There are 3 important questions you can ask yourself to find out whether your writing is going to help you succeed – or fail. Tweet This.
In a moment, we’ll talk about what those questions are. But first, let’s talk about the Internet, which is why these questions are important in the first place.
The best thing about the Internet is that it gives you the ability to find information on absolutely any topic, day and night. You can get an answer to almost any question, research any subject, and locate people in all parts of the world.
But herein lies the pitfall – having access to information like that makes it all too easy to get your head jammed with other people’s information, other people’s words, and over time your writing can become less and less a reflection of who you truly are in your gut but more of a regurgitation of other people’s heart and soul.
So how do you know? How do you know your writing is really and truly coming from an authentic place in you; that it speaks to the path you are walking, contributes to the meaning of your life, and supports your personal mission to contribute to society in only the way you can?
Or, if your writing is going to ultimately contribute to your failure to obtain your goals?
Let’s find out.
Track down one of your recent pieces of writing – whether it’s a blog post or a book chapter and ask yourself these 3 questions:
- Was I feeling a little lost on what to write so I begin this piece by scanning the Internet to get inspired?
- If I were being totally honest, would I admit that more than a few of my phrases are well-turned phrases I found elsewhere and then rewrote to make them “mine?”
- Is there any place in this piece of writing where it strikes a powerful cord of intense emotion somewhere within me?
If you answered yes to the 1st question, there’s a good chance that your piece of writing started on a tact that is not truly yours. Don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking inspiration on the Internet (heck, you’re here on zencopy, right?). The problem comes in when you know you have to write something, say a blog post, but you have no idea what topic you want to tackle so you skim around the net and find something that feels okay to you and you go from there. If this is your approach you most certainly are not going to produce a powerful meaningful piece of writing.
If you answered yes on the 2nd question thank you for being so honest with yourself. Most of us (if not all) need some help from time to time and we read a phrase that just strikes a chord so we repurpose it for our own writing. Raise your hand if you’re guilty (my hand is raised here). Not to worry, that’s okay (as long as you are re writing or quoting and giving credit). But if you’re just plain worn out, not feeling it, and you start getting 2, 3, or (oops) a phrase or two in each paragraph that is repurposed, then that is a problem.
And on the last question, if you answered no, if there is not any place in your writing that digs into one of your emotions such as anger, fear, happiness, sadness, or surprise (from http://www.listofhumanemotions.com/) then the piece does not speak loudly to you which means it didn’t come from that core place within you that is aligned with the path you are walking and supporting your personal mission to contribute to society in only the way you can. In other words, that piece of writing is probably not what you should be turning loose in the world. You can do better.
Lukewarm and half-assed is not ever going to create the success you want and deserve.
So, if you’ve gotten a little lazy and are leaning on the Internet and other people’s words just a hair too much here’s what you can do to break the habit:
- Don’t use the Internet to find a topic, use it to support a topic you already know it’s important for you to write about.
- Set a limit on yourself for how many unoriginal rewrites of someone else’s sentences you are allowed. (An ultimate goal of 1 or 0 for a piece of writing is a good number here).
- When you have your topic, before you start writing, ask yourself what aspect of that topic really makes you squirm? Or want to shout from the rooftops? Begin your writing from that point of emotion not from the topic itself.
When you approach each piece with these ideas in mind you’ll have less of a tendency to end up with watered down words and it will help ensure that your writing comes from that important core place within that is in alignment with your success.