Migrating writing into my life

Had a great conversation with my friend who works as a professional writer and editor.
It wasn’t supposed to be questions about writing – I was thinking of asking about starting one’s own business until last night when I made the appointment, but by the time we sat together in a coffee shop today, I was pretty much obsessed with one question – what it is like to be a professional writer?
It’s not like I want to make living out of writing right now, although that won’t be bad. Rather, something told me that writing is going to be an important part of my life and I need to start training now.
He told me that writing professionally is like sitting in the driver’s seat when you’re in a car. Reading is like sitting in the passenger’s seat, watching the scenary goes by. That might be a good analogy – just because you enjoy sitting in a car doesn’t mean you have fun driving it.
I have been thinking about writing for a long time, maybe years. No doubt I love to read, but does it make me good as a writer? Most of the times as soon as I start dubious like that I stopped thinking about it. Sometimes I felt a sudden rush of putting my thoughts into words strong enough to put that dubious thoght aside but never want much furthur. Almost all the time I find there is NOTHING inside me which I can put out. Too annoyed by feeling the emptiness of my soul, I go to bed and in the next morning that “rush” is gone.
Now I have started writing my blog and there is one thing I found out – actually there might be quite a lot of things which I would like to express, but in the past I was waiting too much for the epiphany, which ended up in going nowhere. I needed to start writing something, and probably more important – to be true to myself when writing. I guess that was one more thing which was missing in the past. Maybe I was too intimidated against expressing my inner thoughts. I still am, but I am getting more open with sharing my emotion and thoughts these days. And it is funny, I feel this two contradicting personality co-existing inside me, one who is very ashamed of expressing myself and the other one who is willing to show off what I wrote.
He also told me there are three skills I have to acquire to become a good writer. Knowledge, writing skill, and vocabulary. The first one could be acquired through my life experience, the second one through reading good stuff and memorizing what specifially was good and what piqued my interest, and the third one could be helped by thesaurus. Reading about thing I like is not enough – I should read as much as I can and as broad as I can.
Interestingly, he thinks writing school is not much of use. Rather, I should always keep in my mind the things I care about. There are hundreds of writing style and it might not be too wise to limit myself into one of it too soon. He pointed to an English version of a famous Japanese newspaper and said “There are hundreds of writer for this paper but there is only one writing style found here”. He doesn’t like it much and I agree. In fact that was exactly what I had felt and I haven’t articulated that feeling enough like what he said.
When do you know you have finished writing? “It is when you find there is nothing to add or delete – you just know it, and you continue rewriting until you know it”. It’s something different than just writing into a blog, although there are lots of things I can learn from it – after all, if it weren’t for the blog did I start thinking of writing so seriously like now? I doubt it. No, I shouldn’t put blogging into a lower level. Okay, think this way. Writing into blog is about speed – I need to catch my thoughts as fast as I can before it disappears. Writing a professional article is more about depth. It will also be like cooking (again he told me). Takes longer time to finish, but tastes better.
Anyway I will start catching the chance of writing for others, and also when blogging I will read what I wrote again more than once. Small steps, but I can start right now.
Thank you, Jon.