From the BlogContact Me Now

"I'd Like To Blog, But I Just Can't Write"

You wouldn’t believe how often I hear statements like this. And from intelligent, engaging and interesting people. People who are professional and well-spoken.

Without a doubt we fear writing. But why? I’ve thought about this questions a bunch over the years. But seldom have I considered writing about it until the lovely April Groves left a comment on my post 3 Easy Steps to Creating a Web-based Business yesterday.

In 3 Easy Steps, I (and Matt Cutts) suggested that the second step to creating a successful online business is to start a blog. Why? Because it helps you engage directly with your target audience. It’s also the easiest way to begin driving traffic to your site and, hence, have the opportunity to grow your business. Here’s what April said:

I completely agree…but, I'll tell you… When I present the blogging idea to people I know, the writing aspect scares most of them to death. I hear “But I can't write” more times than I can count. My best counsel is for them to try writing the way they talk. It goes right to the heart of authentic. But, if you have other coaching suggestions to this block, I'd be all ears.

So why do we fear writing so much?

What I find most interesting is how the belief that we ‘can’t write’ is completely and utterly made up. At best, it’s something we took away from our junior high or high school education. Really, the idea we can’t write is thrust upon us because it just happens to be the opinion of our teachers. It’s not ours – unless we believe it.
But are they right? And can it change?

No, they’re not right. And yes, it can change.

I was one of those students who couldn’t write – so said my teachers. While I excelled at science and math, I could never write. Or at least that’s what I was told. And when I look back, they may have been right – at the time. But it certainly didn’t help to be told I couldn’t write each time I got a paper back.

And yet I sit here today with hundreds of blog posts – the great majority of which are written well enough that hundreds of people like you have wanted to engage me in conversation. Each of those posts has brought some value to people’s lives, their blogging and their business. And I don’t care whether I follow traditional writing methods. I care about communicating with you. So as long as I can do that, I know, without a doubt, that I can write.

So what’s the difference between what I’m writing today and what I was doing in school – other than a few decades of life experience, focus and a bit more maturity?

I think it’s relaxing and letting go of how I was taught to write. Forget the 5 paragraph model. Forget sentence structure and grammar (for the most part) and just write. Just get the words out from your mind. Let them move through your arms and dance you fingers on the keyboard just like they move up from your throat to create symphony between the tongue, larynx and lips when you speak (okay, so I went a little overboard). The point is – let go, and just write.

And for God’s sake, forget that you were ever told you can’t write. Because you can! With the blog – if you can speak, if you can communicate thoughts and ideas, you can write. And you can certainly blog.

I agree with April – write like you speak. Think about writing as a conversation and write that way. All of us can speak at least well enough to be understood in a conversation. So treat blogging like it’s a conversation. And remember that you, the blogger, get to start each conversation, you get to choose the topic and the way of looking at the topic. Then, invite the world to respond.

People care much more about what you want to communicate, what you want to share and how valuable it is to them then they do having beautiful, flowing prose. If you can write like that (communicatrix, I’m thinking of you), great. But if not, just ‘talk’ with people through your keyboard. They’ll learn far more about who you are, how you see things and how you can help them with their problems.

And that’s what leads to sales.

So what do you think…can you write (you should know the answer by now)? What was the biggest thing that you feel hurt your confidence in your writing? And how did you overcome it? I’d love to hear…and so would the people April talks with.

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Comments

  1. linkerjpatrick says:

    While I believe it’s important to have good grammar and spell I think we can often be held back because we think we are not perfect. I do know some people who can’t read an article without bringing out the proverbial “red pen” but these people have also worked in the writing and editing business.

    I love to write but if I have a weakness I will make a lot of spelling and grammar errors or say things that make no sense because my brain is way ahead of my fingers.

    All that being said I’d rather see people make more attempts at writing that to hold back because they can’t be perfect. Finally I don’t expect the speech of the century. If someone can take a little time to write something short, a sentence maybe but still let me know what’s going on I will be happy.

  2. Boy, was I told that I could not write! Till I got selected for admission into a premier Business School. We had a course called Written Analysis of Cases – affectionately called WAC. The instructor was a dragon! I learned to write in double quick time. No, I do not fear writing and what advise has come across here is more than enough to get anyone afraid to just get going. All it needs is the first attempt to get over that hesitation.

  3. Joanna Young says:

    Dawud (and April!) thank you, this is a subject dear to my heart.

    There’s lots of baggage around the word writing, or being a writer. You don’t have to ‘be a writer’ in order to write. I don’t think of myself as a writer – it brings up a completely different image in my mind to how I think of myself – oddly enough for someone who writes about writing most days – I think of myself as ‘just someone who writes’.

