It's been well over a year since I launched my blog. Along the way, I've been inspired to write by something I read or someone I talked to. Other times, I had writers block or felt too busy to write. But making writing a priority has helped me in my own journey more than I could imagine. I thought I would share with you all today a few things writing has taught me and how it can help you, too.
- Perfection is Not the Goal When you begin writing, just write. Don’t edit. My coach Jeremy Robinson gave me this advice. I love to use Evernote, because when I open Word Document I am conditioned to think 1-inchh margins, New Times Roman font, no misspelled words, etc." With Evernote, I just write. I explore my thoughts and ideas as I read, then I will come back to them for reflection. Other times I will hear or read something and save it in Evernote. Sometimes I will just outline my thoughts. The main thing is to just write. Projects and presentations demand perfection, while writing is about exploration. Don’t confuse the two.
- Let Go of Expectations This leads me to an idea I mentioned in last week's post. 90% of what you are doing is going to become mundane. This is true in any work, project, or presentation you do. It's also true with writing. Even in my own work, I've waited for a mountaintop experience like Moses, where revelation would be revealed to me and only me, then somehow, someway, I would have knowledge and leadership ability that no one else in the nation would have. And then, with grey beard and flowing hair, I would publish this blog and all of a sudden an entire nation would stop what they were doing and listen to what I have to say. Well, you know that never happened and I am doubtful it will. Think about the expectations you have about your leadership or a project and what you think it will do. Decide that it will be okay if those expectations aren't met and actively look for the positive outcomes that will happen. For me, writing has helped me organize my thoughts and dig deeper into some topics that interested me, many of which I never took time to investigate before beginning this endeavor, which has been truly rewarding.
- Write Like It's Your Job I approach writing like I am going to work. I give my dad a lot of credit for instilling in me a work ethic and a focus. My dad was a sheet metal worker who started in the union as a laborer and became a VP of a large industrial construction company. He would do everything himself; paint his house, build his room addition, change the oil in his cars. Now, I don’t do those things, but I did. Even when I didn’t want to and wanted to play ball. Dad would say "You can play when you finish working, but when you are working, work. Now get back to work!" So, when I write, I very much take that attitude. I don’t write on vacation, and I don’t write when I am traveling on a plane to clients. Writing for me is an experience of work that is like surgery. During an operation, you expect to have a doctor's full, surgical attention; not watching a ball game with one eye on the game and the other on my renal artery.
Writing is a Journey
We often want to think that the obstacles that get in our way or fall onto the road are somehow distractions to our journey. Instead, reframe the roadblock as part of your journey. Understand that how you overcome the roadblock will be a part of your story. The obstacles and the road are an important part of the journey. Enjoy the entirety of your journey, and write about it!
You guessed it: Write! Try to write three separate times this week. Here are some writing prompts if you need some inspiration:
- What is one thing you've always wanted to try, but never have? What's holding you back from doing it? What would it be like to try that new thing?
- Who is a leader that you admire? Someone you know personally or even a historical figure. What qualities do you admire about them and why?
- “We succeed at our very best only when we help others succeed.” - Jim Collins Do you agree with this quote? Where have you seen it played out in your own life?