How I Became a Writer
Since university I have carried around the belief that I couldn’t write. I recall enrolling in an English course with my good friend Craig Babstock, who later became a sports journalist. Perhaps the act of comparing myself to him solidified my belief that I couldn’t write. I found myself trying to write like Craig rather than myself. Obviously, this was impossible, and so I just barely passed the course.
As my career progressed, I avoided writing like someone would avoid the plague. Whenever I was forced to write, I always told the person reviewing my writing that I was hopeless at writing. I also said that “I write like I speak” as an excuse for my obvious lack of command of the English language.
So why and how did a person who firmly believed he couldn’t write become a writer?
How did a person who firmly believed he couldn’t write become a writer? @chrisspurvey
Back in my mid-twenties I read a great book titled The Greatest Networker in the World by John Milton Fogg. In the book Mr. Fogg presented a narrative that helps the reader believe that he or she can be an effective relationship builder. At the time I read that book, I was looking to change my inner beliefs about what I was capable of, and the book hit me at the perfect time. I remember devouring the book while I waited in line for the roller coasters at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. I credit that book with helping me create a vision for my future that involves value-based, mutually beneficial relationships. The words in Mr. Fogg’s book changed me! From that point forward, I have been an avid reader and have seen firsthand the power of the written word.
I believe that there is meaning to all of our stories and that our stories and individual experiences have amazing potential to help the world to become a better place.
When I sit back and think about my life’s progression, I can see that one of the key decisions I made was to move into the sales profession. Through the trials and tribulations of selling, I learned who I am and how I can help others. I decided to write about these experiences and the personal growth that I achieved from them. For the first time, I was writing as me. That is when things began to change.
At first I ignored the fact that grammar and punctuation do not come easily to me. I just hit publish and closed my eyes. I had decided that, to get the energy to do the thing, I just had to do the thing. Later, as I became more serious and decided to write a book, I enlisted the help of a copy editor who cleans things up for me. My focus is on the message, and my copy editor handles the grammar and punctuation. I find this approach incredibly freeing.
Here are a few things that I have done to become a writer:
1) Write every day
Some days I write 100 words, and some days I write 1,000 words. Some days the words flow, and other days they don’t. Regardless, I remain committed to the process of writing every day. For me, the best time to write is at 5:30 a.m. It is a part of my morning routine.
2) Connect and communicate with other writers
I have found LinkedIn to be particularly useful in this regard. I have connected with numerous people who enjoy the process of putting their words out there across a diverse set of subject matters. Interacting with them has become a very rewarding part of my life. I’m inspired by their work.
3) Commit to reading
Many of my ideas for blog posts have come from reading. When I read, my mind reflects on how the reading material pertains to my past experiences and how it might apply to my future.
4) Pick an audience
As my posts are becoming more widely read, I am having more and more interactions with people who are interested in the subjects I write about. Hidden within each interaction is a topic I can write about. When I write, I keep that person in my mind and do my best to ensure that the post speaks to him or her.
5) Look for small things
Life is indeed short, and it is important that we take time each day to reflect on what made the day special. Most days those special moments are small in the grand scheme of things. However, each day we are learning—whether we realize it or not—and our learnings also contain lessons for other people.
For me, writing is simply the act of recording my life experiences and reflecting on them with the hope that other people will read them and use them for their own benefit. If you have found this post beneficial in some small way, I welcome you to comment below.
ABOUT CHRIS SPURVEY
I write books and help entrepreneurs and sales professionals feel and act more confident as they sell their product or service. I am the best-selling author of It's Time to Sell: Cultivating the Sales Mind-Set. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on sales and personal branding.
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