Friday, August 06, 2010

You're Writing All the Time

For those of you who may be feeling a little stuck on your next writing project, or who might be worried that their next e-book or free report or e-newsletter or blog post may start to take over their lives, or fear they aren't as good as the latest online marketing star or book tour author, or who find that they are just plain procrastinating for no particular reason (there usually is a reason, by the way), realize something: most of us are always writing anyway.

Think about it...

When you make a list, you're writing. Is it a list of tips that might help your audience? That might make a great blog post. Or how about your marketing goals, or books you want to read, or new applications or programs you want to learn? Or highlights from the last workshop or conference you attended? That sounds interesting -- I'd want to read about it.

When you sign your name, that tells a story too. Are you signing a receipt for a special item you always wanted to buy, like a new car, or for something more ordinary, like a carton of milk and a box of cereal? Maybe what you are buying says something interesting about you. Maybe you noticed an unusual person at the checkout counter or in the dairy section, or maybe you've noticed that you always seem to buy the same brands and have an aversion to trying new ones? That sounds like an interesting essay or story. I'd want to read about it.

When you leave a note for a family member or friends, that's telling a story too. (I believe a well-known book was written that was inspired by refrigerator notes, but can't remember the name).  Was it an apology note after an argument? A logistics related note that your plans changed, or that you will be out for a while? Where are you going and who are you meeting? Will whoever you left the note for write you back, and how will they feel about what you said? That sounds like an interesting story, and I'd want to read about it.

When you send an e-mail, of course you're writing. Maybe your inbox tells the story of your life when you really sit with it and sort through it. Maybe the name of someone you haven't heard from in a while pops up in your address bar, and it conjures memories of that person. That sounds interesting, and I'd want to read about it.

Maybe you are writing a business or marketing plan, and some of your goals are similar to others in your niche. Maybe the process of how you went about writing it, and how you are going to go about reaching your goals, or maybe even offering tips on how to write a plan like that, is helpful. It sounds interesting to me, and I'd want to read about it and even compare notes with my marketing plan.

It's a bit early for New Year's resolutions, but even so, maybe it's not too early to plan some of your new ones for next year, or to look over the ones you wrote already for this year. What goals have you already met, or not yet met, and why do you think that is? Sometimes, not getting a thing done is as interesting as getting it done, and sometimes the story behind this can be interesting. I'd want to read about it, and maybe I'd see that I have something in common with you.

When you write an equation or a calculation, that's writing too. What type of equation is it? Is it good news or bad news, and how can it be made better? Are you, for example, calculating how much to charge for a new product or service, so that you break even or profit? Are you calculating how to cut costs at home or in business? Maybe you've learned a few tips you can share with others. It sounds interesting, and I'd really like to read about it.

Are you on vacation and maybe sending a letter or a postcard?  Maybe the process of writing it might give you ideas for other writing projects, or maybe describing a joy or a challenge you have had recently is something others might find interesting too, when given a particular framework. Maybe you are discouraged or inspired, and are curious whether others feel that way too. I'd like to read about that.

Blog commenting is writing and can sometimes inspire a blog post on its own.Social media updates are writing. Tweets are writing. Are there patterns to what you and those in your community are posting about? Maybe your own updates can serve as ideas for larger projects. I'd like to read those.

Writing a restaurant, book, or film review,  can be a great way to build your community through common interests. I'm not just talking about Yelp, but also Goodreads, Open Table, and other leisure social networking sites. I'd like to read your reviews.

So, go ahead and start that new writing project. Because you're already writing all the time anyway...right?

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