Over the years, I realized there is one skill you need to master to be successful in business.
That skill is writing.
Adam Grant posted a great quote on Instagram the other day.
“Writing is more than a vehicle for communicating ideas. It’s a tool for crystallizing ideas.
Writing exposes gaps in your knowledge and logic. It pushes you to articulate assumptions and consider counterarguments.
One of the best paths to shaper thinking is frequent writing.” - Adam Grant
When I first got into this online marketing game in 2002, I invested in a few copywriting courses.
These weren’t writing courses or even copywriting courses.
They were courses that taught you how to overhype a simple product.
The course focused more on adding highlights and gimmicks to your content to draw attention than writing great content.
One sage piece of advice I received from Jeff Paul, one of the original internet marketers, was “Your writing has to be so simple and clear that Homer Simpson would know exactly what to do to buy your product”.
That message still resonates with me today and is more important than ever.
I studied copywriting for years, but I never studied how to be a great writer, even after writing 4 best-selling books in 8 years (not #1 on Amazon for 10 minute best-sellers).
In 2019, I met Roy Peter Clark at Copy Chief Live.
When I got home, I read his book Murder Your Darlings, TWICE.
It’s now on my annual reading list.
I read Clark’s Writing Tools book.
I also read Hemingway on Writing.
And while I was at it, I read Stephen King’s On Writing book.
Masterclass is full of great writing tutorials from authors like Amy Tan, David Baldacci, David Sedaris, Dan Brown, Malcom Gladwell and more.
For the past two years, I’ve worked hard on improving my writing and I feel like there is more to learn.
To me, writing is like golf.
You can do it for years and you never seem to feel like you’ve completely mastered it.
You can spend years learning how to be a better writer, but my friend John Carlton summed it up with one simple sentence:
“If you want to be a better writer, write EVERY day”
I was learning about writing every day, but I wasn’t writing every day.
Once I started writing every morning, my writing improved to the point that people noticed and started complimenting my writing.
You’ll thank me later.