Dear friend,

Storytelling has always been something I’ve been drawn to.

When I was little, it took the form of dress up and pretend in the backyard or basement of my childhood home.

I got a little older and it looked like the drawings I made in all of my sketchbooks or the doodles in the corners of my notebooks.

Now I write stories on my laptop.

The act of writing stories itself can be a source of inspiration.

I’ve met a lot of people who hear that I am a writer and tell me, “I could never write a book. I’m just not talented like that.”

Writing and telling stories is an acquired skill that takes time and practice to grow. (I wrote an article about talent versus skill that you can read here.)

Even if you’re goal isn’t to get published (which only about 0.5% of people who want to write a book that gets published actually get published), writing helps your brain practice looking for stories and inspiration in unlikely places.

The first novel I tried to write was inspired by a sentence I wrote in a moment of boredom. I didn’t finish it, but it was the catalyst I needed to pursue writing as a career.

Many people use journaling to help them organize their thoughts. This routine helps create both analytical reasoning and creative thinking processes along with helping to process difficult emotions.

Like completing any task, when you write a poem, a short story, or a journal entry, your brain releases dopamine and serotonin into your system. This makes you feel good about finishing the project.

Completing one project means you are more likely to start and finish another one. That’s why I recommend starting with small projects that you can complete in a short period of time.

Write something.

Take out a piece of paper and write one sentence about why a fisherman would be happy, without using the words “fisherman” or “happy.”

Do the same for another sentence about why a fisherman would be sad.

For the last one, write about why a fisherman would be angry.

When you are done, read it and say “good job” out loud. You just completed a writing project in just three sentences.

You don’t have to share this with anybody unless you want to. This is just for you.

How do you feel about writing? Did writing about a fisherman get you thinking about what else you could write about or do?

Sincerely,

R. J. Catlin