About three months ago I committed to writing six articles and publishing them for the world to read. If you missed the first one make sure to give it a read for some background “9 Reasons Why I Write and Why to Never Listen to the Mrs. Millers of the World”. I had thought about writing and publishing articles ‘for some time, and I’m glad I decided to finally do it. Now that I’ve finished all six articles I want to take a step back and share my experience with you.
When I sat down to write the first article, I truly didn’t believe I could be either creative or artistic. I quickly found out that while I may not be Billy Shakespeare, I do have something to say and can put it together in a meaningful way. I learned a lot over the last few months and the following are some highlights of what this process has done for me.
I believe sharing your internal thoughts with the world is a major act of vulnerability and I’m very proud of myself for doing that. It’s never been easy for me to open up and I’ve always been timid when it comes to sharing who I am with other people. This exercise has shown me that vulnerability is a door to growth.
I noticed a shift in my relationships with others, outside of writing, because of that vulnerability. When I began to write, I chose to embrace being vulnerable. This choice has allowed me to build confidence in myself as well as create more meaningful connections with friends and family.
Practical Writing Skills
I was able to gain some practical writing skills over the last twelve weeks. I became a better writer and was able to develop a writing process that works for me. I know I have a long way to go before I can consider myself a good writer but this was a great way for me to begin that journey.
I became a better reader – I found this to be the most noticeable effect. Not to say I should be an editor at the New York Times but when I read now I’m able to pick up on things I would have previously missed. I can see mistakes or writing styles that I like or don’t like and understand why. I am also able to observe specific nuances and intentions of an author which makes for a very different and more satisfying reading experience.
What to Write About
I learned that I have to write about topics that I find interesting. In retrospect, I understand how obvious that sounds, but sometimes the most obvious things in life aren’t truly apparent until they have been experienced.
Setting Public Deadlines
One of the important realizations I had was that I still procrastinate and put off work until it needs to be done. I was able to get my articles out at the same scheduled time each week because of the deadline I declared publicly. I will continue to use this tactic to keep me on task with my writing.
Accepting Compliments Wasn’t Easy
I found that the most difficult part of writing wasn’t the writing itself – It was after the fact when people brought it up to me in person. I didn’t know what to say or how to react. It was uncomfortable to be in front of a person that had read my articles. It felt like I was being vulnerable all over again but I guess it will just take some time to get used to.
Looking back I can see that this was a low risk/high reward exercise that I enjoyed tremendously. I would recommend for anyone to give it a try. I enjoyed it so much I’ve decided to continue writing.
I plan to stick with the original schedule by publishing articles every other week beginning with Wednesday October 4th and running through the first of the year. When I get to January I’ll reassess and decide where I want to go from there.
I have also decided to start my own blog/website where I can curate my work outside of LinkedIn. Understanding that LinkedIn is used for professional networking, I wanted to limit my posts that aren’t pertinent to professional life. Please check it out – gregnealexperience.wordpress.com
I have also started an email list to notify you when I publish articles. If you’re interested in being added to the email list please shoot me an email with your name (first and last) and email to add to the list.