The secret to good writing, like anything else, is practice. The more you do it, the better you become at it. You find your favorite words and develop new tricks. You create images no one has experienced before, and you refine them by creating them over and over again.
It’s not a question if you should write, but when you should write. The answer is anytime you can. The more you practice, the better you get, so you should always be practicing. That’s why every writer needs to carry a journal.
I know it feels silly. People look at you scribbling into your little moleskin and giggle. Are you writing a diary entry? You must be a childish fool. But who cares if you are? Whether you’re brainstorming for your next story or writing to your diary, practice is practice. If that bit of practice is all you need to become the next greatest writer, then screw them!
Besides, you never know when inspiration will strike. It’s easy to say you’ll remember an idea, but it’s hard to do. If you have a journal on you, then you don’t need to worry about remembering. Just write it down.
And I’ll let you in on a secret: if you take out a journal in a restaurant, your service will immediately improve. You may simply be writing a grocery list, but no one needs to know the truth. To the waiters you look like a food critic. Stare at them for a second, shake your head, and then jot something down in the journal. Now the pressure is on. They can’t look bad in front of the food critic. I guess the journal isn’t just a writer’s best friend, but also a diner’s best friend too.
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