You’re living a fulfilling life and want to share your thoughts with others. Speaking in front of groups doesn’t sound like much fun, so you choose writing. Sounds easy, but it isn’t. There’s a lot that goes into writing well.
Before you put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, you need to get yourself clear about your writing. The very first step to good writing is living. Yep, living. If you watch others instead of experiencing life yourself, you’re missing all the aspects of whatever it is you want to write about. I understand not everyone can do everything, and that’s why they interview other people. But to the extent you live something first-hand yourself, you’ll do a better of job of writing about it than if you write from a second-hand perspective.
The second step to getting yourself clear about your writing is determination. You need to determine that you are really going to write your book or article or blog or whatever.
In the third step, you need to determine why you are writing. Is your motivation to gain attention? to gain clients? to claim expertise? to serve your reader? to satisfy your own desire to write? Be honest with yourself about the why and your writing will be open and honest.
Now that you know why you’re writing, envision your reader. Unlike face-to-face communication where you can see your reader, written communication is one-on-one communication without feedback. That is, your reader cannot ask you for clarification, and you cannot see when your reader is confused or frustrated. The best way to figure out what your reader wants (or at least needs) to know is you envisioning your reader while you write.
The fifth and final step to getting yourself clear about your writing is to write in your own voice. Just about everything’s been said and said and said, but it hasn’t been said by you. There are insights only you can provide. There are expressions or ideas you have that your reader will find valuable.
Avoid the gremlin on your shoulder that whispers negativity. You lived something, are determined to share it, know why you want to share it, have figured out who you’re writing for, and have something to say in your own voice. That’s all you need to get yourself clear about your writing, so get busy!