The power of writing
This is the 30th episode of this newsletter / blog. I published the first episode on the 13th of November 2023. Here is what I learned about the power of writing since then.
Writing clears your mind
I often have a thought in my head, that is too complex to hold it at once. I can’t finish the thought. And so I repeat the first third of the thought in my head for some time, before I drop it. There is limited space in the mind.
Writing is different. Often, when I start writing, I don’t know, what I am going to write about. I have a mindmap with different ideas on future articles. There are things, that come up in everyday business, that get an article, just like an FAQ. And of course, we did research, what topics are interesting to our customers. These are what make up most of these articles.
But they are only the headline and a rough idea on it. I knew, that this article would be about writing. It is the 30th article and deserves a little special. But apart from that, the thought comes to (digital) paper before it comes to mind.
This to me is extremely calming. I know, how to talk about things, if I wrote about them first. I find words, when I found words on paper. I can write down anything, because I can correct it before publishing. And this gives amazing structure in my thinking.
I am not new to writing. I had a blog before, started writing a book, wrote lots of long form social media content and so on. I also do therapeutic writing, mainly for habit change and conflict handling. However, doing this as a business activity feels amazing in a new way. It frees up space for other business thoughts.
Writing shows your unknown unknowns
In our core methodology, the jobs to be done innovation framework, I am rather new. My business partner Peter is the one, that developed most of the framework over almost 20 years. He is responsible for the great quality, our customers can expect. To me, this is still a learning journey.
But I write about it. Often, I write about something and then we (Peter and I) have a long call. Sometimes, my understanding is quite good and the article turns out great. Sometimes, I discard everything and start anew. It helps me to accelerate my learning. And it helps me in discovering, what I don’t know yet.
Writing helps you find easy explanations
I am using Hemingway for writing. It’s a simple text-editor with focus on readability. You always see, how easy your article is to read. It encourages you, to use active voice, by highlighting passive writing. Long and hard to read sentences get marked and it checks for a reasonable amount of adverbs and complex words.
This helps me in finding an easy language. The topics and mindsets I talk about are sometimes hard to grasp. So keeping the language easy helps the reader. I also learn to find relatable examples that bring my point across. The feedback so far indicates good readability.
Blaise Pascal once said: “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote a long one.” I try to take the time, so you don’t have to.
Writing builds a proof of work
You can’t generate a long running blog overnight. Building good things takes time. Having something written, is a proof of work. You either did it or you didn’t. Just like planting a tree.
In many business situations, I by now have a relevant article, I can share. Something that provides value in a given situation. And it saves time for me as well. It acts as a public portfolio of my thoughts. And it’s good for SEO.
It also shows some progression. If you look at some of the first articles and at one of the last ones, there is a massive increase in quality. And they both will look very noob-style compared to those in a year or two. At least I hope so, else there wouldn’t be progression.
Writing consistently proofs something about yourself
I publish three times a week. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And I publish before I wake up. This means, that I have to have everything ready before going to bed. I don’t often get these articles done with much buffer time. And so I often sit in the evening and finalize the post for the next day.
I know, that this is not the best time management, but it gives me a kind of satisfaction. It’s like saying, that you will show up to the gym and then showing up. Writing most evenings, proves to me, that I am serious about it. And this helps me a lot.
This newsletter doesn’t have many subscribers yet. I guess, most wouldn’t notice, if I would miss one post or lower my frequency. But I would notice. And I would mind. When you tell others something about yourself, it helps, to prove it to yourself first. A good part of being trustworthy, is doing what you said you will do. Proving yourself, that you have done difficult things in the past, builds trust in yourself. Trust in myself, that I will continue to do it in the future as well. And in the end, people give us thousands of euros to help them solve their business challenges. I want to make sure, that I can trust myself with their trust.
I will continue writing. Obviously. The blog is still small and there are so many questions left unanswered. But I would appreciate more feedback.
If you found this newsletter helpful so far, please recommend it to someone who would benefit from it. And if not, I would be grateful for a mail on what you didn’t like. Both would mean a lot to me.