Your daily meat is getting clients, negotiating contracts and doing the work that inspires you.
And writing? A lobotomy has more appeal than working with words.
I have news for you. That attitude just won’t fly in today’s business environment.
Statistics for 2017 show that 51% of Americans prefer to shop online and that e-commerce is growing at approximaely 23% per year. That’s a lot of business!
BUT: if you’re trying to tap into the Internet as a source for clients, it’s nearly impossible to get away from doing “word work.”
Whether it’s emailing clients, putting together e-newsletters, describing your services on a company website or writing blog posts, you have to write.
So what can you do to make that job a little easier?
Tip #1: Make writing your new can-do
Your one great strength as an entrepreneur is your can-do spirit. It takes guts to go out there and get those clients!
So why not take that personal asset and also invest it in your writing?
Say, “I am a writer.” Make that your new mantra. Repeat it while looking into a mirror. Say it out loud to your dog. And to the people you know. Do this every day.
There’s power in naming. The more often you say something, the more you naturalize it to yourself.
Tip #2: Speak your writing
Some business people say they hate writing because they just can’t articulate their ideas well. Yet when they talk, many of these people never seem to be at a loss.
More than likely it’s because talking is something all of us do every day. And if we make “mistakes”? Nobody notices. Talking is an approximation of what we’re thinking, and people accept this.
So when you’re at a loss for what to set down, try using a voice recorder.
Or get a voice-activated writing program like Dragon Dictate, which allows you to speak your narratives directly into a Word document.
Tip #3: Love that cut-and-paste
People often think that in order to write, they need be able to start at a beginning that leads them without detour to a conclusion. This is what I call “straight line thinking.”
And you know what? It’s wrong.
Like any creative endeavor, writing is a process. So expecting your writing to come out a completed whole the first time just won’t work.
So get that cursor moving even if what you write is something you won’t use or will later wind up somewhere else in your narrative. It really is OK to move around text as you write.
Tip #4: Use drafts as play spaces
Having preconceived ideas about how you need to write can set up other barriers, too. It can make you think that you have to write in complete sentences and paragraphs, all in one go.
When you’re drafting — and for longer pieces, you will need to draft — just spit it out.
Never mind that what you write looks like some skeletal cross between a list and a poem. You can go back and work out the details later.
A draft is your own personal sandbox. So go ahead, play with those words. Arrange them on the page any way you want. It’s your space.
Better still, because your sandbox is a low stakes zone, your perfection-craving inner critic will be more inclined to ignore it…which will give you the space you need to write, unimpeded.
Tip #5: Strive for good enough
Trying to find the “perfect” words is a zero-sum game and one you need to avoid.
Psychology Today.com writer Robert L. Leahy has identified two forms of perfectionism. In maladaptive perfectionism, people criticize themselves every time they’ve made a mistake. Worse, they ruminate on those mistakes and only to feel even worse about themselves.
Adaptive perfectionism is much better. It allows room for imperfection, yet still lets you aim high and work toward your goals in manageable — even fulfilling — ways.
It’s just like Power of Positive Thinking writer Norman Vincent Peale once said: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
But to get there, you’ve got to work it.
Writing isn’t easy, even for professionals. But with a few adjustments in (1) how you think about writing and (2) how you do it, you can make words work for you.