How Consistency And Persistence Helped Me Improve My Writing Skills
Writing was never something that I expected to have a passion for. It was only in recent years that I finally understood the true meaning of passion, and why I chose to pursue writing with consistency and persistence at the frontier of it.
1. I started writing the simple things first.
My writing journey started at the age of 16 when I brought along my first journal on a family trip to Bangkok, Thailand. I started off by writing down colours and short descriptions of the sceneries that I saw as I passed by buildings and pavement roads. Throughout the journey, I realized that I had written down as much as a full-page essay since I had written down everything from the grass to the sky. Even on the airplane back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I wrote down my feelings and the experiences I had from the trip.
After that trip, I brought my journal with me everywhere I went, and I mean, everywhere. I brought it to school and wrote down random things in between classes. It was also with me during my trip back to my mother’s hometown in Sabah. I wrote down everything I saw, even the restaurants that my aunts and uncles brought us to. My very first journal was completely filled after 2 years of constant random writings with no context. It became a habit that I formed.
2. Embarking on the journey of creative journaling.
Fast forward to 2018, as I entered college, I found out about creative and bullet journaling through Instagram and Youtube. Once I started to learn about the online creative journaling community, it completely opened my eyes to a whole new world. I began to invest in this hobby more so that it would become my own special space. After purchasing plenty of journaling materials, my journey of creative journaling began.
I would write down my thoughts and ideas throughout the days, and sometimes random story ideas too. Hence, my writing slowly evolved into something more solid and contextual to the mind, rather than just random blabbers of words and sentences. When paired with reading novels and e-books, I learned the different techniques of creative writing, and it broadened my vocabulary.
However, as time went on, my fire for journaling started fading. Days of creative block started to turn into weeks. I would lose my temper whenever I was faced with a lack of ideas. Writing started to become a task rather than an escape and a provider of comfort. I felt obligated to write and not because I wanted to. So, I stopped.
3. Remembering why I started and reigniting the fire.
My journal was left aside, my journaling materials were stored away, and I even stopped reading. My creative streak completely shut down and I focused instead on college. Then, in 2020, the pandemic hit us and I was stuck at home since March. I was bored out of my wits and literally had nothing to do. Or so I thought. I found the journal that I had stored away a year ago in my cupboard, and I read it and I was utterly shocked by my own consistency of filling in the pages almost every week. I couldn’t believe my own eyes as I read the short stories and random ideas that I wrote down myself. Then, I thought to myself, if I could write this well around a year ago, why can’t I do it now? So, I began journaling again.
I started to write down longer stories that came to mind after carefully planning them. I rewrote my old stories to make them sound better and less cringe-y. On top of that, I also learned to write more personally by letting myself and my thoughts run free.
4. Staying consistent in my writing.
Fast-forward to 2021, I started my own blog and learned more about the technicalities of writing. I even consistently joined a book club with Crunch to encourage myself to read more. Not only did I start actually reading more, but I also learned how to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people, which was a challenge for me in the past as I am introverted.
Most importantly, I learned that consistency and persistence does not mean doing something every day or hour but sticking to your own schedule and understanding that when you do something, you need to put in your all. In my case, I don’t write every day or week. However, when I do write, I make sure that I put my heart and soul into writing my masterpiece, no matter the length. I believe that you need to write with a conscious mind and that accurately conveying a message requires careful planning of words and sentences. Slowly and eventually, the passion for journaling reignited itself in me. Now, I update my journal every other week.
Lastly, from one aspiring writer to another, I want to remind you to take a break when you need to. Especially when you hit writer’s block and lack the motivation to continue. Above all, if writing is your passion, you need to understand the difference between writing for comfort and writing for work, because once you feel obligated to write and not because you truly want to, you need to take a step back and remind yourself why you started in the first place.