The One Writing Lesson That Matters Above All Else

2 min read

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The one writing lesson that matters above all else.
I learned how to ride a bike two years ago. Turned out it was surprisingly easy to learn, even as a 30-something grown adult who’s not particularly active or fit.

There was no trick to it or best practices. All I needed to do was ride the fucking bike.

Here’s how it happened:

  • Because I was too embarrassed to practice in my neighborhood and I didn’t even understand how to start pedaling, I had signed up for an adult biking class.
  • Once I got there, turned out this 30-something me was the youngest in that class… like, wtf.
  • The 1.5-hour class got me pedaling alright.
  • Because I could now pedal, I decided to practice in my neighborhood. I took out the used bike I had purchased off Craigslist for $150 the next morning, and after almost 25 minutes, I was able to pedal myself for about 7 feet or so.
  • Then the next day I went about 15 feet or so.
  • Then on the third day, I biked two whole blocks! Back and forth!
  • Two weeks later I biked to the grocery store 1.2 miles away. I did get off and push my bike in some parts because my neighborhood isn’t totally flat and even a small include kills my thighs (told you, I’m neither active nor fit) but it was a doable endeavor, albeit a bit silly at times from the onlooker’s perspective.

That’s how I learned to bike.

Writing, turns out, is much the same.

You just have to do it. The beginning will be the rockiest, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. In fact, your improvement will likely be exponential as long as you don’t stop; as was the case with my biking.

You can learn the rules, as you should. Even bikers have to abide by traffic rules. But rules do not make a biker, nor do they make a writer.

Rules are there to make our lives easier. You have to use the right words, the right punctuation, and the correct sentence structure to make heads or tails of your writing to your readers. Other, less restrictive rules like sentence length or paragraph length may apply too, depending on how or where your writing is being delivered and to whom.

But at the end of the day, the only way to make it as a writer, to grow, and to be read, is by actually writing and putting your words in front of an audience.

So, keep writing, and the chops shall follow 🙂

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