Writing the Wrong

For the past 8 years, I’ve had a real lukewarm response to writing. Some people talk about having a love/hate relationship. Mine’s been more hate/hate.

With the way I’ve turned to other media (i.e. distracting myself with podcasts), it’s weird to think it wasn’t always like that. I really did like writing before. Hell, I liked it so much that I minored– and for a minute, thought about double majoring– in it. Guys, I liked writing so much I tried to run a monthly writing contest modeled after the music contest Dwelling of Duels.

So what changed? What’s the significance of that 8 year mark?

Well, 2009 was the year I graduated and started my life in Japan. I’ve shared plenty of stories about the growth that provided. But, I guess that sort of nostalgic reminiscing blinded me to how it warped my writing.

I’d blog to keep people updated. Then, it shifted to teaching (because I was a teacher, duh). And now, a big bulk of my posts are basically summaries of lesson notes.

All of this is information heavy. In other words, it’s not fun. You could never, ever, ever associate fun with the writing I do now.

No wonder I hate it. I can read a lot of non-fiction, but that’s not what I like to write. I loved making shit up. Fiction was king. I could draw from real-life experiences, of course. Sometimes the inspirations of my tales would be blatantly obvious, but that’s still a key difference.

Writing to educate isn’t a problem necessarily, but writing with the sole focus to inform comes across like a lame lecture.

Informative, perhaps. Helpful, I hope. But when you deliver material in that way, it’s a drag, man. And if I’m not having fun with it, how could that not have an influence on the readers.

I look at my peers: poets, screenwriters, editors, and wordsmiths. They’re in their element. They enjoy what they do. I think even on my best day, they’d still kick my ass.

Back when I was in school, looking at my peers could be a downer. It’d be too easy to notice the gap in skills. And again, that will forever ring true to this day.

The only difference is back then I didn’t care. When I wasn’t poetic enough, I’d craft realistic dialogue. When I didn’t have the most beautiful way to describe the scenery, I’d create a crazy cliffhanger. When I didn’t know what to write, I’d still be able to come up with plot twist after plot twist after plot twist.

And that, wow, that was damn good fun. Even if I was scared at being inept and criticized, I’d be happy to rework it because the material itself was fun. It’s the total opposite of today when I write because “I guess I should” or I hit “publish”  because I’m giving up on a post.

I now recognize that my lack of enthusiasm came from writing the wrong things.

I’m real excited to write again! No more ham-fisted lessons. Time to get wacky.


Published by Jon Dao

Formerly, the Conversation Coach

2 thoughts on “Writing the Wrong

    1. It sounds so obvious, but it’s true! And, it’s not like I didn’t care about what I’ve written over the past few years, but there’s a noticeable difference when it’s something you go nuts over– even if you’re in the minority.

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