Let's be honest. There’s a lot of content out there that makes our eyes glaze over by the end of paragraph one, go into a fog by two, and forget what we’re reading entirely by paragraph three. Either you haven’t yet had your coffee for the morning—or you’ve encountered yet again more words infected with boredom, zapped of life, or written out of the duty of a due date.
Whether it’s a blog, article, or social media post, we are often lost in the heavy fog of dry content. Even the word content has become as generic as a factory of bagged noodles. The content demand has become so insatiable that we are left with packs of disposable written goods. Content is spout out as fast as fries in a burger joint and devoured and disposed of before you have a chance to ask for ketchup.
The truth is, as readers we are more and more unable to connect to the words we read because there isn’t a person on the other side of those words. There’s an idea, or an aspiration, or a due date—but not a person.
Written from the head, not the heart. Written what we're told—what’s expected. Out of the demand for more content.
As writers, the heart and soul of our writing is often taught out of us—in school, in university, at our job. In school we are taught to convey our point in an organized fashion but taught nothing about using our voice and putting who we are into words.
At university we are taught to write for the academic community—usually for academic journals. Meanwhile, readership for academic journals is notoriously low. For obvious reasons—Yet we still continue to write with academic formalities.
And then there’s our job. We’re often given a script to adhere to, with little room to personalize or connect with clients. We’re obligated to remain neutral and disconnected.
What we end up with is a lot of reporting. Reporting of thoughts, ideas, principles. Reporting, informing, and reporting again and again as we join the content race.
Of course, every book, article, or post doesn’t need to be a blockbuster film, because let’s be honest, just how riveting can an article about drywall be? But it should make us feel something. At the very least it should make us feel that there’s life behind the words.
So how do we replenish the life back into our writing? How do we clear the fog and express words that will resonate, activate, educate, and inspire readers—to take action, to connect, join the conversation and engage?
It begins with finding your voice.
Anyone can write, but true writers have found their voice—their true expression. And they’ve found their voice through discovering who they are and how to best express themselves. Any university can teach you how to write, but they can’t teach you how to be the fullest expression of you.
And if you don’t know who you are, that’s your first quest. Because if you are not connected with who you are, your readers won’t be able to connect with you or what you write either. The automated you that’s been shaped by the obligations and pressures of your upbringing is not who you are. This means you must get to know the you beyond your identity, or the you behind the who.
So what does that really mean? To know who you are?
Deep down there’s a you beyond all the noise—a unique expression that only you can share. Once you’re rooted not in what you think, but in what you know, that’s when you will find the source behind your soul—the well of life and wisdom that will flow through your words.
The truth is, you think you’re the pen, when you are actually the ink itself. Once you go beyond the pen and find your true expression, you will start writing from a place that will not only attract readers—but inspire, activate, and challenge them from within.
Find your well of ink, find your expression—and change your world, one word at a time.
Important to Remember:
Write from your heart, not from your head.
Remember, if you don't feel it when you write it, your readers won't either.
Write like you talk, not how you want to sound.
Impersonate no one.
Let contemplation and introspection be your guide.
Use every experience as a learning quest and take notes along the way.
Force nothing. No one wants to read an obligation.
Write like no one’s watching. Validation is as short-lived as a Happy Meal.
Write what you know, not what you think.
Be the ink, not the pen.