Becoming a Writer

Is it just me, or do things regularly converge in ways that are unexpected? Perhaps they shouldn’t be unexpected as it is our focus that draws them together but some things are random events that just seem to be timed too perfectly. So what am I going on about? I just read “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath, my brother published his first full length ebook on Amazon, and at work we needed someone edit a document on managerial core competencies.

So I recently read “Made to Stick” which is a book about why some ideas ‘stick’ or resonate with an audience. It is a very thought provoking book covering such topics as newspaper articles, campaign strategies and slogans, and corporate mission statements. The premise is that there are six principles that make ideas stick. If what you are communicating hits enough of these six principles then your idea ‘sticks’ with the audience. As I read through the book it got me thinking about the construction of my blog posts, among other things. How could I apply what I learned from the book to improve the quality of my blog posts?

In the middle of May my brother announced that his first full length ebook had been published in the Kindle store on Amazon. This is an achievement for my brother some six (I think) years in the making. He gave up his successful business and house here in Canada and moved to Europe to dedicate himself to writing. And he stuck with it resulting in the aforementioned book. Now, as his brother you would expect me to heap praise on his book just because he is my brother but that wouldn’t be me. To be honest, I was dreaded starting it because I expected it to be a slog. The night I started it, I picked it up about 11 PM, and didn’t look at the clock until 1:30 AM. It was excellent and I rushed through it looking forward to discovering how it would end. Through dedication and hard work my brother had transformed himself into a writer of books that I was interested in reading. Could I do the same with myself and create blog posts that would attract readers?

At work we have been working on creating core competency documents for all the staff in our research and development organization. We had previously created a document for all the non-managerial positions, a process with I shepherded. We are now working on the same document for the managerial positions and I am once again the chief editor and shepherd. I didn’t write the initial draft, that was done by another director. My job is to rewrite the document based on the initial feedback of all the directors. This document isn’t just a bunch of job descriptions, the what you are suppose to do but rather the principles that each level should be following to accomplish their job. This ties very much into “Made to Stick”. A good corporate mission statement can help every employee choose the right path for the company by informing them as to the best action. That is what this document is suppose to do for managers, provide them with the yard stick against which to measure their actions. If the managers follow the core competency document then they will have guidance on each tactical decision they make.

So all three of this things came together in a very short period of time which lead to this blog post. I had to ask myself if I wanted to become a writer. Did I really enjoy writing? Writing isn’t something I have done extensively since I graduated from university.

Can I write a blog, or a corporate document, that people want to read, that communicates clearly what I am trying to say? Will it cause people to think about what I said? Only time will tell, and perhaps the fact that you read this far.

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4 Comments to “Becoming a Writer”

  1. Hi! Robert,

    Love your dedication and counting on you to become the writer/evangelist you can be in your personal life and in our organization. Keep it up!

  2. Now you have me curious about your brother’s book. Title please?

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