I can’t imagine not writing the same way some people can’t imagine posting a status update on their Facebook or Instagram. Just kidding. Maybe not.
For more than 18 years, I’ve been consistently writing – for my blog(s), clients, advertising companies, radio adverts, company brochures, and for anything that required written words. If I were honest, it goes way beyond that. I’ve been writing ever since I knew how string words together based on my thought patterns and emotions.
Years on, I still relish in the idea of letting my thoughts stew over a slosh of ideas in a draft, compiling information, putting my consciousness into streams of words and forming thoughtful sentences. Occasionally, I would spot a new word in Readers’ Digest and injected the said new pompous word into the mix. Sometimes I have a sense of humor, sometimes I don’t. It depends.
If an online outlet is deemed inappropriate (i.e. when the emotional part of my gray matter became louder than the thinking part), my writing would make it into my private journals instead. Like real paper and pen. These are times when writing helps ME. Journaling is one of the healthiest things people can do.
What keeps me going is the thought that whatever words I string together might help another person out there, possibly a complete stranger. Not only that, I would venture as far as to say that writing is like spring-cleaning my home. Sweeping up tucked-up anger, picking up nuggets of neglected emotions and polishing up surfaces scraped with hurt and anxiety. Putting them into paragraphs.
Not all of them make it online, of course, it’s an avalanche in here and you don’t want to see it.
Persistent Writing Keeps Your Thoughts In Check
I know what it feels like to be ‘not in the mood‘ to write. Everyone gets it, right? You’re not in the mood to play the piano, you’re not in the mood for another insensitive meme, I could be not in the mood to write. But I’ve long recognized that persistent writing keeps the flow going. Writing helps you look unwanted thoughts in the face and wrestle with them before they spill over and materialize in other unwanted ways. You learn to listen to your inner critic more gently, more understandingly and then try to glue everything together.
Slowly, it will become a well-oiled tool that helps you put your thoughts together. So, even if you’re not a blogger, I strongly recommend getting a good journal and start writing or drawing things out in real life. Not everything has to make it to your Facebook page.
Not The Prizefighter Writer
Not everyone has excellent writing skills, I know it is a granted; like how not everyone’s known for their karate skills.
But once you do make it through and are happy with the final draft, you’ll feel like a marathon runner crossing the finishing line too. Through it all, you would have hunkered down with your deepest thoughts, widely accessible data, collaborated with whatever you feel should be out there, decided on the most strategic words to use, and put a bow on the outcome.
Like taking risks, every time writers look at the “send” or “submit” or “publish” button, they experience cold sweat too. The niggling whisper “Wait, hang on. Was that good enough?” rings as loudly through our heads as the “Give up, you can’t do it” voice.
Winning at Creativity and Learning
There is a way to improve the way you write and enhance your vocabulary. Every single day, word by word, with consistent writing, you may reach your own limit and then breach it. Every one of us has got a creative ceiling. When you approach that limit, you get to decide if you want to cross the line. Can you switch things up? Can you be braver in your strategy? Is there room for something new? How about discovering new topics or diving deeper into old topics from a new angle?
It gets scary, the possibilities, but it’s exciting at the same time.
During moments of doubt, you have to close your eyes and plunge into it with the bravado of a 3-year-old child. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s life.
It is Possible to Make Money Online
To me, the question is not ‘if’. The real question is ‘how long before’. Just like every other creative endeavor, you would need to ‘build your portfolio’. Raise your hand if you’ve been there. If you have not, in plain simple English, it involves doing lots of things for free in a bid to create a more decorous portfolio which you will later parade to those you plan to charge in the future.
It is also very possible to make money off your writing, whether you’re self-publishing a book, producing an e-book, or writing your own blog. It involves placing of advertisements, selling drop ship products, promoting services offered by others (this comes under the category of sponsorship), diving into affiliate marketing, becoming a social media influencer or collaborating with other people of like-mind or complementing industries.
Of all the things that I am pretty sure about, there’s ONE THING that I am 100% sure about – you must create a niche. A niche topic you’re really passionate about. It’s got to be something that pulls at either heartstring or pushes pain buttons.
Two really great examples (but are not limited to) are 1) gossip; 2) kids. If you write or produce content based on these topics consistently and establish yourself as the go-to source or a reliable representative, people eating up your content will decide whether they want to connect with you.
One neglected industry I feel would be of intense benefit to everyone – including…no, wait…ESPECIALLY me – is the financial industry. If only someone would credibly point me in the right direction when it comes to investment. And no, I don’t want network marketing. I cannot be any clearer in my head about this. What the world is in need of is the service of people in this niche long-term market that can be very, very lucrative. Business owners, no matter how successful and rich they are, can use one or two financial advice, let’s at least admit that.
Whatever topic you choose to write about, what you need is dedication, a schedule, a commitment to your readers, willingness to be seen, honesty (sometimes brutal, but crucial), and pitch-perfect polish when it comes to procuring your sources. If you’re on social media, ramp things up by asking questions and answering them.
Not Everyone’s Going To Be Your Customer
If you’re dedicated to not just entertaining, but also educating your readers about what you’ve seen in the world, you’re bound to gain a few loyal readers. Be it one or a million, they’re still worth your time and effort. Learn new things and when they swing your way, be quick on your feet, think, and communicate.
The point of writing every day is not to turn everyone into your customer. It is about creating a series of informational content that helps people, resonates with them, which will potentially lead to paid recommendations. The series of content acts as a portal that people like and refer to when a topic comes up in conversations. Your blog or website will then become a funnel that guides you towards high-paying jobs or projects.
It pays to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Write Everyday Like It’s Your Lifeline
There are many ways to write something.
- For yourself, to digitize your personal life so that you can connect with your IRL family, friends or readers who may be experiencing the same thing
- For others – you hope the words you write are going to hit home with someone, somewhere
- For money because…what can you say? People’s got to eat?
- As a creative outlet because life gets tough and sometimes, you need to step into a fantasy world of where every other problem is bigger than your real life ones. I believe a shrink has a word for that, but hey, believe it or not, that’s where creativity is often born so, don’t be ashamed of it. Own it.
- Just because. This is both the simplest and hardest. I don’t get it either but I’ve been told some people do it because they just feel like something’s got to happen and they don’t care what. OK. Whatever floats your boat.
I recently read an article about how “Brand Managers are Dead” written by someone STILL employed by Unilever, the megawatt giant producer of everything-household. And the writer is right. Branding is a lot about ‘faking things’ and that’s slowly dying.
People who carve off a piece of their lives or experiences and share it in hope of helping others are more likely to make it in this bruising, brutal industry. Instead of being the elixir of hope, the world has become a dysphoria nurturing mud-slingers and man-eaters.
It doesn’t have to be like that. It pays to stay focused on improving yourself, write on and keep things positive despite being surrounded by mind-numbing doubts. The more weather-resistant you are, the better you’ll perform as a business, authoritative figure, or just a human being.
Here’s to your daily writing habits and honed skills. Write on, word warriors.