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Stop Reading, And Start Writing

Image of some text that says, "Write!"

Credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

It’s no secret that I sometimes struggle with content on this blog. Look through my archives and you’ll see the occasional massive gap in time, like it’s Mad Men between seasons or something.

There are a few reasons for that, but one of the big ones is that I’ll occasionally feel like I don’t have anything to write about. Or I’ll feel like what I do have to write about has already been written, and what’s adding my voice to the conversation going to do? So I’ll go out and read, read, read, read, read, and then realize that I’ve spent all my time reading and browsing through links, and I’ve got nothing left for writing.

In a post published on Marketing Land last week, 10 Social Media Mistakes You May Be Making (Because I Did), Courtney Seiter penned a few paragraphs that made me stop, think and start blogging a bit more. Here’s what she said:

Read too many blog posts and you run out of time to do anything else — not to mention that it starts to seem like all your good ideas are derivative, everyone knows more than you, and everything that can possibly be written already has been.

Reading too much also directly contributes to what might be the worst mistake on this list: creating too little.

A recent interview on Squawk with the very smart AJ Kohn really made me think. He said:

“Reading a lot doesn’t make you an authority – understanding a lot might, to a degree – but communicating your experiential learning is what really makes the difference.”Anyone can read a lot. Building your own place in this industry as a thought leader comes from explaining what you’ve learned and building your own thoughts on top of it – whether that comes in the form of writing, presentations, videos or other kinds of content.

My Pocket queue is usually stuffed to the gills by the end of the week, but you know what? If I didn’t have time to read it during the week, it gets dumped — clean for the next week. I will never be able to read that much.

This is probably something I’ll have to continually work on, but I wanted to share Courtney’s insights, because they’ve definitely helped me out.

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