Overcoming writer’s block

I like writing. That’s not always been the case — it certainly wasn’t my forte back when I needed it at school and with my University…

I like writing. That’s not always been the case — it certainly wasn’t my forte back when I needed it at school and with my University dissertation (as my wife will testify) but it’s something I’ve picked up since then. Because I like writing I try to encourage others — especially those that I work with — to write more, and more often. This post is for those people.

The problems with writing.

Writing isn’t an easy thing. All of the movies, television shows, documents, books and blogs that you watch, read or otherwise consume make it seem like such a trivial task but it’s really not.

In reality it’s tough to find your voice. Not only that, it’s difficult to get started, it’s hard to draw your work to a conclusion, it’s demoralizing to run out of ideas half-way through a piece, and it’s paralyzing to get stuck in an endless spiral of proofreading and tweaking.

The reasons for writing.

The ultimate test of your knowledge about a subject is in being able to explain it in your own words. Writing is one of the best media to hone your explanations. It’s a monologue, but an editable one, and when you’ve finally finished you have a singular distillation of your arguments — a tangible outcome from your efforts.

Conversing with someone else, teaching and training them are also great ways of securing your knowledge, but the drawbacks are that the outcomes are transitory and more difficult to replicate. It is a better way to impart your knowledge, but it’s not a replicable, scalable, easily-sharable way of passing on whatever you want to share.

And from a purely promotional point of view, if you’re looking to market yourself or your company, you’ll soon learn that “original content feeds the social media monster.”

Unless you’re ashamed of what you’ve written (in which case, don’t publish it) there is no downside to writing your thoughts and publishing. The world needs original content, and it needs many voices. Write.