December 28, 2006
Liz published this at 9:27 am
Connecting to the World
Look in a scrapbook. Look in your wallet. You’ll find written messages. Diaries, wedding invitations, resumes, love letters, even our names are written as words. Yet, the best writer — the most prolific, the most proficient — is never finished learning, never finished becoming a writer. We are apprentices every one of us. We’re all in the process of becoming.
We’re all apprentice writers — part ego and part self-doubt. It’s the ego that helps us face down that blank page to say what we have to say. It’s the self-doubt that stops us from casting the movie about what we’ve written.
In this age of noise and clutter, we all need to be writers. Writing and publishing are the way we connect to the world.
10 Reasons to Write and Publish Every Day
We write to record our thoughts . . . and by recording them we think them through, rearrange, and re-organize them. We make our ideas clearer. We make our thinking stronger and more easily understood. We carve a path that a reader, a listener, another person can follow from our minds to their minds, from our hearts to their hearts. Writing is a connection waiting to happen.
Publishing makes the connection more natural and accessible.
Here are ten reasons that writing (and publishing) every day is important.
- Writing every day makes us better thinkers. It takes our thoughts out of our heads and challenges us to express them in understandable ways. Effective writing is the opposite of seat-of-the-pants thinking.
- Writing every day teaches us how to work with words in print, to construct a meaningful message. Like playing a guitar or doing math, writing takes practice.
- Writing every day helps us develop a voice that is natural and consistent, strong and confident, and attuned to readers. Everything we write has an audience. Even when we write for ourselves, we go back to read, listening to what we wrote. We question. We consider. We critique our choices.
- Writing every day improves our ability to craft remarkable prose that people want to share. Every time someone shares something that we write they add value to our ideas — when they change them and when they don’t.
- Writing every day gets us comfortable with the conventions of writing and the conventions of writing give our messages credibility. The credibility is how society finds the appropriate place for our ideas.
- Writing every day lets us find our personal writing process. We lose our fear of flying and learn our way around our creativity. We get familiar with what to do when we need ideas, how to know what we want to say, what is always going to be hard, and what parts are worth looking forward to.
- Writing every day teaches us how to tell our internal editor to be quiet until we need feedback.
- Writing every day makes us better, more thoughtful readers. We bring the insights and appreciation of a writer to what we read.
- Writing every day connects us to people. We meet more people in print than we can ever possibly meet face to face. Many people will know our written voice as well as they know our names.
- Writing every day makes us architects and builders. We record our history, and we imagine the future. We inspire and motivate, both ourselves and others. We make something that changes the world, something lasting. We make a unique contribution that others might use.
Everything written is inherently personal and at the same time dynamically social. In a noisy world, it’s the way we communicate across continents, across living rooms; with folks we just met and with every generation of our families. We write our dreams, our business plans, and ask questions. We read. We respond. We get the ultimate first impression.
Each time we write our voice becomes clearer, more focused, and stronger, until our writing is inseparable from our voice. Everything we write is written about us.
Publishing is how we talk to the world and how the world hears us.
What have you told the world today?
–ME “Liz” Strauss