I want to write better.
The first thing I did was to check out books on writing. So far I’ve read five books on writing.
My favorite is Ann Handley’s, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.
Next, I just need to write. And write every day.
However, the thought of writing every day is daunting.
And so I asked myself these questions.
The questions about writing
First, the fundamental questions:
- How would I find the time to write?
- Even if I had the time, what would I write about?
- How much should I write? One sentence? One paragraph? One hundred words? One page?
What about tools:
- What application should I use? Word or some fancy apps?
- Do I write on my computer or my phone?
- Do I write on paper? If I do, should I use loose sheets or do I get a Moleskine?
What about environment:
- Furniture? Should I get a Herman Miller chair or should I write standing?
- Should I have a favorite spot for writing?
- Should I write anywhere?
- Should I write in the morning or early in the morning?
Truth be told, all those questions are just distractions.
The real questions you ought to ask about writing
The questions you ought to ask yourself about writing are:
- Who should I write for?
- Who would read it?
- Would it add value to the lives of people who read it?
- Would people apply what they’ve read?
- Does my writing add to existing knowledge or is it just noise?
Once you’ve sorted those out, then comes the next most important question: Will you write?
Here’s a framework that helps you write
As a husband, father, and principal of a successful consulting practice, I have relied on this framework to help me write.
If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real. ~Anthony Robbins
I schedule to write every day in the morning after my Bible study.
Nobody can argue with five minutes, including your brain, so it lets you have it. ~Benjamin Spall
The trick to getting started is to commit only five minutes, yes, five minutes, each day to writing.
The act of sharing is one of generosity — you’re putting something out there because you think it might be helpful or entertaining to someone on the other side of the screen. ~Austin Kleon
I want my writing to not just take up space on the internet. But to make a contribution.
The real reason why I write
What’s the purpose of my writings?
I am writing because of these three reasons:
- Consolidate all the experiences I have had so far
- Codify it by re-presenting it as an elegant solution to design a better life
- share it with anyone who wants to design a better life
What keeps me going is also my children.
I want to consolidate and codify it so that my children would be able to learn more about their dad.
I also want my kids to know that their dad was busy documenting his life instead of spending hours on Netflix or Candy Crushing.
Yes, it is judgemental. I just can’t see myself wasting my time and life doing that.
Leave a legacy you can be proud of
My purpose of writing this piece is to inspire you to take action, to think about how your legacy can be talked about long after you’re gone.
Whatever the action may be, start today because:
It is urgent
As author of Die Empty, Todd Henry said:
Your days are numbered. Finite. They will run out. This is indisputable. We live with the stubborn illusion that we will always have tomorrow to do today’s work. It’s a lie. Today is all you have for certain. How are you using it?
Don’t waste it
As the late Steve Jobs reminded us in his commencement speech that your time is limited:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
Begin it now
I think W. H. Murray said it best:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.
Don’t wait till tomorrow
James 4:13-15 (NIV):
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Question: What will you do, starting today?
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