Writing can be so absolute

hand holding sharpie, writing

Once you put it in words, it’s permanent… right?

This is a big stalling-point for many people who are writing. 

They’re afraid that once they write something, they can’t change their mind.  They need to choose one opinion and stick to it.  They can’t take it back.  If their work isn’t perfect, it will be a painful disappointment forever.

Yikes, big stakes.

The way I see it, you don’t have to be absolute to complete your draft or piece of writing.

Especially for emotional, heart-centered people who find that too much rigid and defined structure hinders their creativity.  Or those who feel like they perpetually change their minds.

Completion is how you define it.  When you’re crafting your own written piece, you have the freedom and flexibility to decide what form your piece takes.

Other ways to think about absoluteness in writing…

  • This is but one piece of writing.  You don’t have to make it bear a greater burden than it can serve.  There’s always another story.
  • We are all constantly learning and evolving, changing and growing.  It is a natural process to see things in new lenses with the more experiences you have.  You’re allowed to change your mind.
  • You don’t need to have it all figured out!  You’re human.
  • Sometimes the words just can’t capture all the nuances.  And that’s okay.
  • Trust that the heart will come through. And the reader can read between the lines when necessary.  Absoluteness often arises from over-intellectualizing.

What are you afraid of?

I invite you to acknowledge it for yourself.  This way, the fear or resistance won’t stay in your subconscious and lead to frustration.

Is it around perfectionism?
Not wanting to be seen as indecisive?
Needing to capture all the nuances?
Not wanting to be judged?

Sometimes naming the fear is enough so that it isn’t taking over.  You can find a way through it if you know what it is.

Ways to soften writing that feels too absolute

  1. Use metaphors.  Metaphors speak to our creative brains, and this can evoke many connections when it feels like the words are too black and white.
  2. Take the reader on a journey instead of telling just the solution.  Describe the story.  
  3. Add a disclaimer or caution.  For instance, that this is written in 2022 and reflects your views at this time, and these views may change in the future.  
  4. Write to an audience.  Sometimes you’re trying to make your writing serve multiple purposes, so getting to one core thread is too hard; it’s too hard to tie all your ideas together.  Picking an audience to write to means you might say one thing to them that you may say differently to another audience.  
  5. Name valid hesitations or concerns directly in the writing. Especially if these are coming from your intuition saying something is off here.

Alternate solutions when you’re afraid of being too absolute in your writing

Consider making a blog or a website to hold your writing.  These are creative forms that aren’t expected to be “perfect” and can be changed at anytime, unlike a traditional, physical book. 

This may satisfy your creative calling.  Or at the very least be a step to get comfortable with the evolution of your ideas before putting it into the form of a book.  Sometimes you just need a few iterations for it to feel good.  Not every piece of writing has to be a book, or has to be published professionally to serve its purpose.