16 Mar My dysgraphia
It’s time to write Sivukonttori’s newsletter and I’m getting nowhere with it. The cursor blinks alone on the empty screen and I’m frustrated. Same shitty situation, different week.
I feel like I imagine how a dysgraphic person feels: thinking I’m writing a good and compelling text, something that attracts our readers to check out the blog posts of that week, and I feel like this time around I’ve done a good job. Full of pride I show the text to a team member but the only feedback I get is that my attempt to be intriguing and tempting has turned out naive and full of cliches.
It’s like all the a’s that I typed in suddenly have turned to g’s even though I’m certain I hit a.
I keep on wondering how is it possible that I–an independent and open minded adult who is used to expressing herself, and good in getting people to understand and agree with my point of view–write like a childish left wing teenager or a granny suffering from dementia, quoting tacky love poems from the 70’s.
Equally often I wonder why it is me who is writing our newsletters. But there’s the thing: I write them to learn.
Our team is a marvellous variation of different skills. Some of us are marketing and sales orientated, some of us good with images and videos, and some of us skilled in copy-writing and editing. That is where my strength lies. I’m good with analysis and argumentation but also in painting pictures with words and creating feelings. I can write an interesting story that increases the reader’s understanding and knowledge of a client’s company or the topic at hand, and I can write a story that is so impassioned it makes you feel like I’m writing about you, to you.
But what I struggle with is something funny, short and selling.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m poor in something. On the contrary – admitting it gives me an opportunity to learn something I wouldn’t otherwise have known and a chance to dig deeper into the pit of unknown that I’ve fallen in.
Freelancer Colette Rice from American Artists and Inc. writes about that unknown area. “That icky, uncomfortable place is the soil from which great things grow”. And that’s why those moments are not just something to get through but something that you have to run head first into.
Simply put this is the time and the place where you just have to do it. Easily said but how to actually execute?
Talking yourself into just doing it and sticking to it is a matter of practice. I myself learned this quite unexpectedly and unawares when a friend got seriously depressed. As self remedy he read through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. To show my support I did the same.
A crucial part of the books and their tasks is to write morning pages, three A4s of handwritten thoughts first thing after you wake up. As difficult as it was, I had to write, and the more I wrote, the easier it got. So I kept on writing, even till this day.
Learning to just do it took me twelve weeks. For me it’s like riding a bicycle: once you learn it, you’ll never forget it.
I’ve now written 13 newsletters and I haven’t given in. By no means am I good at it yet but I’m getting there. And the last two have been a triumph compared to what I did earlier! More and more of what I write ends up in the final version of the newsletters, and week by week I feel less like a granny and more like writer who is able to capture the audience’s interest.