    Changing the language is one way of getting over the blocks, as Jean says.

    I think there’s a big fear of setting yourself up as expert that goes alongside the fear of writing (a subject you’ve tackled here before I think, as has Adam Kayce). We need to keep breaking that one down too.

    I know that ‘writing the way you speak’ works for a lot of people – probably not for me or other shy people though. I can write in a way that I could never speak!

    For me the key is realising that blogging is a conversation – which means you need to spend time listening, creating space, reflecting, acknowledging what other people have said. This might be one way into blogging for those who are feeling blocked – start by reading, why not jump in and comment – hey you’ve just published your first words online (though of course lots of people are scared of writing comments too!)

    Sorry I’m going on a lot here – the other point I’d use to try and encourage new bloggers is that blogging breeds confidence in writing – mainly ‘cos you get instant supportive feedback and comments. I don’t think most of us got that in school.

    It’s wonderful to see people blossoming with confidence in words through their blogging – so if we can help unpick the barriers to getting started I’m with you!

    Joanna

  4. Aw, shucks. And, as you have shined that little light on me so nicely, I will now commence to writing like a dunderhead, without a doubt.

    Seriously, this drives me at least as batty as people who say they can’t draw or even–wait for it–can’t act. No, we’re not all Rembrandts or Meryl Streeps (or Cate Blanchetts, for that matter–did you SEE her in “I’m Not There”? Oy, that girl acted circles around everyone else in the movie!)

    But everyone can get a foundation of these skills with just a little practice and, more importantly, a putting-aside of her fears that she can’t. That she’ll look stupid. Because of *course* you’re going to look a little stupid for a while, learning something new; egads, you should have seen me in tango class. Or cooking my first 1,000 dinners. Or or or…

    I think it’s that fear of looking stupid that makes people, consciously or unconsciously, write “fancy.” I’m helping to break a friend of that habit now. She’s obsessed with having her writing seem…high-class, whatever that means. I keep telling her to take it down to the bones. First, just write out what you want to say in the plainest language possible. (If you’re used to trying to speak “fancy,” too, the “write it like you’d say it” trick doesn’t work.)

    But yes, if you don’t have “fancy-talking” disease, by all means, try the exercise of writing as if you were speaking. Also…

    1. Make yourself write every day
    2. Read! Read! Read!
    3. Immediately buy “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg, which has tons of great writing exercises to help. They’re etudes, short little sketches, not big long, things. Geared towards personal and fiction writing, but I think a lot of readers of your blog would dig it.

    Finally, I’d humbly suggest you subscribe to my newsletter, or at least go through the back issues. It’s once/monthly, and each issue tackles some point of communication.

    November’s issue has a bunch of ways you can use social networking tools to help improve your writing skills:

    http://communicatrix-designs.com/newsletter/index.php

    Sorry for the pimping; Dawud knows it’s very unlike me. But I’m crazy-passionate about turning people on to the joys of expressing themselves. (Yeah, Colleen–a 10,000-word comment…ya think?)

  5. Home Recording,
    I’ve seen so many people freeze around the idea of writing. I also know beginning bloggers that take hours, I mean hours, write a simple post; trying too hard to get it perfect. It’s so much simpler than this. Just write. I agree with you. Just get started. You’ll fumble, sure, I did. But that’s how you learn.

    communicatrix,
    Yeah, but it’s just words like ‘dunderhead’ that makes your writing so lovely.

    And no worries on pimping yourself. Knowing you as I do, I’m quite happy you pimp yourself here. Furthermore, I’d like to see you pimp yourself more often. People love you and what you have to say. That’s how I found you.

    And let me agree with you on your newsletter: Start getting communicatrix’s newsletter.

    linkerjpatrick,
    First off, I just noticed your handle – love it!

    Grammar and spelling are important and it’s ultimately necessary for good communication. At the same time, I know it’s these rules that stop some people from writing.

    I agree with you – just write. Enjoy connecting with people. Enjoy communicating. Enjoy the conversation that develops around your blog.

    You mentioned you have these ‘weaknesses.’ What have you done to overcome them?

  6. Michigan SEO - Terry Reeves says:

    I faced this same situation. It was not that I could not write though, it was that I did not want to write. There is a difference.

    I can put words to paper as well as anyone but when you simply don’t want to write, well that is a completely different problem. I frequently meet others in business that I recommend blogging to and they too have no desire to write. It can take some time to get into the mode of just doing it.

    I use many “tools” to inspire me to write about something at least every day. I started doing this last week :)

    Hopefully I will keep it up.

