The internet is filled with advice for how to write for others. But rarely does anyone talk about writing for yourself. And how to turn that into a leverage that helps you build a career.
I love it when people find value in what I write, but my goal is to add value to myself first. And then to make it “sharable”.
Writing, is having a conversation with myself. It is deliberate contemplating, and not over-analyzing in my head.
Most of my critical life decisions were taken when I talked with myself in writing.
Everyone talks about being authentic on social media, but does anyone share the method on how to do it? I didn’t know I was following a method until I took a step back and looked at what I was doing.
I call it the Stream & Shape method.
Stage 1 : Stream
The goal at this stage is to help yourself.
Start with streaming your thoughts randomly in a notepad. Digitally or physically. Do not judge what you write. It doesn’t need to make sense to anyone else other than yourself. This is your private judgement free zone.
Consider it writing meditation, don’t count how long you have been writing. Just write. This is supposed to be a brain dump.
It could be as simple as asking questions to yourself and answering them. And the questions could be as simple as “how are you feeling right now?” to “what the hell are you doing with your life?” to anything in between.
Stage 2 : Shape
The goal of this stage is make your thoughts sharable, to help others.
Now that you have gotten things out of your system in a way that makes sense to you. You will feel a sense of relief. Like a burden is off your shoulders. Add to that, you have now extracted ideas, insights and lessons that can be packaged as a sharable piece of content. Which would otherwise be lost in the ether.
It is time to shape it in a way that makes sense to others.
Go back to what you streamed and start finding patterns. Can you convert an insight into a tweet, a blog, a book, a framework? This post and many posts before this are an example of using this method.
Some thoughts might end at a tweet or a LinkedIn Post, while others can lead to a book. You never know when a simple idea or insight can change your life. But you need to give it some space to get out of your system without judgement.
Try this out today. Take out your notepad and start dumping your thoughts. Without any judgement. And without structure.
That’s how DaVinci did it too. Most of what we learn about his work comes from his unstructured notes he wrote for himself.
Your ideas might be waiting around the corner to be discovered. But more importantly, you will do it from a place of authenticity.