The Moment You Realize...
We're all writers
Why do we write?
We’ve been telling stories since the beginning of time.
It started as a way of preserving culture and relaying history. Today, it’s more about self-expression. Reflection. Learning. Sharing. Finding others like us.
The truth is, we didn’t know our writing meant something to other people until someone told us, or we got paid to do it.
In school, many of us were taught to write as a way of summarizing. Becoming living, breathing Sparknotes or study guides. Regurgitating information. Drafting boring memos.
Ibra was lucky–a few of his teachers encouraged him to write journals, screenplays, short stories, and long-form essays.
He also discovered that college scholarships were paying for content. One prompt read:
“Describe in 500 words or less why you have chosen marketing as your major/concentration. Include your ideal marketing career and past experiences which led you to choose marketing.”
A perfect opportunity to research and reflect.
As he put pen to paper, Ibra was able to string together his life experiences and learn more about himself. Creating comic book characters as a kid, developing a pitch to get a prom bus in high school, and building e-commerce stories.
A few months later, an email came in. Congratulations! You’ve been selected to receive the scholarship.
$540 for a few hours of work as a college student. That’s better than lunch money.
Similar scholarship essays popped up every quarter or semester. So he repurposed the essay and reapplied. By the time he graduated, he had knocked $3,000 off the tuition bill.
Ironically enough, Sid did the same thing at the same school. Then, he did it IRL (in real life) as a freelance writer for startups and agencies.
You can too. But here’s the catch.
You probably won’t get paid for it right away, unless you’re a natural.
But you can quickly get good enough.
Turn every communication into an opportunity to learn. Question the strategy behind each text, paragraph to BAE, email, essay, landing page, blog, and whitepaper. Flip the “annoying work” to your benefit.
Write the way you talk. Find your own voice by writing for yourself, not just for eyeballs (attention) or dollars (freelancing). Read examples from other writers to shape your narrative style and expand its repertoire.
Practice in public to accelerate feedback and learning. This keeps you accountable but also allows you to get data on what works and what doesn’t.
Keep it simple. It’s about clarity and persuasion.
Wood For The Fire, W(F)TF
(our way of saying “food for thought”):
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Quote of the Week:
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master” - Ernest Hemingway
Christopher Lochhead. A category pirate, entrepreneur, author, and former fortune 500 CMO. Check out his newsletter Category Pirates here and read ‘Play Bigger’, his book about category design. 🏴☠️ Arrr!
So… what’d you think?
Share your feedback here. We’d love to hear any ideas for improvement or general thoughts.
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