  7. Just like anything, there’s no such thing as “can’t”, but rather there are just things we haven’t worked on enough to become comfortable with. I have always HATED writing, with a passion. It takes me way too long, and even though I’m usually satisfied with the results when I’m finished, it’s a constant frustration. It’s rather amusing that I’ve become a blogger, in fact, because it forces me to do something that I struggle with. But… it’s gradually getting better with practice, and blogging has been excellent because it has forced me to practice.

  8. My attitude is, “Sure, I can’t write. So what? I’m doing it anyway.” Another phrase that helps is, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” I can’t think of anything more valuable than writing/communicating.

    Great topic!

  9. Randa,
    I’ve been there too. And you’re right, the best way to deal with some difficult is to face it and work with it. Any advice on what to do when you get stuck?

    Jean,
    I love the attitude. I’m sure you faced similar issues from your education. How did you overcome them?

    Joann,
    First thing…I value your comments (and your blog) so much that you can never us up too much space here. So feel free to comment as long or short as you like. And thanks for caring enough to add so much to the conversation.

    I think you’re right…it has a lot to do with how we frame our relationship to writing. If we can just be people with something valuable to share instead of experts who have to have all the answers, the path can be a lot smoother.

    And I was thinking about what you said around writing how we speak. Perhaps you’re right, even for those who aren’t shy. I’m watching myself right now as I write this reply. I realize that what I do is read your comment (i.e. listen to what you have to say) first. Then I make space in my mind and heart for a dialogue. And as I type my reply, I put myself face-to-face with you and respond how I perceive our conversation would go next. That’s not exactly how I would speak. It’s more how I imagine I would be in a conversation with you. Do you see another blog post brewing?

  10. Love this conversation…

    here is a recent excerpt from a post I wrote “once upon a time I had a family” specifically addressing how I was forbidden to write and didn’t for 20 years,I began again to create vision for my work. Blogging the last 6 months has taken it to another layer, so much so I want to help others author their blogs. I love how you say forget the rules we learned in school. It’s so true.

    The Right to Write.

    I truly treasure my freedom of expression.

    In high school I had a teacher who asked us to keep a journal. I loved writing in it, as my life was a tad intense. My journal brought to me a safe and sacred place to explore how I was feeling and why. I always felt better after I wrote. It was a total blather of normal teenage angst mixed in with details about me discovering my sexuality. I wrote every little detail in my journal. I struggled then with my relationship with my dad. He treated me very differently after puberty and I began to hate him. I wrote about that too.

    What I didn’t realize was my mom was reading my journal. She told me dad about what she read. He said he wanted to read it and she hid it from him. They played this game for some time. He eventually found it – read it, as did my younger sister who I shared a room with. All with out my knowledge. (wow so much for respectful privacy)

    When my parents finally told me they read my journal, they spoke of it in the context that “something is wrong with you Karen and you need help”. At the age of 16 I started seeing my mom’s psychologist – Dr Bob. What I gained from a year of his services and friendship was a tremendous sense of self worth. He helped me see the world with great clarity. There was nothing wrong with my view he said. I felt so tremendously confident when I was with him. At that time no other place in my world felt that way. Unfortunately it was only an inkling of confidence, because my father stopped my sessions after accusing me of sleeping with the Dr. (Pretty degrading huh?)

    My parents forbade me to journal. I didn’t write again until 1995 when I began to affirm my goals for work. 20 years later. (Twenty years!) I took the voice I had found in my nutritional work and brought it to print. I was prized in my field (others asked to borrow my materials. What a compliment!) My clients were extremely responsive. I was very successful with the written word.

    Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan
    http://www.bestwellnessconsulant.com

  11. Laser Hair Removal says:

    It was great to read this article and the comments given on this article. I too fell the same as that I can’t write, but after reading your article it makes me feel good and has broken my myth that I can’t write.

  12. communicatrix
    I agree with those 3 steps you mentioned. I do that myself to improve my writting skill. I push my self to write everyday. I re-read my post, edit it if necessary. I read many many blogs,mostly the established one, not only for reading their content but also to learn their writing style

  13. Terry,
    You can definitely keep it up…until you don’t.

    I remember, in another part of my life, once being asked a question about spiritual practices. Some was telling me how they judge themselves for not doing their practices ‘when they should.’ It was evident this was causing great suffering. My response surprised even me, “do you know what the most important spiritual practice you can do is?” They replied, with perked ears as though I was going to share some deep secret, “what?”

    I simply said, “the next one.” And it’s the same, I feel, for blogging. The next blog post I can get up is the most important one – even if it’s not until tomorrow.

    Mother Earth,
    Wow! What a story. I can’t even imagine being placed in that situation. It’s incredible you survived as you did. And even more so that you still love writing. How did you overcome these ‘issues?’

    international scholarships,
    The communicatrix knows what she’s talking about. I know her, we’ve spoken a bunch and I stand behind any of her advice.

