Why We Write

“Only in writing do you discover what you know.”

– Anne Beattie, author

What a joy to re-read a favorite book! You think that you remember most of the content – or at least the major points.  However, over time your own circumstances change and upon re-reading the book, the context has changed and you gain new insights.

Such was the case for me with “What Clients Love,” by Harry Beckwith.  Harry has enjoyed great success with his series of books (also “Selling the Invisible” and “The Invisible Touch”).  He has had a distinguished career in marketing and advertising and has done a masterful job in sharing his observations and client history with his readers.

This time around, my thoughts were centered on this blog.  Why do I write it?  Does anyone read it?  Does it really matter?  Does anybody care?  Why does anybody blog?

Then it hit me – in Harry's own words, “Writing teaches you that you never write just what you know.  You write what you learn as you're writing… Writing teaches everyone – especially the writer.”

I have been thinking a lot about how to differentiate what I do – consulting, speaking and training.  How do I gain a competitive advantage?  What set me apart?  Why should a client hire me – rather than another consultant?

I found a lot of those answers in Jaynie L. Smith's book, “Creating Competitive Advantage.”  But the hard part – you actually have to write them down on paper – or say them out loud.  You have to learn how to articulate your competitive advantage – in a way that a complete stranger can clearly understand.

And that is what writing does.

You are forced to learn as you write.  Not just to gather information and spit it back out.  No, to think about things – especially as they pertain to yourself – and to express them in your own individual style.

So that is why blogging matters – to me.  Everyday, I learn new things – and improve my communications skills – as I write about the things that matter to me.  I have a long way to go – and a lot to learn as I write.


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