Build a Writing Habit
It all starts with writing.
Everything you want to do starts with writing.
Writing is the fuel for all other mediums:
- Want to make a film? Write.
- Want to sell products? Write.
- Want to record a song? Write.
- Want to author a book? Write.
- Want to present a speech? Write.
- Want to produce a podcast? Write.
- Want to teach an online course? Write.
- Want to shoot a compelling video? Write.
One of the most valuable things you can do for your career is build a writing habit.
If you write, you have words. When you record yourself reading those words, you have audio. When you film yourself sharing those words, you have video.
Everything comes down to your message. What do you have to say?
Discover what you have to say.
Don't make the mistake of waiting for epiphany to strike before you start writing. That's not how the process works, and it's not how great writers come up with something timeless.
There's this notion that great writers sit in silence, like a monk in meditation, waiting for genius insight. Only then do they write down words of great wisdom. This couldn't be further from the truth!
Great writers make a commitment to write. They show up every day.
Most people wait until they have something to say to write. But that's putting it backwards!
Don't wait until you have something to say to write.
Write to find out WHAT you have to say!
Writing doesn't start with an idea, it starts with a commitment to show up.
A quote of disputed origin goes like this:
"I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes at nine every morning."
Overcome writer's block.
The best way to defeat writer's block is to have a list of topics you're going to write about.
Plan out your topics in advance!
Capture topic ideas throughout your day and your week and write them down in a list. On Monday, take a few minutes to schedule your topics for the rest of the week. Specify what you will write about on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc.
The moment you sit down at your desk to write is not the time to come up with what to write about! You'll just end up staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page.
Schedule your topics in advance and you won't feel as stuck.
Need some topics to start with? Here's a list…
Speed up your writing with this trick.
You're trying to write and edit at the same time and it's slowing you down.
Writing and editing are two separate modes. You need to learn to see these two tasks separately. First is the writing stage. Only after you’ve completed the writing stage do you move on to the editing stage.
Don’t use the Backspace key. When you write, focus on doing nothing but writing. Get the raw words onto the page. There is only forward progress, don’t go backward.
All of the great writers say the story is told in the edit.
It's difficult to avoid editing while you write because the words you write won't always be the perfect words. It doesn't matter. Write imperfect words.
What we refer to as "writing" is really a two-step process (and you're trying to mash it into one):
Editing while you write is why you are a slow writer. You must separate editing mode from writing mode.
Get all of the raw words out of your head and onto the page. Dump it all out. Remember, you can’t edit what you haven’t written.
Once you have all of the words on the page, now you have something you can play with! You can move words around, remove them, or even add more. But you have to write them first.
I tell my students: rip out your Backspace key. Imagine it’s not there—you can’t use it. This is uncomfortable at first, but when you learn to stop editing while you write, your writing speed will increase tremendously.
5 hidden benefits of writing.
Sure, writing can turn into books, courses, podcasts, films, newsletters, speeches, and so much more.
But there are also some less obvious benefits of writing:
- Speak better.
- Clear your mind.
- Think with clarity.
- Articulate your ideas.
- Organize your thoughts.
Imagine having a clear mind.
When I meet someone, I can tell whether or not they write by listening to them talk. Writing teaches you to clearly articulate your thoughts, which makes you a better speaker.
Writing: make a name for yourself.
When you write, people will know you exist! They become aware of you.
You know things other people don't. You have experience others don't have. If you can build a writing habit, you can teach people. You can share what you know.
- Writing will help you get clients.
- Writing will help you get customers.
- Writing will help you build grow an audience.
Stories stick with people. You can set yourself apart with writing.
Instead of merely showing a gallery of images as your portfolio, tell stories. Talk about how you solved a problem. This transforms your portfolio item into a case study.
Build a writing habit, change your life.
When you write every day, you will have clarity and focus. You will understand yourself and your message better. You will learn what you have to say to the world. You will develop your voice.
A writing habit is a super power. You will become unstoppable.
You can't wait until you feel like writing. You're not always going to feel like it! Most days, you won't want to write.
You have to get to the point where you know you will write every day.
30 Days to Better Writing
I produced a course called 30 Days to Better Writing. It has helped hundreds of students build a writing habit in 30 days.
You don't write because you don't know what to say. You feel like the words that come out just aren't right.
This course will take the thinking out of it for you.
You'll read a short lesson and follow the writing prompts.
Writing has never been this easy.
It's like magic. You didn't know you had it in you, but suddenly, you're writing!
- Read the lesson (less than 5 minutes).
- Follow the prompt (write for 20 minutes).
- Take the quiz (solidify what you learned).
Give me 30 days, and I'll give you a writing habit.
Are you up to the challenge?