    So, how has the process worked for you?

  14. Thanks for this article and the other comments given on this article. It helps me much.

  15. I just visited communicatrix blog, and liked what I saw and have subscribed to her news letter. I have also indicated that I got referred to her by you.

  16. Laser,
    Of course you can write. We all can. The myth is that we can’t. We all can write and we all can find an audience who loves what we write. That’s the beauty of social media, don’t you think?

    website beoordeling,
    Sure. From the post or the comments, what’s been of most benefit to you?

    Home Recording,
    Great, and I’m sure Colleen thanks you. I love her writing. It’s alive, witty and full of interesting takes on things. And if you look, there’s some great wisdom as well.

  17. Same here. I started blogging with the idea nobody would read my stuff. But the actual fun off blogging is that people ónly read your stuff when it is actual interesting enough. So anyone who says you can’t write at least found your article interesting enough to finish it.

  18. @international scholarships, it’s always great to meet a fellow Natalie Goldberg fan! Glad to hear you working on your skills so assiduously. After a while, it doesn’t feel like work, does it?

    @Home Recording, thank you! I’m honored you’d give me a whirl. If you ever have comments or suggestions or requests re: the newsletter, I would love to hear them.

    @dawud, what can I say? I mean, aside from how fortunate I am to have you as a friend. You’re a constant source of inspiration, learning and support. Hooray for Dawud Miracle and his miraculous blog!

  19. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and say that I want all my posts to be perfect, and sometimes that causes me to have “analysis paralysis.” I’ll spend hours researching what I want to say, instead of just saying it! And I love what communicatrix said, that “feeling stupid” is what holds most people back. Perhaps, more accurately, it is the fear of rejection? Everyone wants to belong somehow; no one wants to be a loner.

    I had a teacher in high school tell me, “‘I can’t’ means ‘I won’t.'” I was blessed to go to a great Jr High/High School and be surrounded by excellent teachers that encouraged me in all areas. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have an authority figure say I’m no good at doing something and I shouldn’t even try. What a dig to the self-esteem!

    I laughed when you said you don’t follow traditional writing methods. Every academic paper, every high end, lofty, “fancy writing” article I’ve read elsewhere has been so difficult to understand and mucked up with “traditional writing” that I can hardly make sense of the message! Communication and traditional writing sometimes have nothing to do with each other.

    Perhaps another important point is that you have to believe in your heart you want to communicate, that you need to share what you’re writing about.

    I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about New Year’s resolutions and why they never work. It’s because they are always coming from a critical angle. Someone who says “I will be a better person this year,” is really saying inside, “I’m bad. I’m horrible. I don’t deserve anything.” I’m struggling to tie that point back in to what you were saying, but it seems to fit. I just can’t see the connection at the moment.

    Something I learned just yesterday is to experiment. Don’t say “I must improve… my writing.” Say instead, “What would happen if I… wrote for 15 minutes a day? I think I could do that, let’s try!” Don’t promise or expect any results. It makes it so much easier when there is no pressure!

    Invite the world to respond. I like that. It’s the part I look forward to the most about blogging. I write my article and that’s fun, sure, but it’s the conversation afterwards that I can’t wait for! Some bloggers obsessively check their blog stats. I obsessively check for comments.

    Wow, this topic really touches something deep down! I think it’s the self-esteem issue. Some of these comments are really long (but soooo good)!

  20. Admission Essay says:

    I have a friend who’s native language isn’t english = he employs someone else to write for him. Costly, but later he sold his blog for a profit..

  21. Matthijs Hofstede,
    I know many who have started like that only to find lots of people interested in what they have to say.

    Can’t claim that for myself, however. I have something to share and I wanted a medium to do it.

    communicatrix,
    Hey, I’m only telling people about a good thing – you. You’re who you are and that’s the miracle.

    LaurenMarie,
    Thanks for your heartfelt and thoughtful reply. Feel free to add as much or as little to the conversation as you like. I’m just happy to have your insights.

    I think you’re right – it comes down to self-esteem. We all want to be accepted, acknowledged, valued for who we are and what we know. When we write, we’re putting ourselves forward in a vulnerable way. So it takes courage to blog, to write a business plan, to share what you know. We shouldn’t forget that.

    Admission Essay,
    That’s one way to do it. I guess it’s about what you want – do you want to make money or do you want to get your message out to engage with and help people? No way is wrong. I just feel it’s important to be clear of your intention.

  22. Very true! Sometimes the hard thing about writing is just starting and keeping in that routine. I think a lot of people get demotivated because they don’t see the results (which often times aren’t so immediate and clear).

