I am closing in on my 2,000th blog post.
I also recently marked my 5-year anniversary of publishing daily.
With all of this writing and publishing online, I’ve learned many lessons and exposed some myths about writing and sharing work online.
One of the biggest myths is that writing and sharing gets easier.
It’s the “practice makes improvement” myth; the idea that the more you do something the easier it is and the better you’ll do it.
It’s also the habit myth, the idea that if you do it enough it becomes a habit.
Like many myths, it’s not entirely false. Some types of writing can become easier with repeated practice.
And some kinds of writing are just hard.
Writing about your experiences; the things that feel really important — this doesn’t seem to get much easier.
If you’re feeling stuck while writing about your personal experience, please know you’re not alone.
I often get stuck while writing about experiences that feel important to share.
Here are 3 tips to keep in mind when you feel stuck writing about your personal experiences.
(1) You may be trying to write too soon
Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing. You may be trying to write about your experience too soon.
It can be hard to write about something while you’re still going through it. In fact, it’s almost impossible to be present to your experience if you’re also trying to write about it at the same time.
That’s because the moment you start to think about what you’ll write, you step out of the experience and become an observer of the experience.
To use a simple example: if you’re at a concert thinking about how you’ll describe the concert, you’re no longer actively participating in the concert. You’ve shifted to a witness role.
Before we can write about our lived experiences we actually need to live them.
(2) You may need more time to process the experience
Just because the core experience is over doesn’t mean you’re ready to write about it.
We need time and space to process and integrate our experiences before we can talk about them and share them with others.
You may need some space to reflect and consider what it is you even want to share.
Without processing and integrating we don’t receive the real lessons from an experience.
(3) You may not know what you want to share
A lot of inner confusion arises when we lack specificity. You may have a general idea of what you want to share, but are you clear on the specifics?
Do you have a specific reason for wanting to share it?
Sometimes you may not know what you want to share. You may need to write through something to figure out what you want to say.
In that case, write write it out with no expectation to publish.
Social media has conditioned us to believe that we must update our statuses immediately.
You don’t need to give into that false urgency.
There’s no need to share an experience the moment that it happens.
Be in your experience, give yourself ample time to process it, and allow yourself to integrate it and write through it until you know what you want to say.