If you’re reading this, odds are you’re already a writer—or you want to be. Maybe you’re here because you’re trying to get better; maybe you want to make it easier. Or maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of writing for ages, and you’re wondering whether I can talk you into it.
If you want to get better, I’m going to have some advice for you here. If you want to make the process easier and less infuriating, I have a whole bag of tricks I’m going to be sharing with you. But today, I really want to talk to any of you who are wondering whether you should be writing. Any of you asking yourselves, “Does the world really need this? Do I have anything new to say? Will I be able to get my message out the way I want…and even if I do, will it matter?”
Here is my professional opinion.
Yes, you have something to say. Everyone has something unique and relevant to say. (You are not the only exception to EVERYONE.) Yes, the world can use it. If you have a message, odds are there are some people out there who are going to connect most strongly to the way that you communicate that message. That doesn’t mean you will definitely be a bestselling author with billions of people lining up to read your words (and you probably don’t need that to reach your goals, anyway), but you can find an audience. And yes, with the right help, you can get your message out exactly the way you wanted, you can find your audience, and you will matter to them.
But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at you.
When you look at your bookshelves, do you only read the bestsellers and the classics? Are there any names there that are smaller, less well known? Maybe, like me, you’ve got an old favorite that your parents introduced you to that no one else you know has even heard of. (I have shelves of these.) Maybe a friend got you hooked on some quirky mystery series, or an amazing local poet. Or maybe you have a memoir, a family history, or a kids book written by a loved one that you continue to find charming and meaningful no matter how many times you read it.
When you look at what you read online—the blogs you follow, the articles you click on, the mailing lists in your inbox (the ones you actually open)—are those writers only from the Fortune 500 lists? Are you only reading Oprah and Gates and Bezos? Or are your favorites often people a lot farther down that ladder—people you relate to more?
You can be one of those relatable favorites to someone. (Maybe you could even be Oprah someday; I don’t know you.) But to do that, you have to be willing to do one thing: try. I can show you how to make a writing schedule, I can help you figure out which of your friends might be the most helpful to review what you’ve got. I can teach you how to leave writer’s block behind forever. But I can’t do a single thing for you if you aren’t writing.
If you’re looking for permission to try it, and maybe get it totally wrong for a while, you have it. I give you permission to go for it.
If you’re looking for someone to believe in you—I do. That might sound a little presumptuous, but guys, I literally built a business around helping strangers find their voices and get their words on the page. I really do believe in this, and that means I believe in you too.
So no more excuses—or, if you’re already writing, no more fear. Let’s get started together.