Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.
― Ray Bradbury
“I Can’t Write.”
Yes, you can. If you can talk, you can write. If you can express yourself in any other medium, you can write. If you can type, operate a pen or a pencil, or string together words and phrases, you can write. But there are two things you might not know to do:
- Trust yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, you won’t write. But that doesn’t mean you can’t write. It only means you haven’t given yourself permission to do it.
- Re-write. There’s no such thing as a perfect first draft — of anything. But that doesn’t mean you can’t write. It only means you don’t trust yourself to commit what you’re thinking to writing. Once you’ve done that, reviewing and editing is no different from changing brush strokes, from chiseling a sculpture, from sanding a piece of wood, burnishing a piece of metal, or otherwise refining an expression of your vision.
“I’m Afraid to Write.”
No, you’re not. You’re afraid of being judged. If you haven’t written before — especially if you think you can’t write — who could blame you? But if you’ve worked artistically or expressively in any other medium, you’ve faced this fear before. And you’ve overcome it. It’s easier the second time. Here’s why:
- Your work in that first medium taught you no one will like everything you do. That’s why boxers say, “Styles make fights.” And it’s why Grandpa O’Brien loved to say, “That’s what makes horse racing.”
- Your work in that first medium taught you to create for yourself. Regardless of the medium in which you work, you’ll never know if what you’re creating is art. Create it anyway. It’s the only way you’ll ever find out.
— Mark O’Brien, “Finding Your Voice” Writing Workshop
Because writing is one of the greatest human goods. Writing teaches us to think; it can bring our minds to birth. And once we’re at home with words, there are few more pleasurable human activities than writing. Writing, aside from speaking, is the most human activity. It expresses like no other substance can. We need to be heard. When we answer why we write, we reveal more about ourselves than we know. It is the intimacy available to so many who have chosen written words to have their say. It is the nature of writers to wonder. We wonder about others and we wonder about ourselves. We even wonder why we write. For most writers, the compulsion to write is so… ineffable. Why do we write? We just do. We desire the stories. We love the words. We are compelled to communicate our wonder with the world. We write because we must.
All the Write Moves
Each of us has a story to share, a mixture of lived experiences—planned and unplanned—that come together and give our existence shape and identity, and each of us can benefit from encouragement without judgment. Whether you’re a new writer seeking to discover your voice, or an experienced writer seeking to hone your craft, this gathering hosted by Mark O’Brien in collaboration with 360° Nation is for you. Bring your curiosity and your wisdom as we gather on the first Monday of every month at 1:00 PM Eastern to freely share “the write stuff”. And when you’re ready to take the plunge, a seat on the Featured Contributors Panel (byline included) for the award-winning BizCatalyst 360° will be yours for the asking.