To the extent that human beings are civilized, it is because we have language. We can communicate our knowledge, stories and ideas to each other. When we cannot communicate effectively, it leads to enormous frustration (witness a toddler’s tantrum when Mom cannot understand what he wants to say.) I feel this frustration because I want to be a good writer, but I’m not one yet. Somehow I can take the sparkling, rainbow-colored, insightful ideas in my head and land them on the page like a manual for installing your dishwasher. This is especially maddening because I love words and appreciate brilliant writing. When it comes to my own writing, however, years of school and corporate jobs have made me terrific at producing writing so dull that my reader is in danger of slipping into a coma. You know that soporific book you keep next to your bed for when you wake up at 3:00 am and can’t go back to sleep? I could have written that. That’s why I’m so excited that James Chartrand’s writing course, Damn Fine Words, is opening again in a couple of weeks! (I will be camping out the night before with my folding chair and thermos of coffee to be first in line to register!)
I know better writing is a skill I need to learn. As a coach, my job and my passion is to inspire and compel you to take the actions and adopt the beliefs that will help you create a more powerful and joyful life. In order to do that effectively, I need to be able to not only listen well and speak well, but also to write well. My passion needs to show up on the page.
If only the great ideas in my head still could still feel great after they were written down! It would be fantastic to express myself in a way that means something to you, that inspires you to think differently about some situation you’re facing, or to take an action, or to not feel alone, or to feel that there’s hope.
As a business owner, I need to be able to write compelling and informative web pages, blog posts, classes, e-books and other content in order to effectively attract and help the people who can benefit from the coaching that I’m really good at! We’ve all read a lot of boring, redundant blog posts (or the beginnings of them anyway) and I don’t want to be that writer, but I fear that I am. Instead, I want to be the writer whose posts and newsletters you look forward to reading because they not only contain good ideas, but are written well.
Not feeling confident has led me to procrastinate writing and to fear people actually seeing what I’ve written. Not good results when you’re trying to help people, grow a business and make a living. I don’t regularly post to my blog because even when I have good ideas, I get stuck on how to make the writing compelling (or even somewhat interesting.)
My ideas are no good to anyone locked up in my head or in my notes and drafts. I want to be able to put them out in the world in a way that grabs you and makes a difference to you! I want to give you posts, free content and on-line products that will really make a difference in your life, without getting bogged down by the feeling that they’re not written well.
I either need to learn to be a better writer or be doomed to return to life in the gray cubicle (seriously, it was gray) so I’m committing myself to working the hell out of this course, learning to be a better writer and having some fun. After all, work, learning and fun are pretty much the recipe for a great life for all of us.