  23. James Chartrand - Web Content Writer Tips says:

    Harry recently wrote a great series on the 7 Deadly Fears of Writing that explored some thoughts about what holds people back.

    It isn’t the fear of writing but always some other root issue related to self-esteem. No one wants to be rejected, look silly, be embarrassed or ashamed…

    For myself, I can’t say that I’ve ever had the experience of having my confidence in my writing shaken. I’ve always been encouraged to write or told my writing is worthy of being read. I’ve certainly had my confidence knocked down in other areas, though, like anyone. I tend to rise to the challenge and prove them wrong – even though deep down, I’m scared shitless to try.

  24. I have the same problem when it comes to writing. Actually I hate writing. I think you like or you don’t like writing. And is so hard to do things you hate isn’t it?

  25. For some reason people seem to fear the blank page and blinking cursor. Whenever you come across clients, friends, whatever… ask them to subscribe to Daphne Grays newsletter Power Writing – she provides effective, down-to-earth techniques and tools to help people write faster and better. You can subscribe here: ttp://www.publicationcoach.com/sample-newsletter.php

  26. Dawood, a nice MAC is building up here! Just the kind of thing forums and communities should aim at. A challenge to you and Colleen – what do you think is MAC?

  27. GradBlogger,
    So true. Then you have to ask yourself why you’re blogging. And is the reason compelling enough to you, and only you, to keep going.

    Peter,
    And yet it’s in the blank page that all possibility exists.

    James,
    Great insights, thanks. I’m heading over to read Herry’s post.

    I agree that it is all about how we feel, internally, about ourselves. That leads to all sorts of ways we express ourselves – some fully, some not. The beauty is in the process. I do wish more people would see that.

    John,
    But do you like talking? Do I head podcasting, anyone?

    Home Recording,
    I have to admit, I’m not sure what MAC means. I’m thinking I missed it somewhere. (Oh no, what will they think of me now :) )

  28. I think people get intimidated by having to write something. For most, its probably unchartered territory so its natural to have some anxiety. But if I’ve learned anything from surfing, its that there are blogs on every subject with varying levels of writing skills. Even if you are a horrible writer, someone, somewhere will probably like what you have written!

  29. @dawud @communicatrix
    just like what communicatrix said, writting is no longer feel like work :)

  30. Mutual Admiration Club!

  31. Home Recording, I like that! This is such an encouraging community, isn’t it? It’s great!!

  32. I think its more of not looking foolish when you blog, no so much the writing.

  33. April Groves says:

    I am so late to the party – I am so sorry…you called me “lovely” and everything!

    I think the one thing that is clear is that blogging may not be for everybody :)

    I like Joanna makes a good point about some folks who don’t enjoy speaking can be incredible writers. Maybe it all boils down to practice makes progress. If it is something important to you that you want to do, then work at it. Seek feedback from those you trust. And then – just do it :)

  34. April Groves says:

    I do absolutely think!

    I sometimes thing when people say, “I can’t write,” they are really saying, “I am worried people won’t like what I write and I am really not ready to deal with that.”

    I know that was an obstacle I had to overcome, and I don’t think it is that rare…do you?

  35. J Richey,
    Yeah. I know some people I’d consider fairly poor writers who have massively successful blogs. Now, I’m not going to name any names because I don’t need that fire coming down. And, who’s to say I’m a good writer myself???

    International,
    I’ve found that somedays it is, somedays it isn’t. I just relish the days that aren’t.

    Home Recording,
    Ditto

    Rodney,
    Interesting point. Can you elaborate?

    April,
    No worries. You started a great conversation here.

    I do think you’re right. There probably are some people where blogging just doesn’t fit. Nothing wrong with that. And my guess is that it’s the far minority. There’s certainly tons of people who are letting themselves get in the way rather than blogging not being for them…don’t you think?

  36. practice makes progress. If it is something important to you that you want to do, then work at it. Seek feedback from those you trust. And then – just do it

    Sound advice, April. I particularly like “practice makes progress“; practice makes perfect never made sense to me.

    And thanks for inspiring Dawud to start such a wonderful conversation! I’m really enjoying this.

  37. West Virginia Lasik Surgery says:

    Very nice read. I have just recently began to blog and yes I was one of the people who coudn’t write in high school. This has inspired me to think that I might have a chance as a writer…someday…lol. Thanks a bunch.

  38. I think i have an opposite problem from a lot of people here: I think i can write, i think i simply lack the gumption and the wherewithal to have my own blog especially if i am going to want to make it pay. Besides, i strongly suspect that i am just too lazy :)

  39. April,
    It’s certainly not rare. And I agree with a number of commenters that self-esteem comes into it as well. It takes security to share what we think – at least on some level…moxie and security.

