Getting better at writing

Posted on March 6, 2015

When you are publishing a blog, the writing may not be the easiest thing to do. This is more true when you are not writing in your mother tongue. You may have an idea, and some things to say on it, but you maybe don’t have the right words to express them in the best way.

This is a huge deal breaker, because mastering the language that you’re speaking in is what makes your text stand-up compared to the others. So you’re discouraged. You stop elaborating your ideas, and you end up not thinking about them at all. This is bad, because, then, you have nothing to publish on the website that you spend so many hours to make and polish, and you stop thinking about the things that you deal with everyday. You’re not so smart anymore.

You can’t just make insightful comments and analysis about complex topics on day one, and do this every day, 5 days a week. To be able to do these things, and to be relevant, you have to practice. To reach the level of someone like Ben Thompson, who succeeds to make a 10$ monthly subscription to his daily analysis on tech topics a huge bargain, you need to have some background, some practice. You need to know how all of those things works now to be able to predict on how they will work in the future.

All of this make me rethink how I work and how I write on the Internet. Because I’m too ambitious, and want to tackle complex topics, I find myself stuck when writing about them. For instance, after hearing Myke Hurley’s new series “Behind the App” on, I tried to write about ads in podcasts; because I thought that they didn’t work very well on this particular new show. But because I had to clearly explain my point of view to be taken seriously (and to not hurt the team, because I love what they are doing), and didn’t managed to get something satisfying enough, I didn’t published anything at all, even the arguments that I had and that I thought were good. And it wasn’t the first time that it happened.

This has consequences on other things. After loving to write on Day One or my Field Notes about my day, or what happened during the weekend, I lost this joy, and I found myself not writing anything at all during several weeks, even when I had more time of doing so. And after saying that you needed practice to write good stories, you see how preoccupying this is.

So I need to be less ambitious. Write less about more topics. Going to the point more quickly. Improving myself. Maybe not being famous at all can be helpful, and can make my blog more of a playground, an experimental lab, where I can try new things, make some mistakes, learn new things and be more forgetful at me.

This is why you’ve seen some pictures decorating this post. I am a newbie when it comes to photography (as I am with writing), but since I have at my disposal my dad’s DSLR (a Nikon D5200, if you’re asking, not my choice), I can use it to learn and try new things, and make your experience of reading on the website more interesting, like on The Newsprint, Tools & Toys, …