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On writing, fear and utility belts

On writing, fear and utility belts

I have been challenged in the last two months to start writing. Writing for our blog, writing to inform.

So often we’re helping others to write, but ignore our own outlet and our own is the most important.

It’s not for lack of things to say.

It’s not because I don’t know anything.

It’s not because I can’t write.

It’s because starting is hard.

Breaking the back of silence and getting on with writing is a challenge.

In my mind I question not the relevance or the usefulness of the writing – for it has many uses – but the perception that some content may not be relevant or useful.

Not all posts will be relevant to all people, but I fall into the trap that’s what is true for others can’t be true for me.

Surely I am unique and my struggles are my own.

Except that’s not the case. Lots of people want to write, but don’t. Starting is a barrier for everyone.

We work with clients to help them overcome that barrier. We put plans in place, we do research, we do the writing for them.

So why don’t we apply that to ourselves?

It’s crazy, I know it.

Craziness is not an excuse.

So it must be something else. It must be time.

Time and the illusion of no-time

time

Okay, so we say we don’t have the time but that’s not really true either. We have plenty of time to write. We write emails and proposals and code and comments and chat messages all day long.

The issue is that we don’t make the time.

There is an illusion for business owners that if they aren’t working on projects or getting business, then they aren’t being profitable.

But writing isn’t just writing. It’s all manner of things.

  • It’s setting out your stall.
  • It’s opening discussions.
  • It’s answering questions
  • It’s being yourself.

So in being yourself, finding your tone of voice in writing, you bring authenticity and it breaks down the barrier of “the writer”.

Opening the conversation with prospective clients is good for business. It makes more opportunities at a time when the business should have more.

So remove time. That argument is weak, and I know it.

So I can dismiss that illusion too.

When you dismiss the craziness and illusions, then comes fear.

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

fdr-the-only-thing-we-have-to-fear-is-fear-itself

And here we get to the real reason that I’ve not provided you with nuggets of wisdom, cathartic rants and useful how to guides for your WordPress website.

Fear.

Firstly there’s the personal, ego fear:

  • What will people think?
  • Will they like it?
  • Will they hate it?
  • Will they bother?
  • Will people like me?

When answering a client we just say – it doesn’t matter. Just do it. There are business reasons for doing so.

Then there’s the business questions:

  • What should I write?
  • How much should I write?
  • How often should I write?
  • Who am I writing for?
  • When will it increase my rank on Google?
  • What do I include to make Google like me?
  • Why can’t I make Yoast light up green?
  • What ROI will I see?
  • What KPIs should I measure?
  • How will it increase revenue?

And that list goes on and on.

The answers all depend.

I know the answers for clients. I just needed to ask the questions for Inigo. And I have. Then I answered myself and started writing. Here we are.

Just as I know clients need to just do it, I need to too.

Dan, just get on with it and the writing fear will turn into writing joy.

The business questions will be answered and people will read, share and Google will take notice.

What about the utility belt?

Ah, yes, utility means usefulness.

Turning the writing fear – or the perception of what people think about it (and me) – into joy means that I release my knowledge.

It makes my Bruce Wayne into Batman.

It holds my expertise and my expertise is like grappling hooks and stun guns.

It is transformational to the people who need it.

There’s no way to brain dump what I know into my client’s head – into your head – unless I share it.

There’s no way for a prospective client to know my expertise unless I put it out there.

In finding a way to share, I deliver usefulness.

In sharing myself, I become indispensable.

And incredible.

And you can be too.

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