I hate writing! 

Vasco Amaral
Gru hates writing

I’ve always felt I could never express myself in writing. The strict organization of the text, the formal distant tone, the lack of contact and interaction, the pressure of having to get the point across because you only have this "chance" and the horrible infuriating necessity of second guessing yourself are just some of the unpleasant characteristics that, for me, define writing.

I'm considering all types of writing: writing a text message, answering a text message, writing emails, etc. I especially hate writing on social media! It's everything above but times five-hundred. Plus the overwhelming pressure of having to create written content that's exciting, captivating, attention grabbing... And for me, it's an even bigger nightmare writing on my personal profiles. How can I not second guess myself into oblivion while trying to figure out how to communicate with the thousand completely different friends I have there? Especially when seeing each other's posts on social media is the most interaction we have!

You know, I don't really care about social media. I don’t update my photos, I don't make stories and I don't post anything, or when I do I don't like to write anything. It’s not like I don't want to share my life with you all! I do! And I do share when I'm with you! I talk about what’s been going on, what I'm excited about and what we have in common! When I'm with each and everyone of you I immerse myself in the conversation and give you my full attention. Talking with more than one person at a time is already hard, talking with more than one thousand? It’s impossible! Every single one of you is different from the others, so how the hell can I communicate with everyone at the same time while being true to myself and to our relationship?

All of these questions and frustrations increased a lot in the past 4 years. Why?

Well, 4 years ago, after coming back from my Erasmus exchange to Finland, I met Komuhn, a team that specializes in collaboration, openness and sharedness. At the time, they were developing a project that interested me a lot - organizing a TEDx event - but what really got my attention was the way they were doing it. The whole process was open on a Facebook group and anyone could participate and get involved in the project! Needless to say I dove in head first and never turned back. Even though it has been 4 years I've been working this way, I still dread every time I have to write an update or make a proposal.

Since the beginning of this year I've started the process of joining Komuhn (one day I'll tell you that story), and we are trying a new approach on communication. We intend to be more true to ourselves and connect with our community in a more personal and direct way. You can read more about it here: Outgrowing .

This new approach got me all excited, which is weird as hell, and I can't wait to see what I could do if I if I would be able to write unrestrained. Just me talking to you like I would if I was there with you! That’s my number one favorite communication method. It’s real, genuine, and invites participation. And it’s effortless for me, unlike writing.

A wild inspiration appeared that made me jump out of bed and start to write this. It was strange, the words were just flowing out of my fingers. No awkward pauses, no unsureness, no second-guessing… I was just having a conversation with you. It felt good! For a bit. Then the inspiration wore off and those unpleasant characteristics came crawling back. But they were less? Or weaker? I don’t know.

Rereading this and tweaking it, doesn’t feel as hard.  It made me realize that I hate writing, not for the act itself, but for the huge expectations I feel there are when one reads what I write. I hate it because I cannot connect with you the way I want to.  

And I now understand that I hate hating writing even more than I hate writing!

So I'm going to explore writing and what I can do with it. I want to see how much I can unhate writing and maybe even one day love it. I can't, and I don't want to do it alone, so I'm inviting you to participate in this process with me.

It's really simple; I'm coming up with a topic, and we'll debate it in the comments.

Sounds good? Here it goes:

How can we transform the way we write so that it reflects better who we are?

Vasco Amaral

What are you thinking?

Comments (4)

  1. Ana Varela

    When you are writing, typing, do you hear your own voice “speaking”in your head? Because, I do. And as I’m writing, it’s as if I’m talking, to myself, which makes it more fluid to keep writing. Then if, like Mark suggests, you think of a friend, and imagine you are talking to them, I would say, it would make writing feel much easy, plus the text would be very you.

    Of course then comes the struggle of your fingers keeping up with your brain and words, but while talking that can be an issue too. 🤣 But even that, can be integrated in your writing.

    1. Vasco Amaral

      I do! Actually that’s the only way I know how to write. Hear my voice in my head constructing a phrase and then write it. And it’s so weird when I can’t! Because that means that I can’t even say to myself whatever I want to say to others. I just stand in front of the computer, phone or notebook, looking at it with my mind completely blank, trying to construct anything that even remotely resembles a phrase 😅
      And yes, my fingers can’t keep up with my brain. For sure. I can’t even begin to imagine the thousands of times I thought of something to write and as soon as I start I forget, because I was too slow and my brain decided to delete that sentence from my memory.

  2. Mark Ministro

    Hi Kako! Thanks for sharing!
    Two suggestions:
    1) Be yourself, be authentic and share who you are… Which is exactly what you did.
    2) Don’t write for the thousands. Create personas if that helps you to better direct your thoughts. Next time write something for Susana who is a 36 year old primary school teacher. She loves long walks on the beach close to sunset and likes to have a glass of red wine to unwind when she gets home. She might be dating someone at the moment, but it’s all hush, hush so no-one knows for sure… Of course Susana is made up, but if that helps you focus, why not?! Or just write as if your writing for a specific friend. It doesn’t have to please or be directed for everyone, but it does have to come from inside you.
    Take care and hope to read from you soon! 😉

    1. Vasco Amaral

      Hey Mark!
      Thanks for your suggestions!
      I really tried to sound like myself while writing. Actually that’s one of the reasons I hated writing during school. I couldn’t see myself in what I wrote, either in tests, compositions or assignments. The enormous amount of restrictions that were imposed on my writing made me dread every single situation where I had to write anything.
      These last years working on these open projects like TEDxPeniche, Largo and Recycle for Learning helped a lot, since I had to write a bunch of posts, updates and comments, but I still dreaded when I had to do it. And yes, I would spend way longer on it than I should.
      But this felt different. This felt like I was talking to you. Any of you. I didn’t correct my language, I didn’t construct the phrases to sound more like this or that. I just imagined I was talking to one of my many friends that I feel comfortable talking with (you included), and wrote like I was talking in a one on one conversation.
      Thank you so much for your thoughts! They make me think I’m in the right direction 😊