On noticing, self-authorisation, and writing for yourself

Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings introduced me to the amazing Verlyn Klinkenborg. His book “Several Short Sentences About Writing” is a modern masterpiece and a must-read for marketers and writers alike. I’m re-reading the book this week and couldn’t help but share two compelling ideas.

Here’s Klinkenborg on the reasons why people to write for themselves. I would precede each of the questions with “to explore…” or “to reflect on…”

  1. What you’ve been taught.
  2. What you assume is true because you’ve heard it repeated by others.
  3. What you feel, no matter how subtle.
  4. What you don’t know.
  5. What you learn from your own experience.

These are the ways we know nearly everything about the world around us.

And here’s another one on noticing things, forming new perceptions, and authorizing yourself to notice things. For best results, read this a dozen times at least:

“If you notice something, it’s because it’s important.

But what you notice depends on what you allow yourself to notice.

And that depends on what you feel authorized, permitted to notice in a world where we’re trained to disregard our perceptions.

Who’s going to give you the authority to feel that what you notice is important?

It will have to be you.

The authority you feel has a great deal to do with how you write and what you write.

With your ability to pay attention to the shape and meaning of your own thoughts.

And the value of your own perceptions.

Being a writer is an act of perpetual self-authorization.

No matter who you are.

Only you can authorize yourself.

You do that by writing well, by constant discovery.

No one else can authorize you.

No one.

This doesn’t happen overnight.

It’s as gradual as the improvement in your writing.

H/T: Rohan from ALearningADay.blog

I couldn’t have expressed why I write my myself more beautifully than what you just read. And now you know why I’m such a huge proponent of writing daily, even if it’s an email to a friend or a bunch of friends, or heck, even your email list!

Take them on a ride to your journey of discovering new things about yourself and the world that you live in. Noticing, self-authorizing, and sharing your new perceptions is a powerful exercise in self-discovery. Simple but highly underrated.

What did you notice today?

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