It’s not difficult to write. It’s not even that hard to write well. The hard part is thinking clearly enough to have something worth writing about.
I have two employees who I pay to write for me (among other tasks). One works for PlantPop as a producer. She writes articles and will (maybe) write a blog with her insights on her life and job. The other is writing for a project (a book?) we have titled “Power Plants.” In the past few days, I’ve had to speak to both about letting me down because they aren’t getting the writing done.
I sympathize. I employ them because I don’t want to do the work myself. But one of my core beliefs is this: any problem an employee has is a problem I share. So it begs the question, why don’t we get the writing done? Which leads me to the real question, “Why write in the first place?” Here are my answers:
- You love it. You really enjoy the process. It’s fun. (Not at all true for me. Writing is painful.)
- You get paid to do it. (Also not true for me, but true for my employees.)
- You have something important to say to the world. You feel a strong calling to speak out. (Sort of. Not really.)
- You have an audience that wants to hear from you. People care to read your work. (Nope.)
- You don’t know something you’d like to know and you can’t find the answer you’re looking for. Writing is the path to discovery. (That’s the only reason I write, I think.)
Let’s assume a writer needs to have three of the five reasons be true in order to write productively and consistently…without a great deal of effort or external pressure or self-motivation schemes.
It’s not difficult to write. Anybody can do it. But it’s extremely hard to habitually–day after day–write anything worth reading.