"But I'm Not a Good Writer" with Kevin Phillips (Content Lab, Ep. 7)

Liz Murphy

Director of Web & Interactive Content, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

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"But I'm Not a Good Writer" with Kevin Phillips (Content Lab, Ep. 7) Blog Feature

Published on September 5th, 2018

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Happy Wednesday to you all -- and for many of you, I bid you a happy INBOUND or Content Marketing World week!

This year, I find myself not in Boston or Cleveland for either event. Instead, I’m here in my home office in Annapolis, Maryland, with two dogs and a cat, the latter of which has a snoring problem.

(Honestly, I didn’t know cats snored.)

Anyway, while I’m bummed to be missing out on the action, I will say I love weeks like this. Since much of my team is up in Boston at HubSpot’s INBOUND conference, I get to spend almost the entire week in my little content cave completely uninterrupted.

In case you didn't know, my quiet little content cave is where I’m happiest.

First, I light a scented candle -- this week it’s a pumpkin pinecone scented candle, because I am on a one-woman mission to mentally will fall into existence. 

Then, I get to work.

In my cave, I pull together strategies and do research. I create massive outlines, which I immediately demolish -- because the first outline is always awful -- and then I make new ones.

Finally, I start writing. And writing. And writing.

For many of you, that probably doesn’t sound like heaven, the way it does for me. In fact, it probably sounds awful -- because writing is hard, right?

Here’s a fun fact -- writing is hard for us nerds, too.

Which brings me to the topic of today’s conversation.

I invited fellow IMPACTer and content marketing strategy consultant Kevin Phillips to join me to address one of the most common objections we hear from folks when we ask them to create content.

“But I’m not a good writer.”

If you’ve ever said that to someone -- or even just to yourself, as you stared hopelessly at a blank document your computer screen -- this episode is for you.

Enjoy! 

Listen to the Episode

Resources Mentioned by Kevin

One Thing: Give Yourself a Break

I hope you enjoyed that conversation. I certainly did -- so much so that I’m going to take a page out of Kevin’s book and keep it simple with this week’s one thing.

The one thing that you can do right now to make the content you create more awesome.

This week, I challenge you to give yourself a break.

Seriously.

Kevin and I talked about this at length, but us content nerds go through the same emotional highs and lows as you do with creating content. But the reason we are able to push through and keep going isn’t because we’re wizards -- although that would be really cool.

It’s because, in those moments, we give ourselves a break.

We tell those negative voices in our head telling us that writing is only this hard because we suck at it to cool it and cut ourselves a little slack.

So, the next time that happens to you, give yourself a break.

Tell those mean inside voices who are trying to convince you that you can’t do this to pipe down.

Then remind yourself that writing is a process.

It takes a little mental elbow grease, and running into a few roadblocks as you think things through is totally part of the process.

Now, if our words of affirmation and admissions of crippling cases of writer’s block don’t inspire you…

Weekly Awesome: Ann Handley Wisdom

...this week's Weekly Awesome is a quote from Ann Handley's Everybody Writes that speaks directly to fears around being good enough with writing:

“In our world, many hold a notion that the ability to write, or write well, is a gift bestowed on a chosen few. Writing well is considered a kind of art, linked murkily to muse and mysticism. That leaves us thinking there are two kinds of people: the writing haves—and the hapless, for whom writing well is a hopeless struggle, like trying to carve marble with a butter knife.

But I don’t believe that, and neither should you. 

The truth is this: writing well is part habit, part knowledge of some fundamental rules, and part giving a damn. We are all capable of producing good writing. Or, at least, better writing!”

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