“Thoughts disentangle themselves through the lips and fingertips.” (Dawson Trotman...and Michael Hyatt)
If you are a Speaker, you NEED to write as well.
The reverse may not be true, but Writing will feed your Speaking. It does not have to be a book, blog or anything that you publish, but getting your thoughts on paper will give you inspiration, and answer that age old question that many speakers have, “What should I talk about?”
So what should you write about?
Start with your thoughts. Buy a journal book and just set aside some time daily to think on paper. Topics can include:
Just get in the habit of writing. And avoid these 5 mistakes that most writers make:
Mistake #1: Waiting for Inspiration
“A true professional does not wait for inspiration, he acts in anticipation of it.”
So I waited....and waited...and wrote NOTHING.
Then I started reading from Steven Pressfield and others, that writing is a daily habit. And I set my own habit. 5 lines daily. That's it! Writing 5 lines became a daily goal. Not “5 lines if I can think about something to write”. 5 lines.
Set a daily goal for writing. Don't wait for the “muse”, just write. It doesn't have to be perfect. Sometimes my 5 lines became nothing more. Sometimes I missed days of writing. It's okay. Just set your intention.
Now I have a bigger goal daily, 1 page minimum. Sometimes I hit it; sometimes I exceed it; sometimes I miss. But I don't wait for something to write about. I just write.
Here are some strategies I have used to make this process easier:
Mistake #2: Lack of Habit
As per above, this one is self-explanatory. Set a habit to write regularly. You will get much more writing done over the course of a year by doing a little bit every day then by setting one magical time when you will get ALL of your writing done.
The habit of regular writing allows you to take all of the pressure off of yourself. You don't think “I have to produce EVERYTHING today!”. Instead you are just able to say “I'll do a little today, then a little more tomorrow” and so on. We put too much pressure on ourselves in so many areas in life. Allow writing to be like eating an apple – small bite by small bite. It is much more fun that way!
Mistake#3: Writing only for Others
I don't remember where I heard it, but I heard someone say that “writing is for me, just as much as it is for other people”. I love that!
Getting the jumble of thoughts out of your head and on to paper is just as valuable as writing a post that gets a lot of reader engagement. There is so much in your head – and getting it out is like writing a diary. It helps YOU just as much as it can help anyone else.
Many writers (myself included at times) worry too much about writing something good for other readers. Of course you want to provide value, but remember that YOU are a part of your audience as well.
Mistake#4: Not Capturing Ideas as they Come
Have you ever thought, “That is a great idea to write about! I'll write about it later!” and then forgot about it when it was time to write? Here is a rule about writing: DON'T TRUST YOUR MEMORY! Get it written down or record an audio file in your phone. As soon as it comes to your mind, find a way to capture your idea. Many times the best ideas will come to you at the most inconvenient times. I get more ideas when driving and working out than at any other time. Find a way to record them AS THEY COME.
Mistake #5: Failure to see the link between Speaking and Writing
As the quote that started this article suggests, your thoughts will remain jumbled if they stay in your head. When you write about the topics that are important to you, you will be AMAZED at what ends up on paper.
Those are the very ideas and thoughts that can feed your speeches.
The thoughts and ideas that you put on paper can turn into amazing speeches!
Start to write, and you will never run out of ideas to speak about. Just write about the issues that you struggle with, and ideas WILL flow.
Share this article with other speakers to help them with their ideas!
What other mistakes do writers make? Any above that you will learn from?
Leave a comment and sign up for your idea generation worksheet at www.CommunicateToCreate.com.
Kwesi Millington helps speakers to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.