On Submarines and Flatulence: Why I Bother Writing
I'm a social media newbie. I’ve been on Facebook for a long time, but that's mostly to keep tabs (i.e. "stalk") my kids. I first looked at LinkedIn back in June of 2003. I dismissed it as nothing more than a CV sharing site. That wasn't useful to me.
Even back then, I hardly ever used my CV.
A little background
After I sold my company, I checked "Go to culinary school" off my bucket list. Two culinary degrees, a restaurant, and a bakery later, I returned to the technology field.
I was away from tech for about 5 years, but I still kept more or less up to date.
Five years in tech is an eternity. Five years away from writing heavily is even longer. My writing muscles atrophied.
Some literary strength training was in order.
I also questioned if I should expand on my ghostwriting practice. Ghosts are silent, invisible, and largely misunderstood. Imagine how hard it would be to promote your product if you couldn’t point to it.
Any ass can say he’s a writer. Clients need proof. At least, intelligent clients do. That's the type I like working with.
I started writing first to re-connect with my craft and second to create a body of varied work that I can point to.
When you read one of my posts, you are walking into my showroom. You are seeing and interacting with my products.
Back to the post
I started publishing on LinkedIn in late-May, 2015. I pretty much stopped in late March 2016. I transitioned my primary platform to beBee.
As is my normal modus operandi, I researched how to best use LinkedIn. I found stuff that sounded right but ended up being wrong. I found stuff that sounded wrong but ended up being right.
That's par for the course.
Fear held me back from publishing
Everything I read said to publish on the platform. I didn't right away. Like most of us, fear held me back. It wasn’t so long ago, so I still remember. I had a few clients that I wrote for. At that point, I had been writing for hire for eight years.
Is it strange that a professional should be scared of a new medium? Maybe.
I know I was afraid.
I decided to publish the first day I joined LinkedIn. It took over two weeks to hit the publish button.
What was I afraid of? I'm glad you asked...
Would people agree with me?
Most did. Some didn't. All provided insight on which to build.
Here are my thoughts.
- If everybody agrees, you aren’t pushing the envelope.
- If everybody agrees, you aren’t being controversial enough.
- If everybody agrees, you aren’t connecting deeply enough.
Would they contradict me?
I like to be controversial. I expected many contradictions. Got none yet.
Disagreements? Hell, Yes!
Would I be personally attacked?
I don’t mean having someone punch me in the nose. I mean will I meet trolls. Between LinkedIn and beBee, I’ve written over 100 posts in less than a year. Add in client LI posts, self-hosted posts etc, and I’m probably at 175 or more.
No flame wars yet.
I have yet to meet my first troll.
I must be doing something wrong.
Would they laugh at me?
I have a quirky sort of style. Much of what I write is supposed to be laughed at, so, yes! My niche, if I have one, is to simplify the complicated. Humour helps. Of all the comments on all my posts, my favourite is when Trent Selbrede said he fell off his couch laughing at something I wrote.
That says a lot about my warped sense of humour. Trent was in a clavicle cast at the time.
LinkedIn is a (mostly) civil place. beBee more so. People may disagree, but they rarely mock.
Why I finally started publishing
In a nutshell, it was to build a brand. I saw that I needed to provide “proof of skillset.” I’m a Ghostwriter. Since we write as other people, it's the easiest thing in the world to fake.
Ghostwriters are silent but deadly.
Some of us are silent but deadly like submarines.
Some of us are silent but deadly like flatulence.
I needed a way to prove I was a submarine, not a stinky fart.
Did it work? Yes, it worked nicely, thank you.
What I didn't expect
I've always kept my business life segregated from my personal life. Few people know both sides of me. Those that do often comment that I'm two completely different people sharing one body.
Writing here changed that in a big way.
I found that although I've made many new contacts, I've also made many new friends.
It may sound strange to call someone "friend" that you've never met in person. Perhaps it is. It's true nonetheless. You "guys" know who you are.
In writing my posts, reading comments, and interacting with others, I have come to know them.
Reading someone's posts opens a window onto their soul. (tweet)Me
Writing a post gives opens a window onto your soul. (tweet)Also Me
Take the plunge. Start writing.
This is the first in a series that will dive deeply into how I write. It will offer tools, hints, and suggestions. Later, I'll assemble them into an Index Post.
It’s up to you to follow the ones that suit you and ignore the rest.
You don’t want to write like Paul Croubalian. You want to write like you.
Find your voice.
It’s Your Voice, Your Choice!
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