Writing, Teaching, and Business
Hey, Medium! While listening to Pat Flynn on his Smart Passive Income podcast, he said Medium was a great place to start writing, so here I am.
Wasn’t sure what to title my first entry, but I do enjoy writing and am both an educator and an entrepreneur. Figured I’d cover all aspects briefly in my title.
“Inspiration is good, but inspiration combined with action is so much better.” — Chris Guillebeau
Writing and publishing today is an attempt to capture this truth. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “I need to start writing.” And then days go by. This article will mainly be about writing and what it takes to create something meaningful, and the work that it takes to do so. It’s about how to take action and apply life lessons. This is an attempt to not just learn, but apply what I have been learning.
I’ve been doing a ton of consuming in recent months— watching, reading, and listening. Lots of podcasts, audiobooks, books, Youtube videos.
I have learned oh-so-much from all of these different mediums. But now it’s time to create. It’s time to produce something from my perspective. As an educator and an entrepreneur, I believe that I have a unique take on the world of education and business, and, life.
I write because it helps me process. It helps bring clarity to what I’m doing and the projects I’m tackling. I write because I want to impact other people. I want to help them get better, be more empowered, think differently.
Obstacles to writing:
- Ideas. There are plenty of moments in life where I feel I have something valuable to say or contribute. But when it comes to sitting down and writing, those ideas seemingly disappear. There’s just a blank screen.
- Work. Writing takes work. Time and effort are key components in the ‘work’ of writing. I don’t mind work; it’s the time and focused effort part that I struggle with. I do my best writing when I am focused, quiet, and can devote time to it. Time away from people in solitude is such a battle for me. Just taking a few minutes to start writing this post has been interrupted by two phone calls and a glance at my email. (And since I first wrote this, I got in an episode of Mad Men, a couple phone calls, and a few more glances at my email.)
Solutions to Writing’s Obstacles
I’ll make this as succinct as possible, for my own benefit really…
- Obstacle #1 — ideas. Solution #1 — just start writing.
I began this article without a clear focus for the main topic. This article has pivoted twice, and now is what it is. I heard someone say once, “You don’t write when you’ve got something to say; you write to find out what you have to say.” I found this out during my creative writing major days and in my time writing with the Ohio Writing Project in Oxford, Ohio. I spent a lot of time ‘free-writing’ with no main purpose to finally producing insightful thoughts and a few final pieces that I felt comfortable publishing. It happened because I just started writing.
- Obstacle #2 — work. Solution #2— choose one thirty minute spot to write.
I didn’t (don’t) have the vision or stamina to commit to writing daily on Medium for publication. I was (and am) certainly intimidated by this task. I did quickly find (between all my interruptions) that I could create something publishable if I sat down for a short amount of time and got started. Maybe the obstacle really is procrastination? If so, it’s procrastinating the work part of writing.
Choose a small window, sit, and write. Having a publication goal did help me, so maybe have an ‘end destination’ in mind for your writing.
Quick Takeaways for You —
If you want to write but are intimidated about the whole thing, do these few things:
- Choose a 30 minute window this week for the sole purpose of writing
- Sit down and write
- Plan to publish
- See what happens
Hope you enjoyed my first attempt at published writing in quite some time. I leave you with the wise words of Don Draper from Mad Men,
“Just think about it, deeply, and then forget it. An idea will…jump up in your face.”
In case you’re interested in some of the things I’ve been consuming recently, here is a list of a few of them:
Book(s) — Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Tim Ferriss, 48 Days to the Work You Love: Preparing for the New Normal by Dan Miller, Leap: Leaving a Job with No Plan B to Find the Career and Life You Really Want by Tess Vigeland,
Podcast(s) — Smart Passive Income, Side-Hustle School, anything Gary Vaynerchuk related
YouTube Channel(s) — Fight for Together, Tony Robbins stuff, more Gary Vaynerchuk