The Price is Write
What is the value of the words we write?
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin
Do you write everyday? I do!
Do you read daily? I do!
Do you read and write about reading and writing? Most of us do!
Just like on a television game show, we can often choose between door 1 and door 2:
Maybe Door 1 is writing.
Maybe Door 2 is not writing.
When I worked in corporate engineering, many serious issues landed on my desk because I could examine problems from many angles and propose solutions.
Lately, I’ve been thinking like that about writing, looking at all the types of writing — blogs, books, screenplays, pitches, sales copy, poetry — also the benefits and the pitfalls.
Even if we write professionally, there are many unpaid hours of writing behind the scenes. Though writers know that words, and the skills, provide value.
Making a ruckus in this way is encouraged by Seth Godin’s newest book, What to Do When it’s Your Turn (and it’s Always Your Turn), a beautiful book, and a great gift for anyone that you want to inspire to write or create,
Let’s discover and consider writing, the benefits and uses, that we may or may not get paid for, because they have longevity and merit!
- Outlet: Writing is an outlet. Writing is a great way to turn stress-related energy into positive healthy creativity — a creative outlet. (Thank you for the link @MrIanChew)
2. Communication: Writing is sharing which facilitates better communication. We can find our voice whether we write a personal letter, or a self-help book. Writing helps us organize our thoughts. Written word can also serve as a blueprint for when we speak, casually or professionally.
3. Writing teaches us how to fail with grace: We may get judged or receive some harsh comments, but our work is out there and we have learned to take the good constructive criticism (and edits) to improve and become resilient with the rest.
4. Writing fosters communication with other readers and writers: I read you, you read me, we are one big faaaaaaaaaaaaaamily :).
“I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.” Seth Godin
5. When we write, we help others: Speaking of helping, we are not helping anyone if we covet our thoughts and ideas. We may not be helping others that can benefit from our story or life experiences. Everyone knows something that can help someone.
6. Writing exercises our brains: Idea listing is amazing brain fitness, but we cannot list ideas until we become ritual writers as well!
Creative writing also activates the brain http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.21493/abstract
7. Technical documentation of instructions and innovative idea specifications:
Have you ever tried to build or assemble something with poorly written instructions?
Have you ever submitted documentation for a knowledge base or FAQ? Have you ever written a specification?
Have you ever trained someone else to do your job? (If this has happened to you, you’ll understand this question. Often an employee may be tasked with documenting their job, just so someone else can be hired to fill it; therefore, the documentation requested is to train a new person to do your job!) If you’re working in this environment, I recommend Office Space the best written comedy about office life. It’s the best $5 office cubicle work therapy a good screenplay can offer!
‘How To’ documentation and technical writing really helps others, though the others may not be the original author.
8. Sales Copy: Knowing how to write good sales copy can create income for yourself and others.
9. Fun with poetry: What if you’re a poet, and don’t know it! With the internet it’s easy to get your rhyming on!
10. Write a song!
11. Write a book: Imagine your proud peers when you tell them you’re a published author. You can use Scrivener (Mac or PC) to easily convert your book to Kindle. I learned Scrivener in episode 2 of the Michele the Trainer Show when author Dawn Casey-Rowe explained it to me during my show.
12. Write a sitcom or screenplay: In episode 23 of the Michele the Trainer Show podcast, you can learn how to write a screenplay using Final Draft (Mac or PC) when screenwriter Dave Bullis teaches me during the interview.
13. Emergency instructions: If I’m vegan and I don’t want someone feeding me a bacon burger in the hospital, I’d better get my paperwork in order!
14. Leaving a legacy: Like the Ten Commandments, written word and stories can be handed down and shared for ages and generations.
15. Sharing love, gratitude, inspiration and all of the uplifting written word!
I know this list could be longer. Please leave YOUR ideas in the comments or side bar as notes!
Can we put a price on learning all these things?
Writing is a priceless skill, and and the value it sends out into the world is absolutely unquantifiable.
“If we don’t make a dollar but we change the world in a meaningful way… the returns are going to be the exhaust of that.” Ashton Kutcher