How to Use Primary School Skills to Effortlessly Craft Your Next Story
Writer’s block is an understatement. For the second time in my life, I’d fallen out of love with writing. Storytelling, really, because I’ve always loved to tell a good story. The one skill university took instead of teaching. That was the first time I fell out of love. All the forced writing made me forget how to write for myself or that writing could be fun.
The second time I fell out of love with the craft was here on Medium. In recent months, the stats got to me. I used to celebrate a handful of views and a penny of earnings. I’d made money writing online. My first Stripe payment of only a few cents blew my mind. I stopped writing for myself and began writing for money. Again, I took the fun right out of it, and when my views declined, I began to complicate my craft.
I know this is far from the case for everyone, but writing comes naturally to me most of the time. I wrote most of my university papers without creating an outline. Unless the instructor chose the topic for me, I came up with an idea, typed a few keywords into the library’s search bar, and I was off to the races. I often started without deciding which side of the argument I wanted to support. The less I knew about a topic, the better. I loved collecting all my research, freewriting, and seeing where I’d end up. Then I’d organize and rearrange from there. Crafting an essay was like magic until it wasn’t.
My process for writing on Medium was similar. Idea, brief research, and shortly after, a thousand or so words relevant to my original idea. Sometimes, when passion took hold, I’d publish barely edited, stream-of-consciousness writing. Rarely did I think about structure beforehand. I’d write in blocks without a beginning or start at the end and figure out how to get there. I guess what I’m trying to say is there wasn’t a method; I’d just write.
When I started looking at the stats, I forgot about the feeling writing gave me and turned my attention to writing more, writing what I thought the audience wanted. I started writing for the dollar, and my numbers only got worse.