Writing can actually be simple.
No need to complicate it and over judge your work — I am speaking from experience of course. I had a dragon that used to live in my head.
I know it’s easier said than done, but stick with me here and focus on the points I emphasise below.
These are the things I focus on when I write:
- Write like you talk — like you’re talking to a friend at a chilled, jazz lounge
- Write to one person — don’t try to write to everyone, picture one person in your mind when you write
- Write in short sentences when possible — make them ‘punchy’, long sentences are harder to read
- Make one point per sentence
- Write with low friction — your words should easily enter your reader’s mind without them exerting any additional effort trying to decipher what you mean. Thinking is work. Don’t make people work to understand what you’re trying to say.
- Use stories to get your point across — paint a picture for them
- Don’t start with a blank page (it’s the cause of writer’s block) — starting with a blank page means you don’t have enough notes. Before you write, start with some notes and ideas you’ve already saved in your note-taking system.
- Write about what you’re interested in, good at or care about — people will follow you if you let your passion shine through. I cannot write about topics I don’t care about.
That’s all you need to start writing.
If you’re not comfortable publishing your work online yet, then write in private… take baby steps to start.
As long as you start with baby steps, keep practicing, you’ll build momentum and confidence.
Then start writing in public — publish your work and share your ideas.
By the way… you don’t need a complicated website with whizz-bang features nor overload your website with images.
You just need to keep showing up and hit ‘publish’.
Why publish and share your work online?
Because writing in public is like inviting guests over for dinner.
You have to clean the house, tidy up, make sure your food is good, and make sure your house is presentable. It forces you to double check everything before your guests arrive.
You try harder and take it more seriously when you know others are watching and your reputation is at stake. Social pressure forces you to level up. You hold yourself to a higher standard, and you’ll improve.
When you write online, treat your audience with respect by treating every paragraph, every sentence and every word you write with care and consideration. They will reward you by telling their friends about your work.
In life, you want to be so good and different that people can’t ignore you. It’s the ultimate strategy to differentiate yourself and build your reputation on the things you want to be known for.
It’s how you stand out, grow an audience and increase your influence in the world.
In Seth Godin’s words… Be a purple cow. (must read, if you haven’t yet)
Why it’s a good time to start now
I believe that it’s never too late to start doing the things you’ve always wanted to do in life.
Yes, there’s more content in the world now than ever, but the reality is that most of it is shallow and surface level. You can see from the type of results that come up when you do a google search.
Google is constantly improving their algorithms to show “relevant content”, but relevance is not enough if you’re looking for specific answers, to gain a deeper understanding of a subject area or gain a different perspective.
Robots are not human beings. They don’t get depth, nuance and meaning.
Shallow content is easy to create by outsourced article writers, because they don’t put in the level of care, consideration and effort that goes into producing something of quality — art.
Quality work is the type of work worth talking about and it’s the type of work that gets shared.
These days, people are bombarded with boring content, spammy ads, worthless ideas and distractions everyday. Shallow content just adds to the noise that’s already out there.
Good writing is rare. It has depth and nuance to it.
People are starving for creators who create quality content in subject areas they’re interested in exploring further.
It’s the reason why I decided to publish my work online because after spending years of trial and error, mastering different areas of my life and learning important life lessons, I have a unique perspective I can share with others.
I also wanted to contribute and add quality to the spammy nature of the digital world.
The opportunity is huge for you to put your stake in the ground, in the niches you’re interested in and become the authority if you’re willing to do the work.
If you’re proud of what you do, want your work to matter, then allow other people to find it.
You already have everything you need:
- an internet connection
- access to a computer
- a desire to serve the people you seek to serve
- a desire to create an impact
In March 2020, I decided to claim my corner of the inter-webs.
Maybe you’ll decide to join me.
The ball is in your court.