This is a long article (more than 1400 words). Hope it will help you get started on the path of writing. Grab a cup of tea, coffee, or water. Take a print out or read online. Please share it with your friends who can benefit and most importantly if you find some value in it.
Blogging is a great way to get visibility for businesses and individuals. Artists, entrepreneurs, academicians all can benefit from the long lasting and wide reaching impact of blogging – when done right. Blogs have contributed a lot to the growth of people. Joel Spolsky, Cal Newport and Chris Brogan are some living examples.
A lot of people know this but they do not blog; because it involves writing. Off late Vlogs (video logs) have also become popular and have been proven a great marketing tools by the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk and Steve Garfield. Still it is mostly about writing.
Why writing seems so difficult to most of us? Because it involves shipping and shipping is difficult. If you are writing for yourself then there is no problem. Many people write dairies or keep journals which are comparatively easy; because nobody is looking at it. That is your own thing. You are not bothered about people looking at it and providing an opinion. Guess people are more scared of other people’s opinion than the act of writing itself. If it was only about writing then task would have become easier.
Whenever you are in a new place you are bit a surprised and amused. A part of you is also scared of uncertainty – about the hotel room, taste of food or alarm not going off when you need to wake up early. People experience similar uncertainty when they meet somebody new. How do you handle that? – By telling yourself in your heart that everything will be fine. Tell yourself the same about writing.
Tell yourself that you will be able to write and with time you will improve and hopefully you will be able to explore a new you. You see writing is like a journey – a journey of self-exploration – where you will have milestones but no end destination. If you continue long enough, learning en-route, may be you will reach a milestone like a book deal; but that cannot be the end.
Let me ask you a question –especially those who want to start a blog or want to write a book – what is stopping. Is there anything that tells you that you cannot do it? Do you provide a reason to yourself, “I have never written, how I can write now?” Did you ask the same thing when you learnt driving? Did you eventually learn driving?
Think about it do you REALLY do not know how to write. Think again. Did you go to school? I am sure almost all the readers of this blog have gone to school. Have you ever written an exam? When you appear for an exam you write about topics that you read about and discussed in class. Think about your life so far. If you are young then write about your experiences at school. Somebody slightly older – can write about relationships, quest to grow or how you see life. All these are potential and interesting writing topics.
Fast forward to current times; have you ever written an email? Do you have a facebook account; do you comment on the walls of your friends. Do your express yourself in these different medium in different ways. Think about your writing as an extension of this expression. If you can write an email you can cobble together couples of sentences to create a paragraph; and potentially write a small article.
Talking about exams; in exams there are some right answers and some wrong. In life there is no right or wrong. It is what you think. If you think you can do it, you can; if you think you can’t – you can’t. Some ideas, some thoughts may work or may not work. You cannot know without doing.
Now you have a cue. For your posts write like you will write an email. If you need some inspiration then start by commenting on some blogs.
For starters write something that is close to your heart – if you are an avid gamer write about gaming. If you have spent your life marketing variety of products – write about old ways of marketing. If you want to go one step ahead – then write about how old world marketing can be adapted to online medium.
“Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead: What Every Business Can Learn from the Most Iconic Band in History” by David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan – is one such book. Sure, to become as prolific as David, you will need some real experience and will need to put in considerable effort. But no harm in taking chances as we live only once.
Blogs always need not be about business success. It is good to have a purpose and a schedule like any worthwhile writing pursuit; but it should be more about expression. Whether you are writing to only express or you have A-list aspirations; it always helps to use proper grammar and spell check. By doing this you will avoid creating any clutter on the web.
Another deterrent in writing is thinking too much before putting even a single word to paper. First write, write some more and then think. At this stage some editing may help.
And don’t worry about what people will think when they read what you have written. Do not think about the profoundness about your writing still. Be at it for a year or two and start some analysis, and self-critique of your writing. Better if you can find someone who has been there and done that. If you have been at it for some years; you will find a worthy mentor easily. People are willing to help you if you show that you have persevered and put in some real work.
Whenever you set out to do something different you will find supporters but you will also find detractors. Writing is nothing great – but still something that not many people take up professionally – so you are sure to find some people who will say that it is not worth it or you do not have it in you. Let people say whatever they want with the gentle confidence in your heart that you are the one who is writing consistently and not them. The idea is not to suggest that those who do not write have less talent but just to assert that when somebody is pursuing a cause like writing consistently then it needs to be appreciated by those who are not doing it. You, the consistent writer, also should be ready to laud the achievements of people in different spheres of work and life. You see life is give and take; and it is better to give first before asking for something in return.
Having reached this far, you are almost ready to write. Believe me you can write; who knows you will be signing your own book and fans will be waiting in line to get a copy signed by you. Practically it is possible for some of you to get a book deal; even if you call yourself a novice right now. You can be that person. It does not make sense to lose this chance. Give it a shot. Have faith in yourself.
Ok from high skies I am back to the ground. You may not be pursuing the lofty goal of becoming a published author but you still can create a name in industry by getting featured in your industry publication or be able to write more focused emails to your clients. At the very least you can write engaging emails to your friends when you get old or while you are still young. Each one is a worthy goal in its own sense.
So if it is about writing then do it. You will be happy that you did that. It will be fun to look back. Do it and do it often and you will improve. You may not create something like “Walden” still you will have the joy in your heart that you did it. Understand that anybody with basic language and writing skills can create a written piece of work. Your first writing piece need not be 1000 words. It is ok if you write 20-30 or 50 words.
Write that next email like sage advice, copy it to a file on your computer or in your paper notebook; remove personal elements (related to others, your life in your writing is ok) and release it. Online is the simplest, cheapest, and fastest way to get your words out in front of the public.
This is about the process. In near future I will write about how 21st century technology advancements have made it really easy to publish information and have the potential to take it to a large population.
What are you going to write today?