Like everything else getting started is the hard part.
Want to beat your competitors, then write better content.
Most people think they could never write a book so of course, they never do, it’s not that hard if you know how to do it. Now you might not want to write a book, even though you have one in you, but you do need to improve the content you use to communicate with your market.
Never be put it off because you think people won’t be interested, everyone has at least one good book in them.
A couple of years ago I looked back at what I had written and accumulated over the years. Not only did I realise that I had in excess of 150,000 files in my computer, Word documents, Excel files, PowerPoint presentations and so on, but there was a trend emerging.
Maybe you need something to spur you into action, maybe it is losing some good customers. For me, it was after I had a major bowel cancer operation and had months of recovery ahead of me that writing suddenly took on a new urgency. Whilst I had been writing and taking notes for most of my life, I wanted to write my life stories for my family.
When I started seriously writing something every day, that was when my life started to change, I found the earlier I got started each day, the better my day was. It’s something that comes naturally to me now.
If writing doesn’t come naturally for you, it’s still something you should at least have a go at. Try getting up an hour earlier every day and jotting down your thoughts for a month and see what happens.
“When I apply a systematic process to my writing, it tends to increase my output of innovative ideas and opportunities. The time spent is always worth the effort”. Peter Sergeant
What I found as I developed the habit of writing every day:
- It took me about a month before I developed the automatic discipline of writing something, anything, every day.
- Writing helped me reflect on my life and the many twists and turns that it had taken. Pictures started to emerge giving me reasons for why things had happened and the way they had happened.
- I started to ask myself the hard questions. Why did I get this cancer? What would I have done differently if I had my time over again? What will I do with my life now?
- Writing started to clarify my thinking. Thoughts and feelings abounded, mostly drifting into the ether, but writing forced me to crystallise my feelings and thoughts and put them into some sort of logical order.
- Because I started to clarify my thinking, I started to see my problems and frustrations differently, answers started to appear as if by magic. My decision making certainly improved. It was as though a third person was inside me telling me how to make the hard decisions.
- Identifying frustrations and problems clearly bring forward new ideas. I think writing helps you to create opportunities you only ever dreamed about. You definitely become more receptive to new thinking and new opportunities.
- Sometimes I just throw my thoughts into a document at random. Then I always have something to work with each day and it’s amazing how it all comes together.
- If I make mistakes (typos, grammar, spelling, wrong words etc) they are always tidied up later. So, don’t be afraid to put your thoughts down quickly. Perfectionism can cost you your best ideas. Most people will forgive your imperfections if your ideas are good.
- Keep in mind writing is a creative habit if you feel you are just sitting procrastinating, be patient, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Just make a few scratches on the paper and let your brain do the rest.
- Regular writing makes you a better writer. You make less spelling and grammatical mistakes, as well as learning to cut down the waffle and make what you have to say more interesting.
- But, more importantly, you start to think differently, which encourages you to make different choices and helps you to change the old and replace it with the new.
I have encouraged many business people to write, as it is a way of building your reputation as an expert in your field. Learning to write helps you to write press releases, blogs, marketing messages, articles for industry magazines, newsletters, the local newspapers, product information and so on. If you don’t then others will and will win over your best customers.
When you start writing commercially you will go through many drafts, but don’t let this disturb you, as this is often when the real gems are revealed to you. Be patient as eventually, the right words will find their way into your material. You will need to write with two things simultaneously, speed and passion. Your passion and emotional intensity will resonate with readers.
Making writing one of your daily habits. The best way to internalise a good habit, and dispose of the bad ones, is to do something everyday, not just when you ‘feel like it’.
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One of the biggest challenges in my life has been writing every single day.
Yes, I write about something every day. It was something I wanted to do but was always too improve my communications.
For many years writing was always on the back of my mind, I wanted to do more writing, but I could never seem to find the time. even though I was always taking notes and filing them away, even before I had a computer.
No more excuses, you will find after you have done it for a few months you will enjoy writing something every day and you will be surprised how your marketing communications will improve.
Writing helped me to make changes in my life, across all aspects. It helped me to see my life more clearly and I did it with my words. Style, what style, leave that for others to worry about, it’s what works for you that counts.
Firstly, I did it for my family, secondly, I wanted to share my experiences to help others in a practical way. If I make some money along the way, great, if I don’t then It doesn’t matter.
Writing for the benefit of others, helps you to think from the perspective of others. That’s the real benefit because you begin to understand and have more empathy with family, friends, colleagues and customers.