OK fine, I’ll say more.
But that is one of the biggest things if you want to improve your writing. It’s a muscle that needs to be strengthened. You get better at it the more you do.
I didn’t know it, but I was refining my skills
I’ve always said that one of the reasons I’m a good writer is that when I was 15, I kept a journal. For a good couple of years, I wrote a full page every day, religiously. I wrote whatever I wanted. There was a lot of teenage angst, a lot of hormonal ups and downs, plenty of sulking, and a good share of falling in and out of love. I’m sure now, in my 40s, most of it would seem ridiculous.
But the point isn’t what I wrote.
It’s THAT I wrote.
My brain got good at articulating thoughts and translating them into words and sentences. Connections were built. The pathways between my brain and my fingertips got strengthened.
In the last (nearly) decade of running my business, I’ve developed a refined skillset – one specifically around purposeful writing. Writing that sets out to achieve a certain purpose with a certain audience.
When I sit with a client who needs help with a document and we come up with the answers in minutes, they’re astounded. They can’t believe how good I am at it. How easy I made it look. They think I’m some kind of magician.
I maintain it’s just because of the years of practice.
Refine your process
I’ve refined my practice down to starting with some very specific pieces of information.
Once I know those, it’s easy to get clarity about a document, make some key decisions about how to approach it, and create a quick plan. All of a sudden that document isn’t an elephant you have to eat. It’s a map to follow on the way to arriving at a destination you know have made clear.
As I use that process EVERY DAY, for years now, it’s become very easy. I’ve become very good at it.
It’s not that I’m some document-whisperer. I’m just very well-practiced.
No amount of writing training will wave a magic wand and make writing suddenly easy.
It can help you take some leaps and bounds towards that, raise your confidence, and give you tools to use.
Those things are all incredibly helpful.
And, you have to practice.
You can’t get better at writing without writing. #SorryNotSorry