I’ve been writing consistently for a little over two and a half years. Blogging is one of the few practices that has helped me develop in many areas of my life. I’d actually go as far as to say that any Christian leader who is not blogging or writing is stunting the impact of their ministry. Here are four reasons why.
1. Your writing will outlast you.
There’s a saying in Spanish that goes, “Mas vale palida tinta que brillante memoria.” Roughly translated, it means, “Even the palest ink is better than the brightest mind.” What is written now gets remembered later.
This is not just a clever excuse to make you buy pens, planners, or start to-do lists; if you’re a leader, it’s about legacy. Do you know what’s one of the hardest things to kill (apart from Florida cockroaches)? An idea. Ideas have the unique ability to live on long after the person who wrote them down is deceased.
Think about it: where do we get our knowledge of history? Where do we get our knowledge of science? From the time humans began the process of writing their ideas down, the development of humanity incrementally sped up because we could literally tap into the past and have conversations with the greatest minds of history.
So who will you inspire after you’re gone? It is through writing that you can have the broadest impact for the longest amount of time.
2. Your writing makes you a better thinker.
Some of the most successful people today incorporate writing into their schedules:
- Warren Buffet has described writing as a key way of refining his thoughts.
- Richard Branson once said, “My most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,” which he uses for regular writing.
- Bill Gates has described writing as a way to sit down and re-evaluate his thoughts during the day.
There isn’t just anecdotal evidence for this. In both emotional intelligence and in “hard sciences” like mathematics, writing has been shown to help people communicate highly complex ideas more effectively.
One fellow blogger backed up this idea pretty well by stating that:
Writing helps eliminate “it sounded good in my head” syndrome. It forces ideas to be laid out bare for the thinker to see, where it is much less likely that they will be jumbled up like they are in your head.
To be a good writer, you have to condense and clarify your thoughts in ways that will be accessible to your audience. Why? Because you’re working against the clock of human attention-span. Unless you have been gifted with supernatural ability, most people will not spend more than a few minutes reading anything you write if it’s not interesting or relevant.
Writing good articles consistently over time will also make you a better thinker overall because you’ll be constantly practicing and refining the habits of analyzing, interpreting, condensing, and expounding content for people to understand. The blog posts that I’ve written that get little traction share a combination of a few elements:
- Too short (less than 500 words) or too long (over 3000 words)
- No logical flow
- Boring topic
- Too wordy
- Many mistakes in grammar/spelling
3. Your writing trains you for success.
There are variations to this, but the formula to success is generally the following:
(consistency x excellence) + opportunity = success
Lots of people begin a long-term activity but don’t make it a regular habit. However, to see the kind of growth you want to see in exercise, musical ability, or writing ability, you need to continue long after many others have gotten tired and given up.
The skills that make up a good blogger (consistency, writing, organization, reading, and listening) are all transferable to virtually any other endeavor you do. By being consistent and steadily producing good content, you become a more well-rounded person.
4. Your writing may bring unexpected benefits
Not only does writing have wonderful personal benefits, if you consistently produce great content, you may see some unexpected perks, such as:
- Credibility as a thought leader
- Speaking Inquiries
- Job offers
- Book deals
- Publication of your work
I have to agree with other people that this has happened to when I say that there is a bit of a “creative shock” the first time someone emails you thanking you for the work you’ve written, and how it has helped them. It’s surreal to see people you highly value and respect subscribe to and be a part of your circle of influence.
Without a doubt, this positive feedback leads to feelings of gratitude and happiness for the work you produce as a blogger. Even looking back at the criticism emails (which I’ve received many of as well), writing helps you to develop thick skin like few other endeavors.
Yes, the more your write and the more exposure you get, the more criticism will come your way. I’ve been encouraged when I read what great leaders of the past had to share. Their words are just as relevant today:
So, what if you’re a leader who wants to take the next step and start a blog? Here are some quick notes to consider:
a) Chose a topic that’s neither too narrow or broad. Make it interesting for you and others. I’ve chosen to focus my blog on cultural relevance, leadership, ministerial training, and transformational discipleship.
b) Choose a platform. WordPress is probably the best site for serious bloggers out there. Get an account and strongly consider buying a URL. It’s an accountability investment that will pay off.
c) Line up your topics. Think about what you’re going to write about ahead of time. Have a schedule and know what will come out and when.
d) Carve out a time. Set aside time to read and write. In my case, what doesn’t get scheduled doesn’t get done. Currently, although I study during the week, Wednesdays are my writing days.
e) Publish and engage. Social media is your friend. Post on all the venues you have access to and interact with your audience. You can add value to your reader’s life and they can help you learn new information as well.
Any other thoughts? Leave your thoughts below!