I’m starting to write… here’s why.
Writing is a skill. Yes, it’s a hard skill that requires lots of training
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When reading a story from someone that has been writing for some time, it seems easy. The story flows. However, the generated perception is something that the writer trained so hard to achieve that you probably didn’t even notice it.
Writing is a skill. Yes, it’s a hard skill that requires lots of training. Writing is not only about grammar, but also about the ability to elaborate content that follows a line of thought. The training most of us had in our early years while going to school or college, was a very basic one. Writing for the masses or for a reader in a different continent with a different culture and/or tongue requires a whole different proficiency that can only be achieved in two ways: reading a lot and writing a lot.
Good for life, good for work
Writing is relaxing. Makes you think deeply and introspect yourself. Makes you get off the stress of the spinning wheel we live in. Releasing your thoughts is liberating. Psychiatrists make a living thanks to this need. But be cautious: don’t swap your shrink for public writing. They are complementary, and it may be a double edged sword if you’re not prepared to get rugged feedback. Try private writing such as a personal diary before jumping into public if you find criticism too difficult to digest.
As a remote programmer living in Uruguay and working for a US company with a team distributed across the globe, I need to write a lot. But most important, I need to write considering the multi-culture environment I work in. Good documentation is important for any business but is crucial for a remote one. Today, to work as a remote programmer, you not only need to know how to write code, but you also need to know how to put your thoughts together on paper in a comprehensive way. You need to be able to explain them to someone that is not fully embedded in the work you’ve done and make sure she understands.
Remote work happens asynchronously, so you probably won’t be there to verbally explain what you did every time someone is curious, and even if you are, you don’t want that from a productivity standing point. If your thoughts are well written and polished, you don’t have to explain the same things over and over, you just have to refer to the article/piece of documentation you wrote and carry on with your work.
Yes, it takes time to develop these skills, but with the right diligence you eventually get there. We realized this as a company some time ago; check out this nice article written by one of my colleagues Maximo Mussini on why documenting is important for work.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m far from an expert. I prefer to consider myself a constant learner. That’s why I’m writing this post.
So I’ve been forcing myself to improve my writing skills for some time now, but I never wrote something public. I already went through why is important to write. But you are probably asking yourself: “Where to start?”, “What to write?” &“When to start?”. I had the same questions, and here’s my plan:
Where to start?
Put together a todo list: “My blog” or “Things to write”. These todos should be drafts of your headlines. Kickstarters for thoughts. Make sure to follow up on that list, but don’t start writing the blog entry right away. Let it rest for a while so you can put together your thoughts. You might find inspiration in places you never thought of.
What to write?
Think of a topic you’ve mastered, an experience you’ve been through or even a sentiment you’ve felt; for sure someone will relate to it. Don’t trust me? If you are reading this is because you have the same eagerness to write as me. See? Easy.
When to start?
I’ve been postponing this day for a long time. Always told to myself that the reason was because “I had no time”. However, time also taught me that the real reason was a lack of confidence. But not today, today is the day I overcome it.
Make it your day too.
This article was originally published by Martin mochetti on medium.
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