Ann Handley sits down with us at MarketingProfs’ B2B Forum to discuss her latest book, Everybody Writes, and why slow marketing is a practice you should consider in 2017.Read More
I stole the phrase "don't use my formula, use your own." It's true, but I'd like to attribute it to Kasey Riley, wearer of many hats but most recently (to me) the speaker at AMA Omaha's October Luncheon where she inspired me to put my writing skills back to use.
Her presentation was 45 minutes of providing us tips on how to find our voices when it comes to writing content. Truthfully, I could have spent six hours talking with Kasey about writing, marketing, life and more - she is a wonderful speaker and bursting with knowledge. However, in those short 45 minutes what really stood out to me was her tidbit ...
DON'T USE MY FORMULA, USE YOUR OWN.
Meaning - there isn't one go-to way to pursue writing an article or blog post. What works for one person may not work for another, therefore a "formula" for writing your perfect piece of content is only obtainable if it's your own.
This simple statement hit me hard. Like a bag of bricks. Maybe not that hard - I imagine that's pretty hard. But, it made me stop to think about what inspires me to write. The pieces I deem as "successful" - how did I get on a roll to write those and make them a success?
I can definitely tell you that it was not by using a formal formula. In fact, my Journalism professors would probably cringe if they read my method for my madness. Most professionals might cringe, but it works FOR ME!
Let's take a look at what I feel is my most prized article. Why do I feel it's my poster child? With over 530 clicks, 33 likes, 11 re-shares and 9 comments on LinkedIn, The Thing With Millennials Is ... is the only post of mine that has reached over 100 of anything! I may not be posting with the big dogs yet, but one day ... I'm coming for ya!
So, how did I do that? I got mad. I felt emotions that sparked something in my heart. It doesn't happen very often, but this particular time I was enraged after seeing article upon article from publications like Forbes and Inc. about "what Millennials really think and want." Do you know what I really want? Sure, there are surveys conducted and you get the general idea from general millennials, but it is extremely unfair to group us together and talk to us, market to us, and employ us as one giant group. I recently took a generational quiz for fun and it told me I am more like a Baby Boomer. I don't really know how I feel about that either (makes me feel old), but my mentality toward work, money and preparing for my future are more traditional than what the surveys regarding Millennials say.
My emotions, passion and opinions are my formula for writing. Not just when I get angry, but also motivated, inspired, heartbroken and genuinely happy. Kasey inspired me to dust off my keyboard, do some finger exercises and get back to writing.
Truth be told, consistency is my downfall. I don't feel extreme emotion every single day over a topic that makes me want to type out a novel - that would be quite the emotional roller-coaster. However, now that I know what my "formula" is, I can tune into outlets that encourage me to put it into action.
I encourage everyone to take a moment to figure out your formula, fine tune it and get to work!
What is your formula?
tagged with: Writing