    LaurenMarie,
    It’s she great?!?! I’ve not met her yet in person, but I’m looking forward to it at SOBCon08.

    And I, too, like practice makes progress. Everything is in progress anyhow.

    West Virginia,
    Certainty. I know lots of folks who have worked out their writing bugs with their blogs and are now writing the book they’ve always wanted too. You can even find authors who work out their books on their blogs – getting reader feedback along the way.

    Living Rooms,
    Too lazy, huh? Can I challenge you in that?

  40. Nice read! I just started blogging it’s been a really good experience for me b.c english is a 2nd language,and have learn english to an ok point

    Sometimes you got to “Just Do It”

  41. Please do :)

  42. Web Design,
    Sometimes that’s the key – just do it. Thanks for the thought.

    Living Rooms,
    Okay, consider yourself challenged to start a blog. Get on WordPress or TypePad and get started.

  43. Re your comment: Wow! What a story. I can’t even imagine being placed in that situation. It’s incredible you survived as you did. And even more so that you still love writing. How did you overcome these ‘issues?’

    Thank you. I have a few more stories like that one. They teach us don’t they? Our lives are one big wonderful lesson.

    I can honestly say that what helped my most to overcome these issues were amazing mentors who saw things in me I never thought possible for myself. Their belief and vision fostered great strength and perserverance. Plus my desire to be an amazing mom was a huge driving force – leaving a terrible first marriage put me in the position of starting a career, luckily I found something that I do that matched my heart, and slowly built it to career income. Lastly I had to let go of alot, the post I shared with you had this clarity to it – a knowing, I think that comes with time ( age ) and with a willingness to learn.

    if you care to check it out, my sister michele wrote to me ( after 13 yrs )in response to that post ” once upon a time I had a family”

    pretty darn cool eh??

    Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan
    http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com

  44. It’s funny as I am just starting to blog I often opend my lap top and found that I simply stare at the screen. The thoughts are there but I struggle to get the words out. I’ve never considered myself a writer. I simply enjoy the way words interact with each other. My biggest road block is trying to create the perfect sentence, paragraph or blog entry. Recently I have just tried to blog free form without trying to dictate how the words work and not thinking too much about what I am writing. So far this experiment still has some hiccups in it… a self confessed perfectionist I still struggle. It is my hope that I will one day find a method that appeals to both my creative and perfectionist ideals!

  45. James Chartrand - Web Content Writer Tips says:

    @ David – We all worry about this. (Especially us professional writers who earn their living through perfect words.)

    But you know what? We’re all human and even the pro-est of probloggers are just regular guys like you and I (or girls). You could write the most perfect post ever… and what would happen? Probably not too much, and you’d be let down.

    So give yourself a break. Make the mistakes. Let your non-perfect side show, because honestly? People want to know that you’re just a person like them, and not perfect ;)

    Write like you think. Sit down and talk to your page. Let your thoughts spill out into words. Set it aside a day, do a little proofing (but no major editing!) and post. See what happens. Dare to be imperfect, and I can bet that you’ll feel a lot better about writing.

    If you want some feedback before taking the leap, feel free to email me a post at james (at) jcme dot ca. Sometimes having some neutral feedback helps.

  46. Mother Earth,
    Really cool. Thanks for sharing it. It warms my heart that you were motivated by your kid’s needs. That’s similar to how my wife and I approach being parents – put our kid’s needs not necessarily before our own, core needs – but we honor their core needs as well.

    The Murr,
    As a recovering perfectionist myself I have a word of advice – drop being a perfectionist as soon as you can. It will make things so much easier, really.

    Just going from your comments, you’ve got plenty to say. Just write. Enjoy the process. Have fun with trying to make it into a conversation. And let it grow organically.

    James,
    Such a sweet offer, James. Thank you.

    Everyone,

    Heed James’ advice – it’s golden. And it can free you a bit from the voices that stop you from sharing something you love.

  47. James’ advice really spoke to me; especially the not being perfect part–my loved ones always tell me if I really were perfect, no one would like me; it’s the imperfections and vulnerability that make us endearing. James’ comment here made me hop over to his blog and subscribe because I liked what I found there so much!

    and what would happen? Probably not too much, and you’d be let down.

    I’m sure that’s so true!!

  48. You’re very welcome Dawud. I am at a different stage of parenting now with one out of the home, another in her latter yrs of HS. Your stage when they are little still is so magical. It’s hard to even imagine how you miss all of that stuff later on. I am amazed at all my “by my gut” parenting decisions I made – it’s as if they were really something I knew in my core, like how do I handle this one and then trust that I knew what the right thing was, and like you say recognizing their core – often different and respecting it.

