I love writing. I do. I love it. Words are my paintbrush; a blank document is my canvas. What do I love most about writing? How it makes me feel. I feel limitless when I am writing. It's just me with the words that flow from my fingers onto my screen. It doesn't matter what's going on around me. When I write, I feel free. Freedom, for me, is a feeling like no other. It is my awesome place.
My husband and children are really artsy. They can translate beautiful things from their brains through a paintbrush, a hammer and saw, a marker, a pencil. It doesn't matter what the medium is, they have the gift of art. My art is the written word.
I earn my keep as a marketer and change enabler. I love this work. I get to innovate through various forms of large-scale transformation everyday. Yet, I find I am happiest when I can apply what I love most about the craft of writing to how I market and help my stakeholders enable change.
Orchestrate an experience. When you are a storyteller, whether it's a story that comes from you or one where you give life to someone else's point of view, you are able to craft words that take your reader, viewer, or listener (depending on your medium) through an experience. The words you chose, the tone you take, and the timing of it all creates a mood for the recipient. Want your reader to ponder what her life would be like if she spent more time with your product during her workday? Tell her a story. Not about your product, but about her and the world she lives in. Give your product a service a role in her life. Help her see how your offering fits into her world. You can tell a story that invokes lasting emotion and imagination of what could be.
Use what you know as a launch pad to learn more. Authors are often advised to write about things we know. For me, writing about what I know gives me fuel for the beginning of the story, but it never ends there. Whether I am working on a piece of fiction, a new fact-based article, a large-scale transformation program, creating a social marketing program, or coaching an executive through some rough political waters, I always start with what I know. Maybe I have lived through similar experiences to the new one in front of me or maybe I have stakeholder insights into a sticky situation. I always try to pull from something familiar. Instead of using my knowledge to solve a problem right away, I force myself to use what I know to ask questions. Answering those questions helps guide my team and me toward a plan, a new position and message, or new options for resolving conflict that we test. With every new experience, we build on what we know and apply those experiential lessons-learned.
Take yourself on a journey. Your imagination is a powerful tool in your business tool belt. I talk to a lot of people who feel like they are out of ideas. They believe that they cannot think of anything original or exciting. We business people get paid to solve problems. I look at the opportunity to problem solve as an opportunity to exercise my curiosity muscle for what could be. Play the "what if" game. For every issue that you are trying to resolve, allow yourself time to create a mind map journey of "what if" answers. Don't edit and see where following that journey takes you.
Let your "awesome" shine through. Pay attention to how you actually spend your time. If you don't feel good about the work you create, how can anyone else? I am equal part extrovert and introvert. I don't necessarily define my personal value through others, but I certainly understand the importance of what others think of my work. I write for myself. I figure that if I don't enjoy writing it, others won't enjoy reading it. And, of course, if I enjoy writing something, perhaps others may enjoy reading it.