Why I write
I write because I am a teacher, not as a profession- at least not any longer- but in my heart it’s who I still am. I want to share what I’ve learned, who I’ve met, the resources I’ve discovered. I was “sharing” and “liking” long before the internet, long before Facebook and Twitter and Google+. I was the type who would tear articles out of magazines or cut columns out of newspapers to give to friends with a passing comment of “I read this and thought of you” or with an “I thought this was relevant to our discussion the other day” note attached with a paper clip. Perhaps you’re nodding as you read this because you are this person or you have a friend just like me.
Social media has only magnified this behavior. It’s easier now to simply retweet or comment on blogs, articles, news, announcements, etc. that I think my friends, associates, and colleagues would be interested in or benefit or learn from.
If being a teacher is at the very heart of who I am, writing is woven into the very fabric of my being. I could certainly regale you with tales of how writing has been integral to key moments of my life from memorable classes to scholarship applications to time overseas to business ventures through poetry, creative writing, journals, blogs, publication, etc. I choose to write and am compelled to blog because it gives me that voice to lend a perspective to what I’ve learned, who I’ve met, the resources I’ve discovered.
I like to talk to people, to interview them, and to learn of their stories. I am naturally curious. I enjoy doing research about a topic I am unfamiliar with. Like a reporter I want to ask thought-provoking questions that bring about well-thought-out answers that take the dialogue to a new level or on another trajectory. I want to put the angle on a story that no one envisioned. I stay sharp by reading the thoughts and perspectives of others. These tendencies lead me to formulate new ideas and responses, to bring together more than one concept into a new light.
Why they read
People love a good story. If you know me, you know that I love a good story. Everyone has a good story. It’s really a matter of asking questions to get at that story.
The problem is when organizations begin to think that their purpose in writing is merely to sell publications or increase conference attendance or give the latest statistics pertinent to their industry. When this happens, they’ve lost their way, they’ve lost their soul. Even corporations, associations, and businesses need to tell stories.
We’re in the business of storytelling. In fact I have this concept for a future blog post on “The Art of Storytelling”. When you tell stories, people respond. Your employees, members, and customers begin to see themselves in these stories. Stories should be about successful transitions– the little guy who makes it big, the one who was down and out who overcame odds or obstacles, the one who has a unique take on an all-too familiar problem.
When you tell stories like this… guess what? Your employees, members, and customers will start repeating them for you. They’ll start sharing your stories– not because they’ve been asked or to win a prize in a contest. They’ll be compelled- and it won’t be just online.