    Very Cool.

    Mother Earth aka Karen Hanrahan
    http://www.bestwellnessconsultant.com

  49. Soon soon! Thats a promise, mainly to myself, just have some stuff to sort out at this time!

  50. @James

    That is excelent advice and thank you! I’m sure I will take you up on your offer

    @Dawud

    Thank you as well. I hope to break my perfectionist habbits soon :)

  51. linkerjpatrick says:

    You asked how I overcome those “weaknesses” to be truthful I don’t think I ever have totally but the more I write I get a little better and the more I write the more a realize people are reading and thus I pay more attention to proofreading.

    In the past I didn’t proofread as much as I should because I thought I knew better. Amazing how stupid you can look when you think you know it all!

    I find things are easier for me I can see what I write in greater context. If I’m using a micro-blogging program like Twitteriffic to post to my Twitter account I often make more mistakes because I can only see a few characters at a time.

    It’s also easier from me to find the good paragraph breaks so I can see things easier.

    My biggest problem is not spelling or grammar per se. I usually understand the rules but the greater problem lies with the fact my mind goes faster than my fingers and therefore my mind will fill in a meaning but what I write may make no sense until I go back and edit.

  52. linkerjpatrick,
    I can relate. I type pretty fast and accurately yet my thoughts run away from my fingers all the time. I’ve had to learn to slow down a bit.

    And I understand what you’re saying about never really overcoming your weaknesses. One key point I share with clients is that we should never expect to be without fear. Fear is a good thing. If nothing else, it shows us that we’re not staying still.

  53. First writing requires its spirit.You must have effective,attractive,persuasive,simple but sensible and reasonable style.I think you have these davud.
    respects

  54. usa,
    Thanks.

    Personally, and I know I’m going out on a limb here, I think most people have this. The questions is whether they’ve discovered it in themselves yet or not.

  55. I believe you are right about the “I can’t write” myth. But it is a feeling that a lot of us have. I have published articles and had my writing praised by others but I still have that “I can’t write” feeling lurking in the back of my mind. So I know it is not an easy thing to solve. Feelings are tricky. They fool us. And getting rid of the lousy ones is sometimes hard.

    One thing that works for me is to just write–let it flow: don’t edit while writing. Then go back and clean it up on the rewrite. That is Michener’s strategy and it’s also Joe Vitale’s and it works great for me. Give it a try.

  56. Rex,
    So do I. Yet I do it anyway. And I write in a similar manner. The problem is I sometimes don’t even bother to go back and edit. Oops…that might be obvious from time to time.

    Great advice, by the way.

  57. Yes, Dawud, I have made the mistake of not proofreading many a time myself. Very embarrassing. I’m striving to discipline myself to read over every thing I write at least once to check for glaring errors. I nearly always find something needing fixing.

  58. You’re a joy to read; humility is rare in writers and your sentiments are refreshing.

    It’s an unfortunate fact, though, that we have to express ourselves clearly and work toward a standard if what we want to convey is to get across in a competent and friendly way. Asking readers to fill in the spelling and grammatical construction gaps makes it hard for a readership to be receptive. Don’t be stopped, though, by that. Keep on writing–and read, too! Strunk & White is best for starters because it’s small and pertinent.

  59. I’ve been with same thoughts before. I was like “I can’t do that. I am not that good in writing.”, but when i started working i was told by many of the people around me that i know how to write cause i can put my every thoughts on my blog. And so i started loving it, i forget everything that other says and just do my own thing.

    I love your website. I love reading it. I learned and still learning from all your posts. Thanks.

  60. Copywriter,
    Thanks so much. I find it helpful just to think like we’re talking. People have told me that I’m a good conversationalist. So I let that be my writing.

  61. Of course I can write, its just that others don’t know how to read correctly. Thanks for helping me to come to the realization that it is WASN’T ME. It was everyone else. BOO on my English teacher, may she get gas every Saturday night. I’m going to start writing from tonight forward. I’d love to write all the funny stories I make up for my granddaughters. The have me tell them the same stories over time after time. Their laughter is what makes my day, the way their eyes light-up and their eyes twinkle. YEP I’m gonna do it.

  62. Thank you very much, i find this really helpful and interesting!
    It’s an unfortunate fact, though, that we have to express ourselves clearly and work toward a standard if what we want to convey is to get across in a competent and friendly way.

    Thanks a lot !

  63. Term Papers says:

    Blogging is all about fun. Here you can share and spread your thoughts to everyone. You can share whatever you like, from your own items, personal interest, creations, discoveries and other things you like to share. All of this must come from your heart.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I ‘m really happy to meet people like you who share their own ideas. Again, thank you.

