Sometimes I’m not sure what I want to write about, or if what I write will really make a difference. During these periods I’m learning a simple lesson: Write anyway.
Anyone who has mastered a skill, a sport, an instrument, painting, speaking or writing will probably offer you the same advice: Stay at it. Research streams consistently tell us that it takes about 10,000 hours in a complex activity to become an expert. That’s roughly five years of working 40 hours per week at something. OK, inhale. Exhale. My experience shows that depending on the complexity of the task and how deeply ingrained I want it to become a habit, it will probably take three to six months to get over the hump, then another year to really feel like I know what I am doing. This has proved true for changing my diet, learning a new job, making a new exercise program a part of my life, doing doctoral level research, and leading teams.
This morning I was in a conversation with someone who wants to start blogging. I offered him the same advice I had received three years ago when I began writing www.OnLeadingWell.com. I knew I wanted to blog regularly but feared I would lose motivation. These three questions helped me focus:
1. What am I passionate about? This must be something I naturally think about, read about, live out and and discuss with friends late at night.
2. What am I knowledgeable about? I have more than a handful of blog posts in my head on this topic AND I could write about it regularly.
3. What do I want to focus on and continue to learn about, perhaps to a point of mastery? I will add value for my readers only if I provide them with ideas, inspiration and resources that they might not have the time, perspective or connections to find on their own.
The best blogs, the ones I find myself returning to over and over again, seem to share these characteristics. So, if you’re wondering what to write about, find a blank piece of paper and answer these three questions. Make some notes. Jot down random ideas. Draw a few pictures. Then put it aside for a day and come back and stare at it. You’ll find what you’re looking for.
So, what do you want to write about?