I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of the written word.
(Humor me for a minute here, because I’m not just some writerly word-lover RA-RA-ing about books. I have a much cooler point than that!)
When I say that phrase — “the power of the written word” — what does it make you think of?
For me, it conjures up great novels that inspire deep emotion in the reader. Or political diatribes that move people to action.
And yes, those are powerful.
But what we consider less often is how the written word affects the writer.
And I don't mean the effects of journaling (getting things off your chest, organizing your thoughts, etc.) or creative writing (flexing those creative muscles, thinking in new ways) might — although those are great, too.
Instead, what I’ve noticed lately is that, especially in business, writing makes things real.
Writing takes an idea that was previously only in your head, or existed for a fleeting moment during a conversation, and makes it actual, concrete... point-at-able.
And when you take that now-real idea and make it public, it becomes something even more.
It becomes a commitment.
And this, my friends, it why it’s so fucking scary to do.
It’s also why it’s so powerful, of course. Because making these things real means they can really happen.
But it’s also scary. The kind of scary that makes some people put it off for years. (Think I'm exaggerating? When's the last time you updated your website copy?)
Because saying publicly, in writing, “This is what I stand for, this is who I am, this is who I help, this is what I do, this is how I do it, this is why it matters…” — it means you are actually committing to those things.
You're saying yes to those, and no to others. You’re drawing your line in the sand, putting your stake in the ground, and whatever other soil-based metaphor you'd like to use. You're making a promise.
So my question to you is:
Are you ready for that?