  64. Term Papers,
    Amen to that! I blog to share, not to sell.

  65. I’ve been in the position where I felt I don’t have it in me to really write anything substantial. How would I think otherwise when I’m just an average writer in all my classes? It was only when I started working that people started to notice my composition skills. I guess teachers tend to have such a high standard in writing that they forget that different writing styles paired with interesting topics can also do wonders.

    Thanks for your insights here. :-)

  66. book reports says:

    I agree with the part about making a blog to start the business online. Actually, you can really have an income just by blogging. Here are your options: Google Adsense and Affiliate Marketing. Its just all up to you on whether where you want to gain money. Why don’t you try both? ^_^

  67. Writing like you speak is definitely a challenge I have been facing as I get my blog off the ground. I have this overwhelming need for extreme professionalism that it kind of inhibits my ability to get my thoughts out. I guess thats something that you get over with the more you blog though.

  68. Writing isn’t so hard. But getting traffic to your blog is much harder!

  69. Writing interesting articles takes some practice, at least if English is not your own language.Typos, errors and funny language in your articles makes you look stupid.

    Many people see the benefits of blogging but hate writing, they use ghost writers.Simple and easy!

  70. Writing blog is very easy provided we have own interest…After reading this post i thought of writing own blog…I got many information about how to increase the traffic in the blog…It is mainly in the hands of the visitors who become customers later…
    Cool information!!!!!

  71. Blogging is a great way to promote business and people should have own interest to write a blog and it is very easy…When we see some great blog then it we will get a clear idea about blogging and the steps to increase the site traffic…We can have get the feedback directly because the customer can get contact with the owner of the blog directly….

  72. i have read a book entitled Your Past Does Define Your Future, it says there that we should not be slaves of our past and usually traumatic events sometime when we were young. if we heal ourselves from such attachments, we can be different from what we used to be.

    P.S.

    the author was also told he was not good in writing.

  73. : furniture says:

    Everyone can write! It’s just we have to get out of the standards forced upon us during our education. That’s when most of us were told we couldn’t write. My teachers said that in junior high – and look at me now. But that’s where blogging is different. Blogging is about your individual way of communicating. It’s not about perfect sentence structure and beautiful prose. I write pretty average, if you ask me. Yet I know that I can communicate. So I focus on that.

  74. Oak Wardrobe says:

    Blogging keeps us in touch with a lot of interesting people and expands our view of the world, providing new ideas for our business… When blogging five days a week, process of writing and publishing was taking up around 90% of my time set for blogging..Now I can do all sorts of blog maintenance and still have some time to spare…

  75. i agree with your business artical but from myself, I can’t say that I’ve ever had the experience of having my confidence in my writing shaken. I’ve always been encouraged to write or told my writing is worthy of being read. I’ve certainly had my confidence knocked down in other areas, though, like anyone. I tend to rise to the challenge and prove them wrong – even though deep down, I’m scared shitless to try.Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. I ‘m really happy to meet people like you who share their own ideas.

  76. Hey nice blog .. Really that your article made me inspired to write the blog… The word “Can’t” will not made you to do the things always be positive always thinking all things are possible … Then impossible will not touch you…. What we thought to write is should reach the people and it should also acceptable by the peoples. That your blog will really inspired all the peoples…

  77. Blogging is my favorite form of writing and precisely because it’s just me having a dialog with whoever happens to be reading the words, but I can’t really see the commercial aspect to it (although logically I know what that is)I made a decision to begin a blog instead of a newsletter because I wanted my customers to share with me their experiences on the subject matter I am writing about in my blog.

  78. Pine Bookcases says:

    Thanks for taking the time to write a great post… Blogs, in an intranet environment, can be an excellent way of sharing knowledge within the organization… Through blogging we need to get our-self build on an application as to share our resources….

  79. Nice blog!!!But in my point of view writing blog is also tough because we have get deep in to the grammar and we have to produce as much as ideas and tactics in that. After reading this article I have guts and confidence that i can able to write an blog. So thanks for sharing and posting this nice blog to me.!!!!!!!!

  80. This blog brings the great information about blogging and its importance…. I too feel hesitate to write a blog… But now I am feel very great to write blog…. Writing blog is an experience for the individuals so don’t miss it… Try to share your thoughts or ideas because it may useful for others….

  81. This blog brings the great information about blogging and its importance…. I too feel hesitate to write a blog… But now I am feel very great to write blog…. Writing blog is an experience for the individuals so don’t miss it… Try to share your thoughts or ideas because it may useful for others….

  82. I don’t understand how someone wouldn’t have the ability to write naturally, but then again I also can’t understand how math comes naturally to some people either..

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