Fear of Writing—Status Updates, Blogs, Emails,…

I like to say I play at writing.  That’s not to diminish the fact that I can indeed write.  However, I distinguish between the fact that I feel I put words on paper in a relatively coherent fashion and other people make words come alive.  They can write.

Many people cringe at the mere thought of even composing status updates.  I understand and empathize.  Ever since we’re in elementary school, more often than not we are told to “work” on our writing; that it could be improved upon, etc.  That’s all true.  Like any subjective matter, though guided by certain rules, what is excellence to one might be mediocrity to another.

So status updates on social networks, writing blogs, even drafting emails can be moments of writing paralysis in which one feels incredibly insecure.  What should I say?  How can I make the best impression?  How can I engage the reader to want to learn more about me and what I can do for them?

Fear not.  Particularly in a day and age in which grammar is all but forgotten, if you are generally articulate, you usually pass the test and avoid risk of embarrassment.

Perhaps the concern is how to be both professional and human while sharing an insight.  While there is a demarcation between sharing experiences and expertise and revealing too much, the rule of thumb usually is to be yourself.

There are ways to incorporate familiarity into professional writing and business-like ways to share personal experiences.  To some extent this is dictated by two factors: 1) your style of communication and 2) the depth of your relationship with the intended recipient.  Some people are more casual than others and that can be reflected in what they post and the language they use.  Others have a more formal style.

When in doubt, err on the side of being more formal rather than less, but always try to insert some element that makes what you are writing non-generic.

As far as subject matter for your status updates, that’s the subject of a future blog.  As long as I don’t have writer’s paralysis…

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