Ever since I finally got up off my ass and launched this site (last Monday), I’ve had this feeling of profound gratitude for all of my friends, mentors, family, and even clients that helped to get me to this point. I’m truly blessed with an incredible support system. From my parents and sister, to my amazing girlfriend, to all of my close friends and colleagues who have endorsed my work and this site (as well as provided much needed proof reading), I thank you.
Though I had talked a big game about launching my own site in the past, it took many a kick in the ass from those same people to make this happen (Pat Koch and Sam Wong, I’m looking at you!).
I know it’s only been a little over a week since the site has launched, and it could still turn into a big flop, but I can’t help but feel it has been a big success so far. A success because if for no other reason it got me feeling empowered, and feeling like my voice is actually needed in my industry.
Now, I want to be clear here, I am in no way saying I am some sort of “big name” in the fitness world or anything. I’m very far from that.
What I mean is that it’s pretty shitty feeling like your voice doesn’t really matter, especially when it’s on a topic you care deeply about. On the flip side of that though is the feeling that what you have to say is important, that your voice does count, and even if you’re not saying something revolutionary, maybe just the way you say it reaches a new audience. That is the feeling I’m experiencing now.
So with this new found voice of mine, I feel like it’s important to “pay it forward” to the future writer out there, fitness related or not, in case maybe they don’t have the amazing (and patient... very, very patient) support system I’m blessed with. If that’s you, please keep reading.
First, I want to tell you that your voice does matter. Your personal ability to communicate certain concepts to other people is unique.
Know this though, taking that voice and turning it into the written word takes A LOT of practice. I’m constantly working on that, scrapping word after word, and draft after draft, to make sure that my point is coming across clearly and my tone is my own, not me attempting to sound like someone else whose work I’m fond of.
Don’t fall into the trap of mimicking your favorite popular writer’s tone because he/she might have a lot of followers and you really enjoy their writing.
Besides, what makes you think that you could do a better job sounding like they do then they themselves can?? Kind of arrogant when you think about it.
You know what though, you can probably do one hell of a job finding and refining your own unique voice that will reach those readers, that your favorite writer may not be reaching, and those are the most important readers for you to have.
Another important piece of advice I’d give to you, the aspiring writer, would be to have a person/people who know you well and will give you real, constructive feedback read your work. For me, I’m lucky to have a few different people like my parents, girlfriend, and again my good friend Pat.
The importance of people like that in this process is much greater than just looking through your content finding misspellings and grammatical errors. They are the people that know you best and are able to help make sure that your true voice is coming through in each article or post you write. Trust me, if these people know you well, and are willing to tell you when something is not working, or if something you’ve written just doesn’t sound like you, they will be your greatest tool.
Piggy backing off the idea of finding your own unique voice, make sure that your opinions and advice are backed up by sound logic, and that you actually have a clue of what you’re talking about. There are a lot of blogs out there, with people who really have no grasp on the concepts they are talking about, and if your goal is to be a unique trustworthy voice out there, you need know your shit so you can cut through the rest of the BS that is floating out there on the internet. If that’s not your goal, well then, I changed my mind, please stop reading now!
Lastly, if writing is something you really want to do, for god sakes practice it!!!
Being able to actually write a half decent sentence now a days is becoming something of a novelty (god bless you english professors out there suffering through this sad fact). However, if it’s something you enjoy doing, then by all means do it, just learn to do it well.
More often than not the stuff you write will probably really suck at first. That’s perfectly fine, and to be expected.
Think about the first time you swung a baseball bat. Did you hit 400 foot home run???
So what makes you think that this would be any different?
Write every day and take your time to get good at this craft, and you will possess a skill which most people don’t. That skill will set you apart from the rest.