“I’m not a writer, I’m a speaker.”
I can’t tell you how many times those words have come out of my mouth in the last 12 months. As I have been up leveling my consulting & speaking business, I’m being lovingly nudged to write more. ”You need a book, Michelle,” they say. ”Post on your blog more frequently,” they continue. ”Write for other sites,” they suggest.
Put me in a room of hundreds of people and I have no problems putting together sentences and sharing my content. The stage and I are dear, dear friends. However, if you have me open a word processing doc, or a new post in WordPress I’m paralyzed.
Don’t get me wrong, from time to time, I’m able to put together a post or two by some stroke of genius that is planted directly in front of me. That said, writing posts and churning them out on a regular basis feels overwhelming, tiring and like I should just open a Haagen Daz bar and watch an 80′s movie instead.
It doesn’t help to hear all the web 2.0 proclamations on content, “Content is king.” “If you aren’t creating, you’re dying.” “The sites that blog 20 times per month receive 5 times more traffic.” No pressure, right?
Last night while I was on a walk I had an epiphany:
I’ve used the excuse, “I need to find my authentic voice.” Screw it, I’m going to develop that as I go.
I’ve used the excuse, “I have poor grammar and use the wrong punctuation. I’ll take another business writing class and then I’ll be good to go.” Forget that, that’ll take 4 months at my local community college, and even then I’m bound to get things wrong. (And besides, I have nice readers and a sister-in-law, that do a great job of steering me in the right direction when I’m off course grammatically.)
I’ve used the excuse, “I’m not perfect, perhaps I better figure everything out before I put my advice and insight out on the world wide web for the whole world to see.” Well, now the cat’s really out of the bag. I’m not perfect. Though I’ve had successes as a marketer and business consultant, I don’t always get it right. But I get it right a whole lot, and if I can help you skip over some of my mistakes I’ve made along the way, I’d like to do so.
I’ve used the excuse, “I’m not a copywriter.” Funny that this whole demeaning self talk comes up in my life at the exact time I meet a new friend who IS a copywriter, and a darn good one at that. I stopped writing/blogging/producing for a whole month because I knew I couldn’t do as well as her. And I’ve realized, it’s not about how anyone else writes, its about me. Whether you are an author, or you’re creating residual content on a blog for business. People don’t want to read formulated professional speak, they want to make a connection with a real person. The more real I can be, the more me I can be, the better.
The bottom line is, aren’t we all just trying to figure it out? It’s about progression, not about perfection. And if I hold out for perfect, it’ll never happy and I’ll never produce anything. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, my life was forever changed when Tiffany Peterson said to me, “Perfect is great, done is better.” She said that to me over a year ago, and today, I really HEARD it.
Though I may be judged for the writer I am today, I don’t think I’ll be praised for the writer I’ll be in six weeks, six months, or even six years from now, if I don’t just start trying things on and figuring out what does resonate with me in terms of my writing style.
For now, I’m publicly committing to writing more: both publicly through my blogs, and privately as I write my first book.
Want to join me? What excuses are you willing to shelve? Maybe your current nemesis isn’t writing, but is there some other defeatist self-talk that you’re willing to challenge head on, so that you can develop into your next self – whatever that may be? Take the challenge. It’s liberating.
I may not be a writer, but I’m a darn good work in progress.
Let’s connect on twitter @speakmichelle & @startupprincess
Michelle McCullough is the Managing Director for Startup Princess and is also a National speaker and business consultant. Michelle recently released Marketing Mastery, a 4 disc audio program that helps entrepreneurs and small business become confident in their messages that reach the masses. Michelle became a partner in Startup Princess in 2008. She is responsible for event planning, marketing, affiliates, sponsorships and partnerships. Over the past 4 years she has coached women entrepreneurs (and even some men) and helped them grow their businesses from “dream in development” to established thriving businesses. Michelle is a speaker, strategist, success expert and a serial entrepreneur. She started Doodads Promotional Products when she was 19 and has also spent the last 12 years working in marketing and advertising. She’s worked in all aspects of the industry from production to creative and sales to management. On top of her full-time jobs, Michelle has cultivated her love for entrepreneurship by running Doodads as a successful side business. Today it continues to thrive. This year Michelle launched a coaching program called “The Life Balance Myth” to help busy entrepreneurs build thriving businesses AND meaningful personal lives. She believes that life balance is a myth, but she provides practical tools to achieve personal and professional success. You can learn more about Michelle at SpeakMichelle.com. Michelle has two children ages 4 and 2 and lives in Utah.