I have confession. Back in 2007, we were encouraging our clients to incorporate blogging into their marketing. While my team had written some posts and done some keywording for clients, I’d never logged in and created a post myself.
In fact, I knew all the reasons why to blog but didn’t know diddly squat about how to do it. I was a fraud.
I started dabbling with our Responsible Marketing Blog in late 2007, then in 2008 I set a personal goal to write a blog post every weekday for a year. 12 months later I looked 12 years older, but I’d written 286 blog posts–nearly 24 posts per month.
For the first time since I graduated from Gonzaga, I was writing every day. I found myself revisiting my old friends Mr. Strunk and Mr. White and diving in once again to William Zinsser’s excellent On Writing Well. I was so inspired I took action on my dream of writing a book. I met with authors. I found a literary agent. I even wrote my book proposal and the first chapter.
When the economy derailed in late 2008, it took some of our best clients with it, and blogging took a back seat to survival. I haven’t written regularly since.
Until now, thanks to Ann Handley.
We just read Ann’s book, Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content in our Outsource Marketing Book Club. I’ve enjoyed Ann’s work at MarketingProfs and her previous book, Content Rules.
Chock full of advice and ideas to help and inspire any writer, Everybody Writes has been summarized and reviewed by people far more qualified than I. It’s one you’ll read once, share, and refer back to again and again.
So what inspired me to get writing again? Well, it was partially because Ann’s writing style makes writing sound fun.
Really, this book helped me deal with my two biggest excuses for not writing:
Like a lot of writers, I’m a little insecure about my grammar and punctuation and how my prose stacks up. Call it my high school English class hangover. While these things are important, Ann’s focus is on clarity and voice. There’s even a chapter called “Shed High School Rules.” Yes!
With my insecurities now at bay, my second excuse was a lack of time. Ann doesn’t buy this, and shared this quote from Jeff Goins of GoinsWriter.com:
Don’t write a lot. Just write often.
I seldom sit down to write for a few minutes. It’s usually for a few hours. Hearing those words somehow gave me permission to enjoy writing in the time I have available to me. So I don’t have to finish 10 pages a day like Ernest Hemingway. Two good sentences in a day like James Joyce works, too:
Amazeballs! I’m writing again!