Not a writer? Me neither. Of course, I’m writing so that’s a lie. Quit lying to yourself and write. Email. Cards. Newsletters. Whatever. Just write.
Write every day or every other day. Don’t know what to write? Simply write to help someone out. Did someone ask you today how to do something? Write about it. Do it often and exercise that writing muscle.
Write ahead. If you get sick, your community still benefits and you can really rest, or do really important stuff without worring to rollout content.
Nike was right. Just do it (your writing) – then let inspiration follow – not the other way around. One adds, the other subtracts. Keep adding it up.
Like an athlete that knows what training produces, work to provide your community with tools that solve their problems. Do this enough, they help expand your community. Demand too much of them, watch them leave faster than evangelicals at a new age convention.
There are amazing people who want to join and love you and there are people who read your work and for them, it’s like nails across a chalkboard, or they spew negativity on your comments. Don’t lose sleep over either set. Work steady. Build community. Do it for your own need to do the work. When your music resonates, your audience will appear.
If you are a passionate barista, write about the coffee and customer experiences. Tell tips on how to brew an amazing cup of coffee. If you are a musician, write about your band, amazing people you meet on your tours and your awesome fans.
Counter to the last point. Listen. Every comment. Every email. Every dance between them. Get to know them and what they like. Know what they hate. Who doesn’t want to be heard? Give good ear to deepen your relationship with them.
Without your reader, you are writing a diary entry in a very public way. That’s okay. We all start somewhere. When your readers start to show up, show them love and respect. Just like you would if you were visiting a dear friend. One day you might meet them in person.
Read one book for every two weeks of writing. Why? Let others ideas percolate, inspire and inform your writing. If you want to make good shoes, you apprentice with a master shoe maker. If you want to improve your writing, read amazing books.
Emulation is the highest form of flattery. Do you like Chris Brogan’s human business writing? Copy his style. If you love Gwen Daubenmeyer’s no bull writing about things that matters to a new home buyer, copy her. If you love to have fun in your community, copy Paul Bond. Reference what you take from their sites. Emulate into your own focus and voice.
How should you write?
Core info. Brevity. Make your point. Get out.
Contexture. Give context. Flavor with personal texture. Make the reader your hero. Why? Because they are.
Find support. You’ll need it. It’s the bloodline of your work.
Collaborate. Two heads are always better than one. They see what you can’t. Vice versa.