilege of waiting for the perfect idea. For the perfect moment. Even for the circumstances to perform. If they want it enough, they perform. And consequently, get better.
When you are a beginner, you have to own that state. In my case, not accepting it was the behavior that led me to my writing drought. I am at the starting line of the road of writing experience. I will post not-good-enough articles. I have posted not-good-enough articles. And that’s okay. The only way to get better is to practice.
So here is a reminder for myself: Don’t be too harsh on your writing. You are in the starting line. Don’t compare yourself with experienced writers but learn from them. They have been where you are now. The only way to move forward in this path is to write.
Leave behind the beginner’s block and shift your expectations for those of the experienced: You have to write not-good-enough pieces and polish your abilities to write good pieces. You have to be able to walk for you to run. So start writing, and you will end up… well, writing better.
Yes, I am a beginner. But I’m letting beginner’s block behind. That’s how you unlock a new level. That’s how you improve.