I know the first thing you noticed is that I didn’t write “daily blogging” even though by now you know I”m a proponent of it. But I wrote “regular” on purpose – because I don’t think there’s any special magic in 7 days a week.
I’m sure people could discover the same benefits in 3 or 5 days a week just as easily.
No, my point isn’t really about the number of days you write. It’s not even about the number of days you hit “publish” – because some people write daily and still only publish a small amount of what they write.
The single most important skill you can develop is clarity in your communication.
When you decide to put your words down – to get them out of your head – you’re making an effort to take the mess inside and turn it into something neater on the outside. Something people can understand.
This is the skill that every single person out there needs – the need to learn to be more clear in their communication. Writing regularly helps.
The second reason I strongly advocate regularly writing is because it’s not driven by your passion. Specifically not driven by passion. You know what I’m talking about, right? The whole, “I’ll write when the passion hits me.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. Everything you write should have “you” in it – which means you should care about what you’re writing. So I’m not talking about writing without passion. I’m simply talking about waiting for the passion-driven motivation to write.
When you write regularly, you learn discipline. You learn how to move past the “feeling” that it takes to write. I’m a big fan of discipline – building a skill slowly over time by developing habits to support it. Sitting down at a blank screen and learning to get past the emptiness there teaches you things about yourself.
Folks that write only when the muse strikes don’t learn discipline. Writing regularly does.
To step you into the third reason, I want you to imagine walking into a convenience store. The kind that has a wall of refrigerated units filled with soda.
When you walk up, and you look at all those options, which of you get mad that you have options? Who gets all riled up about all those options? Not me. But I also don’t drink them all. I pick my favorite and move on. Sometimes I feel adventurous and try something from way back, or a new drink. But I like the options. I like choice.
Your Helpful Voice
The third reason I encourage folks to write regularly is because it helps them find their voice. It helps them find their unique “take” amidst every other voice out there.
I’m not talking about personal journaling. I’m not talking about “discovering myself”. That’s not what I mean when I say that it will help you find your voice. And if you’re wondering how this fits with soda options, give me just a second.
One of the reasons people don’t dig daily bloggers is because they feel like the writing is washed out. It’s empty. It doesn’t say much. And it’s written just so you can check a box. I hate that kind of writing. So don’t use my words here to justify that kind of writing.
But writing regularly helps you find the voice in you that channels your inside helper. The part of you who helps others, who coaches others, who advises others, and warns others. You explain. You entertain. You challenge. You educate.
Now, back to the soda thing. The reason I bring it up is because when I think about my writing, I think about giving my readers options. Sure, some will only like my WordPress posts. Others will get more specific – only WordPress tutorials, or only WordPress comparison posts. Others like some posts on presentations. Others only come for posts about pricing. Others come to read about startups, business topics, or help as a freelancer.
The more I discover how I can help people, the more I write. The more I write, the broader my audience becomes, as I tackle groups of loosely-related topics. I couldn’t predict up front where it would all go – but I knew I’d write about roughly four topics – so I didn’t get bored.
You may be a diet Coke drinker. That’s all you want. Great. Come by and read it. But if you don’t like the diet Dr Pepper next to your drink, just skip it and move on.
When people write that they would prefer that I write less, so I can write longer and deeper articles, what they mean is articles for them. They’re complaining about choice – without thinking about it. Because not everyone who comes to read my posts is just like you. Some of them are completely unlike you.
So you telling me how to be me makes no sense. You complaining about choice makes no sense. Just embrace what helps you and skip the rest. (Soon I’ll make it easier for you to do that in terms of email subscriptions.)
Writing regularly helps you orient yourself into a helpful posture. It helps you contribute to the world around you. It helps you help others.
Courage & Launching
The fourth reason to write regularly is because it will help you develop courage. Yes, daily blogging (or however often you write), will help you develop a set of muscles that will be useful for many endeavors in life – all of which require courage.
When you hit that publish button, you’re putting your stuff out there. You’re releasing content. And it may have logical mistakes. It may have structural mistakes. It may have speling mistakes. It may have capitalization mistakes. But if you do it right, your content’s point will get out there. And someone may benefit from it.
And the others will hate. Because that’s what haters do. And you know what? It’s worth learning how to deal with the haters. Developing the courage to still hit publish when you know it’s coming is like learning to launch products. People will have an opinion – it won’t always be the one you hope for.
It’s worth learning how to be happy with your product (even if it’s a written post) even when it’s not perfect. Learn to launch. Develop courage. That’s what comes from writing regularly.
Notice that I’ve gotten to the last point and never talked about the normal stuff people talk about (google, search results, seo, etc)? That’s because I consider that an ancillary benefit. If you don’t have something useful to write, go DO something. Then come back and help others do it by writing about it.
So the fifth reason to write regularly is because of how it inspires you. I just told you that your focus should be on others – helping them. I believe that. But let’s be honest – most of us are selfish by nature. Right?
Don’t believe me? When you wake up tomorrow, consider your first thoughts. Are they about someone else? Or about you? When you have free time, consider how you think about using that time? First thoughts? About you, right?
I’m the same way. But slowly, over time, it’s been changing…
Because as I write to help others, something happens. I get emails. I get posts. I get comments. And some of them sound like this,
“I just finished reading the eBook a week ago and applied your advice in my proposal last night with an inquiry, and I sealed the deal for (3x) the amount I expected to! I would have bet $ that they would not accept because they would not tell me their budget. I focused on “value” rather than price, as you explained, and it worked out.”
“I don’t usually randomly ‘Like’ strangers, but your articles proved to be very helpful, coming from a non-coder, not even one knowledgable enough to be dangerous. I’d buy you a beer if it wasn’t for the fact you’re half a world away.”
You know what that does? It affects my heart. It shifts my center of gravity. From inside of me to outside of me. My world becomes larger. Because I start thinking about others. As my default.
When I’m writing regularly, and helping regularly, and getting feedback that thanks me, it’s addicting. I want to help more.
And that makes me a better me. And if you write more regularly, who knows? Maybe you’ll be a better you. I surely hope so.