For ages, writing has been confined to the select few – journalists, authors, professors,scholars, etc. You had to be some one with the right credentials or have the right platform to be some type of an author/publisher/writer. But the Internet has changed everything. With the explosion of the Internet- there has been a sudden influx of information available to you, but also it has opened avenues for ordinary individuals (like myself and yourself) to explore the art of writing.
Blogs started coming up. There are millions of blogs/websites out there. It has created a whole new profession – bloggers, writer, e-zine writers,etc. The Internet has democratized writing. And the best thing is that you do not need a Journalism Degree or a Major in English to start writing.
Anybody can write, and I believe you must write no matter where you are in your career. In this article, I will share some reasons why you (no matter who you are) must start writing.
1. PERSONAL BRANDING
No matter what your profession is, the brand you portray (i.e. Brand You) is significant. People don’t want to just go to ‘A’ Lawyer – they want to get advice from ‘THE’ Lawyer – someone who has an established credibility in her domain, and is the perceived subject matter expert in that domain. Traditionally Professionals had to rely on Networking events, Guilds,Speaking Engagements to showcase their expertise and knowledge level.
Today, with the help of the Internet one can reach a wider audience. Leveraging Publishing platforms such as LinkedIn, WordPress,etc. you can start sharing your wisdom with millions of potential readers on the Internet. Will this apply even if you are not an established Professional?
Absolutely!! Even if you are a Recent graduate with no real-life experience – Writing will help you stand out from the pack. Let’s say you are Marketing Graduate- setup a blog and start writing about your understanding of Marketing, what Marketing means to you, What you learnt about Marketing,etc. There will surely be an audience that will resonate with your message.
2. IMPROVES YOUR CAREER CHOICES
The purpose of a Personal Branding is to help you stand out. Let’s go back to the Marketing Graduate’s example. You are fresh out of school and you have started publishing your insights & ideas.
You apply for a job, and you are invited for an Interview. You learn that 25 other candidates have also been short-listed for the job. All things being equal (education, grades,volunteer experience,internships,etc.) – who do you think will make a favourable impression among all the candidates.?
You guessed it right.. The person with a better personal brand. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that just because you have published articles – you will get that job. There are other things (soft-skills, relevant experience,etc.) that are usually taken into consideration. However, branding gives you an edge.
3. IMPROVES YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Unless you are an English Major, or have taken an elective course in Writing – most of us are not the sharpest kid on the block, when it comes to writing. We are taught verbal skills, analytical skills , public speaking skills – but not necessarily how to write. In my experience, the best way to learn writing is to just do it. Begin now and start publishing your ideas.
It is one of those skills that will improve with time and with practice. Once you start writing, you will learn that your overall communication skills will slowly & surely start to improve. You will learn to crystallize your thoughts clearly and effectively put forward your message.
Over time your skill-sets will improve. Don’t worry about perfection in the beginning. I am a better writer compared to when I started – my audience resonates better with my recent messages. However, it has taken me a while to reach this spot. If I worried about perfect articles – I would have never written even the first article.
4. IMPROVES YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF A SUBJECT
The more you write on any given subject, the more you will be immersed in that field. You will be forced to acquire more knowledge, your experience will improve. Passive reading is good for acquiring knowledge- but writing will put your knowledge acquisition on steroids. Writing will also force you to explore new areas.
You will start learning about areas that you did not have knowledge/experience before. For instance, I wanted to write an article on “Negotiation“, an area I believed I knew very little about. I started reading on the subject- I ended up reading five books on Negotiation – and when I published my article I realized that I had become more knowledgable than before I started doing my research.
Even better- I now have an improve appreciation for the Art of Negotiating. I look forward to being in Negotiation situations.
5. SHARE YOUR WISDOM
Let’s now take a step back from the selfish you – over to your prospective reader or your potential audience. There is a good chance that there are people out there who will benefit from your wisdom. If you are reading this article, I assume that you wanted to learn a new idea or gain something out of it (If so, I am happy it is of value). I can bet that, you have searched on Google for things that you wanted answers to – book recommendations, gardening ideas, how to redecorate your house,etc. Someone else wrote those articles and you got the benefit. If you have knowledge/expertise in your area, don’t you think there are people out there who might want to learn from you? Perhaps, they have the same challenges that you once faced. They are now able to gain from your experience and knowledge, without having to sit down with you. Thanks to the Internet the world is your prospective audience.
6. A HOBBY THAT YOU WILL ENJOY
I started writing because I wanted to enhance my Personal Brand. However, after writing a few articles I realized that I actually enjoy the process of writing. It has become a hobby that I truly cherish. I now look forward to my weekends when I can grab a cup of Starbucks coffee & start typing down my ideas. Trust me, it is a better hobby than Netflix-binging. Many people have expensive hobbies such as gardening, golfing,tennis,video games,etc – most of the other hobbies requires more time & more money.
Writing is a cheap hobby – you can write for free using the LinkedIn Publishing Platform. Alternatively, for less than $10 a month you can setup a WordPress Blog and start writing. Additionally you need an Internet connection and a computer (which I assume you have because you are reading this).
Here are few sources to get you started.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead… start jotting down your ideas and start writing…
I have shared with you some of my thoughts and successes related to Writing.
What has been your experience with writing?