If you want to have a successful business, you need to either get comfortable with writing practice or have deep pockets to hire a writer. Even if you do have a large surplus to invest in your business, you could probably think of a dozen better uses for it.
You’ve probably noticed that some people write with ease. Perhaps you envy them. Maybe you think they were born with that talent, and you conclude that you’ll never have it.
You may never become a great writer, but you don’t need to set the bar that high. While it’s true that some people are born with a facility for language, no one is born with the ability to effortlessly stream out highly readable writing.
It Takes Writing Practice
Writing is like everything else in life. Athletes, artists, singers, and typists practice. A natural gift is like a rough stone that a gem cutter shapes into a jewel. With practice, any intelligent person can become a competent writer. Practice, dedication, and imagination may raise them to higher levels.
Without practice, though, whatever talent you have is as undiscovered as that rough stone.
It Takes Patience
You do have to get some basics out of the way. Learn the essentials of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. You probably learned these in school, and you only need to remember. Find a good book or books on these subjects.
Explore sites—there are many—on these subjects. They are often clever and entertaining and make learning fun. Some of them have online tests you can take. This will help you gauge your progress.
Confidence in your ability to correctly write will provide a foundation for going further in terms of developing originality. You can more easily focus on writing when you don’t have to stop to remember where the comma goes.
Discover Your Voice
A lot gets written about a writer’s “voice.” This is not a mysterious concept. Your voice as a writer is how you express who you are. Everyone’s voice is as different from yours as they are, and this is good news. It means that you are unique. You can write in a way that no one else can.
A good way to develop your voice is to keep a journal. Use it to free write. You could, for example, set a timer for ten minutes, and use that time to write whatever comes into your mind. (Don’t worry about grammar, etc., while you’re doing this.) By creating a safe space in which you write without fear of others’ judgment, you forge a pathway from your innate creativity to your conscious mind.
You’ll also be practicing a style of writing that works very well for a first draft on any subject. Most writers will tell you that this draft should be a form of freewriting. Jot down your ideas, notes for what you’ll look up later, anecdotes, and anything else that relates to the subject you want to write about. Editing comes later.
Practice and Practice Some More
If you are consistent and dedicated, you will get into a rhythm of writing. If you are patient, you’ll see progress.
Don’t worry about how much time it takes. Give it the time you can. Ten minutes a day will get you further than half-an-hour a week.
As a bonus, your writing, especially your journal writing practice, can lead you on a voyage of discovery. People have reported that regular journal writing has taught them to be more self-forgiving and self-appreciative. If you got no additional rewards from writing, wouldn’t that be enough?
You will get more, though. The time will come when a once-weekly blog won’t intimidate you. You may decide to write a newsletter or a sales brochure or a speech.
When you develop ease as a writer, the world opens for you.
Join the Business Writing Circle to get the kind of writing practice that will make a difference in your business.
Pat Iyer began writing books in 1985, blogs in 2009, and video scripts in 2010.