And, How I Learned to Write with Freedom.
I’m an organizational psychologist. A month ago, my work with a significant client ended. That left me with time on my hands and a hole in my budget. So, I built a plan to use the internet to attract new clients and generate income from online courses and blogging. But, is my writing too dry and academic?
I’ve now read 23 articles on how to write with power and energy. And, it’s working! My writing is clearer, simpler, and stronger. I had no idea improving would be so easy.
I improved in eight areas in three phases:
Phase One: Writing with Freedom
- I write my first drafts without concern for grammar, precision, or anything other than just getting the ideas down. No longer trying to write good sentences, I relax and the flow continues until the ideas come full circle—the sign I’m done.
- Indifferent to correctness, I write with boldness and passion about what moves me and is truth for me. My sense of humor joins up.James Dowd’s “Write with Blood: How to Infuse Passion…” on Medium.comwas important here.
Phase Two: Sanding and Polishing
- I craft the draft with precision, grammar, and structure with a mind toenhance my boldness and energy.
- I eliminate words that do not contribute to my message.
- I get rid of most gerunds, -ing words. The paragraph after this list started with, “Surprising myself, I committed…” Now it reads, “I surprised myself and committed…”
- I eradicate most passive phrases.
- I proofread using an app called ProWritingAid to check my style, grammar, diction, and other issues.
- I proofread further in a different font over and over until I cannot find anything else I want to improve or fix.
Phase Three: Celebrating!
- I exalt in the pleasure of having written well.
- I leave the computer.
- I drink a glass (or two) of wine.
I surprised myself and committed to writing at least one if not two blogs a day: One personal for Inside the Broom Closet. I selected that titlebecause I will put all kinds of things in there—things personal, practical, political, and spiritual. Broom is also my last name. The second blog will be for my professional articles at the Center for Human Systems. I post on Medium and LinkedIn as well and mention them via Facebook and Twitter. The responses I get please me.
My first blog for Inside Broom Closetwas “The Power of Black.” It is an ironic piece about how conflicted we are about that word and the experiences it engenders. Thoroughly enjoyed writing it! Hope you enjoy reading it.
Not having enough to write about was a concern. Turns out I have plenty—my passion for practical spirituality, my political views, my adventures sewing, cycling, scuba diving, and underwater photography. I will write about my personal journey from shy-guy to professionally acclaimed black man. I’ll share my wisdom about the ways and whys we human beings struggle with each other. I’ve surprised myself at how well rounded I am!
Writing used to be a chore. I have two books published and have a third manuscript all but complete. Each took a tremendous amount of discipline to complete. I think I was trying too hard and unwilling to give myself the freedom to write freely. Took the joy right out of it.
Now I look forward to writing each day. I’m excited about putting on paper the ideas that come to me at nine in the evening and three in the morning! Am I looking forward to rewriting with power and passion the fifteen chapters of the manuscript that are moldering away in my computer? Aargh. Double aargh!
I hope you will find my work interesting and compelling. Visit often and offer lots of feedback!