Step Up Your Game – the Write Way

As we entered 2014, you may have started your list of new year resolutions.  Take up a new hobby.  Learn a new skill.  Lose that same 10 pounds again. Finish your degree.  Get promoted.  If one of your resolutions included moving up in your career, there’s a very simple strategy you can employ to help you check that resolution off your list – write!  Yes, just write.

Seem too simple?  Sometimes the simplest solutions are actually some of the best.  And writing is one of them.  Writing offers several advantages:

  • It keeps the writer in her comfort zone.  You can write about what you know.
  • It can entail research, but doesn’t have to.  When you’re established in your career, you often retain a lot more knowledge than you think you have.
  • Timing is flexible to a point. There are publication deadlines, but unless what you’re writing is time-sensitive, you can write when you feel like it and submit articles ahead of schedule.
  • Writing inspires confidence – in you and in others.  When you write, it reinforces to you the information you know.  And when others read what you’ve written, it reinforces to others that you are a credible resource to be trusted.

How do you get started?  Write about what you know.  Yes, again it’s as simple as that.  If you’re the very best kite designer, write about the aero-dynamics of kite design.  But if you’re like me and you’re great at analyzing A/R in a physician’s office, write about that.  After you’ve written your first few dozen articles, you can move to other topics that may be more of a stretch or that may require a little more research to bolster your opinions.

Your first articles don’t have to be War and Peace!  Keep them at 250 – 300 words or so.  500 words would be a lot!  You can include a table or graph to make the content a little more appealing.

Now that you’ve written a couple short articles, where will you have them published?  It’s also simpler than you may think.  Most professional associations are hungry for educational content in their newsletters, especially if you’re a member of the association.  Your church may have a newsletter that allows parishioner general interest articles.  But if you’re working towards professional recognition, definitely target your professional associations for publication.  The editors of the publications will be great resources.

Now you’re on your way.  I’ve been writing for nearly twenty years now.  Early on, it was definitely easier to gain credibility than standing in front of a room and talking to strangers – and it works!  Colleagues and clients now recognize my name and remember that I’m a published author, locally, regionally and nationally.  Maybe someday….even a whole book!