Writing and Grammar and Time…Oh My!
In this Article:
- Someone will laugh at me if I write
- My grammar sucks
- I don’t have time to write content
- I don’t have money to write
- I’m not sure I’m an expert
One of the biggest things that hold people back from writing content and becoming recognized as an expert in their field is Fear.
Sometimes it’s Fear that they are not good enough or don’t know how to write or how to express their thoughts. Others fear that acknowledging their expertise is somehow arrogant and thus “wrong”.
Having those thoughts are normal; however, allowing those beliefs to hold you back and lock up your talents from the world is criminal. You were not meant to be small.
I believe that every person was put on this earth with a gift. And discovering that gift and then sharing that gift is a big part of what this whole Life, Journey, Purpose thing is all about, right?
Now, what if you recognize your gift…or think that you do, but you are stuck for a way to express your gift to the world because “I’m not a writer.”
Maybe you’re afraid people will laugh at you. Maybe your grammar sucks. Maybe you don’t have time. Maybe you don’t have the money. Maybe you’re a little shy about expressing your greatness.
And maybe all those reasons are just Fear in disguise which can be overcome once you have the right information.
Don’t worry, I’ve actually been where you are. But I’m just crazy enough to believe that I can face and overcome any challenge that comes my way. Because, that’s how you grow and get better…and for me that’s worth getting up in the morning for.
So let’s talk about these excuses:
Someone will laugh at me if I write
Yes, chances are someone will laugh. So what?
You just can’t go through life successfully if you do or don’t do something based on fear of other people’s reactions. When it comes to your work and your writing, feedback is a good thing. It helps you get better, massage your ideas, and improve your writing style.
But you must consider the source (and motivation) of the feedback.
I’m not saying to only listen to people that agree with you. Constructive feedback gives you another point of view, opens up your mind to other possibilities, and makes you aware of the opposing view so you can consider that and address it. Conflict often leads to progress.
What I am saying is understand the motivation of the person doing the laughing.
I once had a critic that would literally print out my articles and go line by line, tearing them apart for grammatical errors and for ideas they didn’t agree with, pointing them out to a friend of mine. Why? Because this person didn’t like me. (I know, hard to believe, right?) I had something they wanted and it killed them that they couldn’t have it.
So what did I do? I just kept writing. While they were critiquing my grammar, I was building a business and signing on new clients. This person wasn’t even on my radar because my energy was focused on my writing, my business, and improving both.
My grammar sucks
This one is easy. People don’t use proper grammar when they talk. And, since you want to write in a conversational manner a dangling participle here and there are not going to flunk you out of content writing school.
Having said that, your writing still needs to be clear enough and correct enough so that people are not tripped up by poor grammar (and spelling).
Find someone to proof your work. It could be a trusted friend or it can be someone that you hire – even a high school or college student. A second set of eyes is always a good idea.
Remember, the beauty of electronic publishing is that you can correct things that have already been published in a matter of seconds. Don’t hesitate to print something you wrote because something may be grammatically incorrect. If you find the error later, you can just fix it. No worries!
I don’t have time to write content
Nobody writes the Great American Novel in a single sitting. It’s done a little bit at a time day after day. And while many web content writers can and do write an article in a single sitting, it becomes easier the more you do it because you are working out your writing muscle daily.
And, I know people that actually write books to publish on Kindle in a weekend.
It just takes desire and focus. You would be amazed at how much content you can write or record in 15 minutes.
So where can you create this writing time? Here are some suggestions:
- Record your thoughts on the commute to work then transcribe them later
- Wake up 1 hour earlier each day
- Instead of watching that TV show, write.
- Can’t miss the TV show? Then record it to watch without commercials at a later time. Skipping the commercials will give you 15-30 minutes per hour of writing time depending on the program
- Do you have to taxi kids to sports or other activities? While you wait, go to a coffee shop and write; bring a lawn chair and write; walk around the block and record your thoughts on your phone’s recorder; sit in the car and write. Get the picture?
- Tossing and turning in bed….can’t sleep? Get up and write.
Part of my daily routine includes working out and then reading something while I have my breakfast. Very often I’m inspired by an idea and then I immediately write. Not everything gets published right away but I do get the thoughts and words out on paper.
I don’t have the money to write
The only money you need to write is enough to buy paper and pencil (or pen).
And if you’re talking about money to publish, well, you can create a blog for free to get your thoughts out and into the world. You can write a book and get it published on Kindle very easily and if you create the book cover yourself…for free.
If you’re thinking that you can’t quit your day job in order to write, well…then don’t quit your day job but write anyhow.
Many businesses start as a side project or hobby while the person is paying the bills and keeping the lights on by doing something else.
And if you want to be a full-time writer and make enough money creating content for the web or other platforms, then the only way that will happen (outside of coming into a bunch of money) is by starting to write, right now. That’s how you build your skills, your ideas, your audience, and attract your future clients and customers so that you can quit your current day job and make writing your day job.
You can’t sell what you don’t have. If you plan to sell what you write and create, you’ve got to create it. If you plan to be recognized as an expert, build up your community and clients, then you need to create content so people can find you, get to know you, and recognize the value of your expertise.
That all happens with content.
I’m not sure I’m an expert
It’s been said that everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, we have to say it again because people don’t listen or they forget.
You don’t always need a great, original idea to become an expert. As Henry Ford said, “I invented nothing new, I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom there was centuries of work”
You may have a way of saying something or teaching something that benefits your customers. Maybe you see a way to systemize something and then teach that system to others that saves them time or money.
The only way that you’re going to know if what you know if valuable to others is if you share it. The more you see that the knowledge that is hidden in the treasure chest or your mind brings others entertainment, solves a problem, or makes their lives better or easier in some way, the more confidence you’ll have to claim your expert status.
Knowing what you’re good at is not arrogance. Knowing what your good at is an acknowledgement of your gifts. And sharing those gifts is the highest form of gratitude.
Your Turn: What do you think? What is holding you back from writing? And, if you are currently writing, what inspired you to pick up pen and start expressing your thoughts and knowledge? Comment below or email me directly at: [email protected]
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