Anyone who has written something regularly will appreciate the image above. The final sentiment is the important one: Writing is really hard work. Although, it produces amazing results.
At the recent HIM Summit, I participated in a session on social media where we covered LinkedIn, Twitter, and blogging. One of the key messages I tried to convey to attendees was the power in sharing your ideas. This is true on a forum in a group discussion or in blogging (and to a lesser extent on Twitter). Many people think that participating in these various social media platforms is about connection. Connection is a valuable benefit of social media engagement, but I think that the value of what you learn from writing is even more powerful.
In many ways, this concept was illustrated in my post that blogging requires you to raise your standard. It’s one thing to know something. It’s another thing to be able to do something. It’s another thing to know something and be able to do something so well that you can share it with other people. That’s the power of writing a blog or participating in a group where you share deep discussions. You have to really deeply know the subject to be able to write about it. That’s powerful!
Along with raising the bar of how deeply we understand a certain topic, publishing our thoughts and ideas on these social platforms provides people the opportunity to tell us we’re wrong. Ok, that’s probably a harsh way of saying it. The more politically correct way to say it might be to say that it provides people the opportunity to give us feedback on ways we can improve. No matter how you frame it, hundreds and thousands of people reading your content means that dozens will point out flaws in your thinking/process/ideas or they’ll add on with more details on how you can extend what you’re doing. That’s powerful!
I share this concept based on first hand experience. I wouldn’t know 1/100th of the things I know if I didn’t write on the Healthcare Scene blogs so regularly. Doing so requires me to really process ideas into something manageable and understandable. I have to also thank the tens of thousands of you who’ve educated me on things I didn’t understand previously. I’m better for it.
If you’re not writing regularly, I suggest you do it. I’m not suggesting everyone start a blog. You can and should if you’re really committed to doing it regularly, but most shouldn’t go that direction. Instead, you should guest post on other people’s sites or leverage LinkedIn’s new blogging platform where you have a built in audience (your connections) and there’s little expectation of how often you blog.
Try it out and see. You’ll realize that writing is hard. However, the benefits of doing so are powerful as well. As I’ve found regularly in life, the most powerful things are often the hardest.