7 Things I Did Not Know About Writing Before I Started

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I remember thinking I wanted to be a writer as far back as high school. Only thing is I didn’t really know how to become one.

photo credit: geoftheref via photopin cc

Then one day I decided that writing articles would be a good way to build my business, so I just started writing and a funny thing happened.

The practice of writing daily turned me into a writer.

But, the habit of writing also shaped far more than my ability to create meaningful sentences and that’s the reason I believe that everyone in business must write.

Writing to express my thoughts transformed everything about how I approached business and trained me to view the world and my place in it in a completely different way.

Below are seven benefits I attribute to the fact that I write on a daily basis.

Writing makes me a better thinker – (understand that better is relative!) In an effort to create content that is succinct, reveals new ways to look at common things, or apply simple solutions to seemingly complex problems, I believe I now think about business much differently.

Writing makes me a better listener – When I engage in conversations or listen to radio interviews, I listen with a writer’s ear and often find my head filling up with ideas for blog posts by simply listening to others discuss sometimes unrelated subjects.

Writing makes me a better salesperson – I write like I speak and often I write to sell an idea or even a very specific tactic. It’s amazing, but I find that clearly stating idea pitches in writing has improved my ability to quickly articulate them in a selling or interview setting. It’s like you build up this reserve bank of pretested discussion points.

Writing makes me a better speaker
– This one falls nicely from the previous point, but I’ll also add that working through blog posts on meatier topics, those that readers weigh in on, has produced some of my best presentation material to date.

Writing keeps me focused on learning – The discipline required to create even somewhat interesting content in the manner I’ve chosen requires that I study lots of what’s hot, what’s new, what’s being said and what’s not being said in order to find ways to apply it to the world of small business.

Writing allows me to create bigger ideas – The habit of producing content over time affords you the opportunity to create larger editorial ideas that can be reshaped and repurposed for other settings. I’ve taken a collection of blog posts on a specific topic and turned them into an ebook more than once.

So, think you don’t have the time or the reason to write? – I hope you think again.

Tomorrow I plan to share a little bit about my writing process and how I choose what to write about. In addition I’ll features the thoughts of Mark Schaefer, Seth Godin, Mitch Joel, Ann Handley, CC Chapman, Ian Cleary and Brian Solis.


Blogging, Writing

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  1. John, I couldn’t agree more. I started writing for my business in 2007 and have experienced all 7 of the writing benefits you’ve outlined. My blog has become my continuing education program. It helps me stay on top of a rapdily changing world of marketing. The first thing I do each morning is read via my RSS reader. Reading fuels my writing. Writing helps me to assimilate information much faster and better articulate it. I’m even graded on my assignment. Through my analytics I know if my newly created post is appealing to my audience. My reader’s actually guide a lot of what I write.

    I’m consistently enriched by your writing. Thanks John!

    1. Michael – I do thing the element of “grading” as you refer to it is such an important factor in this – the ability to get immediate and ongoing feedback on what you write offers the best possible way to learn how to get better.

      1. John, I’ve been around great copy writers my entire advertising career. I know that I’m not in their league, but by paying close attention to what my reader’s find appealing has been a huge factor in my blogging success. When I speak to industry groups and talk about common challenges, they know I really understand their problems and have helped to create some unique solutions.

  2. I’m guilty of reading a lot more than I write, even though I come from a writing background and enjoy it when I have the chance. This is a great reminder that, if I want my blog posts to start flowing more often, I probably need to be writing more often.

    1. I find that to be true for me – if I just start writing what comes out at first may be garbage but then something kicks in.

  3. I definitely relate to this, especially number one. My thought process is still a bit scattered, but writing helps to pull everything in. It’s that “flow”, the structured process of creating something coherent, that seems to help.

  4. thanks for writing and sharing this post, i can completely understand the point made by the blogger here since i have turned as a writer only after i started practicing writing. Regular writing brings out a lot of good qualities which is required to do 360 degree marketing, i must thank my boss – Kulwinder Singh here who gave me the encouragement and opportunity to contribute to website content of my company.

  5. Hi John,

    Thanks for the post. I have a question, do you plan out your content before you write it or do you just start with an idea and a blank page then start writing?

  6. John, very succinct article on the power of writing. I’ve always said (lifted from someone else, I suspect) that “if you can’t write it well, you can’t say it well.” Nice work

    1. Thanks Bill – it take some extra work but this is one of the main reason I’m advocating that sales folks need to blog!

  7. Dear John: You might be interested to know that writing has other scientifically documented benefits, as well. When people write about important personal experiences, they become physically and psychologically healthier, as well as more productive. A short review outlining these benefits is available for download in the left column at http://www.selfauthoring.com

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