Writing to Remember

Writing, and writers block especially, are based on the idea that you are creating something. The truth is you are simply remembering, and that will happen naturally if you simply show up and start writing.

Any adult has had enough life experiences to fill multiple books. They only need to sit down and start writing and those long lost ideas and stories will come forward, at least that is what I am discovering in writing my first solo book.

How you organize for your writing will vary. Some people insist on detailed outlines while the rest of us prefer to create a structure and let   the final structure flow from the writing. I’m reminded of the line from the film The Social Network in which Sean Parker comments to Mark Zuckerberg, “You don’t what it is yet.”

That sums up my approach to writing, one that I’ve come to learn others share. To find out what this thing is you only have to show up, have a sense of where you are going, and then trust the writer – that’s you.

There is No Writers Block

There are two reasons people believe they have writers block. The first is they doubt themselves. You must have the confidence that your writing will flow and lead somewhere, and it will do exactly that when you least expect it.

My approach is to write to a question or a couple of meaningful sentences. This is only to get started. Where is goes from there is a discovery of is a combination of something remembered that comes alive in its new context.

The second reason for writers block is the idea that you are creating something brand new – you aren’t.  Human beings have experiences every day. It’s the intersection of them with different places and timelines that freshens and shapes them into something new.

Would you like another idea?  Try occasionally listening to music from your past and let it transport your mind and memory across time and to different places. It’s a great way to bring ideas forward.

Give yourself a break. Trust that your ideas are in there somewhere. Then unlock them by engaging with your writing process.

Writing for Business Lessons

Consider that much of the wisdom that you have acquired was the result of overcoming challenges, some of which were painful. Now that the memory of the pain has passed, the value of those lessons can be more readily applied to your business.

Having founded and sold a couple of successful business, I can assure you I would do a few things differently if I could.  I know that from looking back with a clear mind and no emotional attachments – and remembering.

When you are close to and emotionally involved with something like a small business it can be difficult to be objective.

Consider writing about some of your past or current challenges and you may discover the answers are right there for you – they just need to be unlocked. I’ve often used this blog to write about business circumstances where I’m trying to get more clarity. It works.

Do you need to improve your business process, or is the problem a matter of better execution? Take the time to write about it and you’ll most likely uncover solutions from your years of hard work that are now ready to be applied.

Your business and mine are constantly evolving. What was right for us 6 months ago may not be relevant much longer.

Use your blog as a laboratory. Test new and old ideas alike and share with your community. You don’t have to create a thing.

Just write to remember.

What are the essential components of your writing process?   

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

Until next time, Jeff

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  1. Good one Jeff! I really liked this post. So many people get caught up in the process of writing (and often procrastinate or neglect it altogether). Whatever one’s approach, I think getting down on paper (or on a computer) makes the issue more clear and the solution even clearer.

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Martha – Hey, thanks for stopping by and your kind words. I raise my hand as one who is guilty of procrastinating – at least with the book I’m working on.

      Blogging feels like a sprint to me and it’s easy to knock these out without too many mistakes, but writing this book has taught me to keep writing and eventually the pretty cool ideas pop up out of nowhere.

      In fact, I’ve learned to trust that more when I’m speaking as well.

      Once you get through that door there is no turning back. This much I know, the 2nd book will be a lot easier!

  2. And, as I’m sure you’re finding out, the real writing happens when you go through that first or second draft with your editor’s hat on.

    Many years ago, when I was teaching high school kids how to write, I would tell parents was to encourage their kids to sign up for poetry writing workshops – It wouldn’t matter if their kids wrote really bad poems – what poetry does for prose writing is to give the writer an appreciation for the power of individual words on a page; poetry writing literally “cleans up” your prose!

    • Jeff Korhan says:

      Kathy – I’ve done some poetry and had some of it published You are reminding me how much work it is. Though, when it is finished it is a work or art – at least to the writer.

      No question about the editing. I’m averaging 3 passes on each chapter – with one taking a grueling 5. Problem is the deadline is imminent and I don’t quite have the time for that.

      What has been helping is adding more detail to my outline on the first edit. That seems to be sharpening the focus and drawing out the anecdotes or stories that make a difference.

      Thanks for the pointers 🙂

  3. I should recommend your blog post about Writing to Remember to my friends.

  4. Thanks for the good articles! This the truth is is an leisure account. I am going to await some more wonderful operate from the side Thank you for a real good job!


  1. […] A quiet mind allows you to move beyond thought to the place where we all create, which is the space between our thoughts, and that’s a good place to be if you are a writer. […]