A number of our writing group members dabble in (or devote a good bit of time) to writing personal essays. This is a great way to get your own writing jump-started, whether you hope to publish that work or not. After all, the blank journal page simply asks you about your day.
One of the reasons many coaches recommend keeping a journal is, it gets you writing.
When I was a songwriter, I used to struggle incessantly with a single song. Then I would become discouraged, thinking “maybe I’m not a songwriter after all”. But once I had over one hundred songs written (over many years), I finally became comfortable with an important concept. During my self doubts I could still claim to be a songwriter. I just wasn’t a good songwriter. Yet.
Writing is writing is writing.
When you keep a journal (or a diary); you’re writing. When you write a letter to a friend; you’re writing. When you write a silly poem, an outline for a children’s book, or a short bit of fiction; you’re writing.
I learned that I am a writer because I write. All my discouragement went out the window. After all, no one is going to read what I write unless I release it into the wild myself. Get comfortable with the idea that the majority of what you write will never be read. It’s called the practice of writing.
The local Erie Library System has some very good books on writing. One that I’m working through now is Writing From Personal Experience by Nancy Davidoff Kelton. I’ve only skimmed it so far, but it seems to be an excellent resource for guidance and motivation to get the reader set down, ready to write.
Carve out time to read. Carve out time to write. Bring copies of your 1st drafts and rough ideas to the writing group. You’ll get valuable feedback from your peers. It’s free and at the same time, priceless.