I want to be a good writer. I can be a good writer.

I spend a lot of time thinking in writing. I think about what I want to say, how beautiful it was on that day, how this crazy stuff I’m seeing right now would make a good blog post, or how this feeling is actually a poem.

But when I sit down to write, my creativity disappears and my words become mechanical. For example, see my recent posts about cycling. My travel has given me the privilege of meeting some wonderful characters and having many special experiences. Each is a possible story, and yet when I actually write them down, it reads a robot’s diary.

There is no soul in my writing. Is this because I have no soul?

No. My soul is pretty cool. I have an alternate explanation.

Theory: My writing lacks soul because I don’t write well.

I used to write well. Not well in a universally admired way, but well in the sense that my writing brought me joy. That was about 15 years ago, and somewhere along the way, I lost this spark, but retained the memory of how I felt when I wrote.

Theory: I don’t write well because I don’t write regularly.

Countless hours of reading what other people say about writing – including my amazing novelist friend Amrita Mahale – have brought me to the conclusion that writing is an art and a skill. A skill that has to learnt, evaluated, practiced, and honed. A skill that has to be tended to with love and care.

Maybe some people are born with a talent for great writing, but even they have to write regularly.

I know this is not breaking news, but I feel like I have to put it down here, so that I can try for the 1000th time to make writing a regular part of my life.

Manifesto

I will write regularly.

I will start small (half an hour blocks of time a few times a week).

I will evaluate my writing and constantly strive to improve.

I will ask for feedback from friends.

I will try and publish things when I am ready.

I will be kind to my writing.

Most of all, I will be creative, even if I am unable to bridge the taste gap.

To Be Continued…