Why you should do a writing challenge
The world is getting global, the work relations we have are getting digital, and more and more is happening in a written form.
And nothing is better than a challenge for yourself! I’m doing a writing challenge, and the experience has been great so far. Therefore I want to share that experience and tell you why you should do a writing challenge for yourself!
Why improve your written skills
Written skills are not just vocabulary or spelling. It’s just as much conveying what you think, in written words. I struggle even with being able to convey 100% of what I think, in oral communication. But in an oral setting, it’s easy for the two parts to quickly get synced, or catch confusion on peoples faces. When writing, these aspects go away.
We are expected to work more efficiently with these new digital tools, do digital notes for others to pick up on, chatting to the client or colleague in another country, sharing progress in a written form, and downloading our thoughts online so it is open for feedback within the company.
With even more digitization coming our way, and the young millennials, who are growing up with written communication, is joining the workforce. I feel, to be able to stay ahead or just have a foot in the game, the written skills is a key component!
My initial reasons
I love remote working and believe that is the way to gain the flexibility we as humans deserve. Also by enabling remote working for a team or startup, it opens up a much bigger talent pool. Not limiting yourself to just those around your office area, or those who can or is willing to move to your town.
But to be able to work efficiently remote, you have to be a master of digital asynchronous communication, usually meaning written communication! This only comes from practice, and practice is what I’m getting through this challenge.
I’m also a big fan of learning and as Richard Feynman puts it, “Pretend you are teaching it to a student in grade 6”. Since I don’t have people around me that I teach regularly, I can teach my self by writing out explanations on different subjects, and share it with the internet. As Feynman says, if you are not able to communicate the topic simply enough, you probably don’t know enough about the subject. During the self-explanation, one has to ask over and over, if a sentence can be understood by a kindergartner. If not you have to find the difficult words and dig further into them.
Also, I like sharing my thoughts and having discussions on topics I fancy. This way I can have write-ups of different topics ready to share with interested people, to kickstart the discussion.
What would be your reasons to a writing challenge?
Start now Just to start, there is no need to wait to research and thinking too much about the task. It’s better to be primitive than sophisticated, better to be stupid than smart! Just begin it! If you don’t know what to write about, you can start with some brainstorming. This can get the creative juices flowing.
Do the work But the most important part is to do the work as Steven Pressfield says. In short, you have to fight your resistance and to do that, you just have to start doing the work, NOW! Start by setting off an hour in your calendar to try out brainstorming. Its a start, and it feels good!
Go public If you only write for yourself, and never show it to someone, we are never exposed. It takes courage and vulnerability to expose your creative self. Or ship something as we say it in the IT world. When we ship, we open ourselves to judgment in the real world. Nothing is more empowering because it plants us solidly on Planet Earth and gets us out of our self-devouring, navel-centered fantasies and self-delusions. Vulnerability is powerful stuff which Brené Brown talks about in her book
Seek inspirations to strive for It is very inspiring with people who can write out 5-6 articles a week because written communication comes naturally to them. For example, at a workshop/conference I attended earlier this year. One guy, a lawyer, compiled a whole ongoing discussion, into a 7 pager article, spot on the theme of the discussion. And had it published an hour or two after the discussion was done. It was almost faster than I even could read that initial 7-page article. You are not born with it, it comes with practice.
We are meant to share
After hanging out in academia and standardization environment, I have met many inspirational people. They keep on producing valuable papers after papers, to help the community to thrive with the open and sharing mindset.
According to Sapiens, this is the reason humans have come to the point of being the dominant race. We can have thoughts of things that don’t exist and share them in an understanding way, which again spurs to more thoughts and ideas.
So who can say that writing is not important! All the words that have driven human kind onwards, and everybody has that one story they can share!