It begins and ends with writing.
Yes, we live in an overwhelmingly visual culture, dominated by ads, images, videos, emojis and other vehicles that serve to entertain, inform, persuade, convince and convert.
But making an argument, and taking a stand still matters.
As does commitment and consistency, and the ability to be alone, (a la Virginia Woolf) and take some time to contemplate, think and formulate.
Blogging—long form content creation—still matters, even in a visually choked world. Many professionals would like to write, but are still trapped by the image that they have of writing from grade school.
Here are 5 steps to actually writing a blog post:
- Come up with an idea—“I have nothing to write about” is the worst phrase in the English language. Or possibly any other language. With the rare exception, people do not think in images (unless we are counting the actual visual alphabet of a language as an image itself) and so words must dominate. When you can’t develop an idea, what you’re really saying is “I don’t want to think.”
- Write down a few key words—We are avoiding the term “outline” but visual cueing and memory are still based in words. Write down a few and save them for later.
- Go back to the key words—Before opening up that Word document, or the lid to that Mac Book, go back to the key words you wrote. Begin to craft a story around them. Yes, “Once upon a time…” is an appropriate opening, but a better one is more metaphorical. Comparisons work, because the human mind needs to analyze the world of the unknown, against what it already knows.
- Don’t procrastinate—The biggest writing killer is procrastination. Typically based in fear, procrastination sneaks up and robs ambition, the desire to do better, and the will to put words on paper. Nike’s motto rings true here.
- Step back from what you’ve written—Trust us: Never hit the “publish” button right away. Yes, blogging has some credibility issues, but that has more to do with how the process is used and what the process is used for, than the actual process itself. Writing builds ideas, and a platform, but the audience wants to be treated with a semblance of trust. Misspelled words, poor comma placement, and on and on, distract the audience. Plus, the heat of the writing arena has to cool so that soem ideas can be killed, and resurrected, if need be.
Writing a blog post is not difficult. The underlying meaning behind writing, publishing and distributing that blog post is diffcult.
Writing represents a commitment to the written word. Writing represents standing in a place and owning up to an idea, a concept, and a story that others may not agree with. And without consistent writing, we don’t know how you develop all those other shiny platforms, from podcasting to YouTube videos.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org