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Get Your Message Out There!

I recently had an e-mail from a newsletter subscriber asking me a very specific question.

I was about to reply when I had the thought of sharing it with you because I know lots of people who are in, if not the exact same situation, then one very similar.

Before I give you my take (and this is definitely one of those posts that I’d love you to offer your input in the comments), let me share with you the e-mail that Vic (real name) was happy for me to share.

Note: I have edited out some parts that aren’t really relevant for brevity’s sake.

————————-

Hi Tim,

Re: Don’t Hesitate – Meditate

I did enjoy reading your new edition to the “A Daring Adventure” library.

You put a cool touch to a hippy… Wacky Backy world of mystic pleasures… only used by pop stars and the like.

I have been meditating for 25 years using “The TM method”… and I can say in all honesty it saved my ruddy sanity.

After having a heart bypass some 25 years ago my doctor advised me to take up meditation. Of course I let out a littler snigger only to be told quite sternly but in a friendly way… that for my type person whom he classed as a serious type A… that it would help me come to terms with my predicament.

TM is great for quieting the mind and stilling “Ol Critic Nag” the chattering monkey man. And The Silva method you can go to work on yourself or others.

So there you have it… a double whammy package.

I would love to be able to write my very own eBook or kindle… but there always seem s to be a reason why I should do it tomorrow… I think they call it procrastination… or perhaps nobody would be interested in what I have to say?

The reason for my post to you is that… you managed to write your book so easy… and in such a friendly way… in what seemed such a short period of time… after you announced you were in fact going to write it. Any tips? I have the knowledge but lack the author qualities… or is it Critic Nag trying to dissuade me?

Warmest regards
Vic”

————————-

Let me say this as clearly and honestly as I can:

I’m A Crap Writer!

I make basic errors all the time, sometimes through carelessness and other times through blissful ignorance. In short, I write posts that make academic left-brained grown women and men convulse in twisted apoplectic agony.

But it doesn’t matter and I don’t care, because it’s all about the message. If one in ten people can’t face to read me because the syntax (whatever that is) and grammar is all over the place. Good!

Let’s face it, if that drives them nuts, they weren’t really meant to be here in the first place.

They would have positively exploded at posts on dobermans and porn, God, the Law of Attraction and one my all time favorites from a while back, Is That So?

I know I can’t write technically very well, but equally I know I can communicate exceptionally well to people on my wave length like you.

And you are who I want to communicate with because I know you’re open-minded, curious, not easily offended, funny, and probably very good looking if I’m not very much mistaken.

Vic asked how I wrote the book and the honest answer is, I didn’t

I talked that book as though I were talking to you over a nice Venti Latte and a piece of Classic Coffee cake at our favorite purveyor of fine aromatic coffees and pastries.

The only difference is, I was typing as I talked.

Note: Not out loud, I’m not a total loon.

Writing and Communicating Are Not Necessarily The Same Thing

I wasn’t writing, I was communicating and whereas the two can do overlap a lot, they’re not really the same thing.

Of course there were areas that I had to rewrite and that was because I obviously didn’t talk those through very well the first time and they looked shite on paper.

The motivation to do it in such a short time was because I had told my newsletter readers to kick my ass if I didn’t finish it by the end of March and I hate to let people down.

They kindly didn’t kick my arse and I had it finished a week or so later than planned, but still fairly quick.

Er…hm…er, well there was one tiny other thing that helped me.

About half of the material was already available to me in the form of blog posts I’d written over the last couple of years. I just had to find the material, edit it and find a place to slot it in where it made at least some sense.

So that’s one piece of advice to Vic, even if it’s not technically in the right order.

Start a blog and get the win/win of beginning the process of writing your ebook which will help you hone your writing skills in the public arena at the same time.

Because as super author, Michael Crichton oce said:

“Books aren’t written – they’re rewritten”

And no way will your first draft you write be the one you publish unless you’re on acid at the time.

Writing is awesome at forcing you to think your ideas through because it’s a whole different ball game having them floating around in your head than seeing them on paper.

And that pressure steps up a notch when you realize other people are going to be reading, and some will be looking to rip you!

You will write some posts that works from the get-go, but others may be less than stellar.

You shrug, learn from what works and what doesn’t and keep on keeping on.

Before that though, and in response to Vic’s suggested question of whether he should right the book or not?

Yes, Write The Damn Book Already!

It’s a copper-bottomed, locked-in, nailed-on, absolute certainty.

Vic obviously feels like he has a message to deliver and it would be a crying shame if it doesn’t get delivered.

If it sucks and people don’t resonate with it, then at least he did his best and he pushed himself out of his comfort zone, and that is a huge achievement in and of itself.

And most importantly of all, he won’t be regretting being such a wuss in 20 years time when he has carpel tunnel and/or arthritis and probably same cataract issues and his Goldfish laughs at his concentration levels, and he can no more write a book than sleep through the night without a mad dash to the lav.

Note: Probably none of that will actually happen Vic, I was using artistic effect, or lying as it’s known in the trade.

And if he succeeds, then wow, wouldn’t that be cool and life affirming and worth the effort?

As Wayne Dyer says 32 times a day and 50 times at weekends, even I’m reliably assured to his cat who because of such appalling treatment has tried to leave home 3 times and filed a restraining order:

“Don’t Die With Your Music Still Inside You”

I bet you’ve heard that before because D’Wayne (as my wife calls him for some bizarre reason, best known to herself), nailed it in his chunky sweater wearing lovable uncle kind of way

But have you taken it on board and realized what it means?

Vic wants to write an ebook, you may want to do the same, or make a movie, or start a blog, or change careers to something that feels more like a calling than a job and doesn’t having you say TFIF every week!

It doesn’t really matter what it is, you have a duty of care to your future self if it’s psychically possible, to just do it!

There May Be Some Discomfort.

Or indeed there may not because this stage is often vilified unnecessarily.

I’ve worked with plenty of clients who have made such a change and it was much easier and way less scary than they imagined.

Once they took action that is!

Maybe that will be the case with you and maybe Vic will turn into a whirling dervish of meditation writing insanity and bang out his book in one night fueled by Jack Daniels mixed with 5 Hour Energy Drink.

Have I made my point?

If not, I not only suck at writing, I suck at communicating too and feel very foolish.

I want to know what is the music inside you is ? Because I have no doubt that you have something. Don’t worry if you haven’t even started because this could be the start.

And who knows, maybe somebody who reads the comments can help you. Stranger things have happened.

Also if you have any words of encouragement or advice from Vic, my ex-pat friend, I’m sure he’d love to read them.

32 comments to Get Your Message Out There!

  • Yo Timbo! Number one, you are NOT a crap writer! How many people have you helped through your blog? Hundreds? Thousands? That is not the sign of a crap writer. @!*& the punctuation!

    I agree, it’s so easy to give up, or not even start. We talk ourselves out of things without even really trying. I used to do this all the time.

    A few times recently I’ve been chatting about the 80/20 Pareto Rule. In other words, often you don’t need to do something perfect, it just has to be good enough. An ex-manager of mine used to hammer this into me all the time (because I was lacking in confidence at the time and ften got myself into analysis paralysis).

    Yes, sometimes perfection is desirable. Can you imagine an Apple product which crashed all the time or just felt a bit… mediocre? But remember 2 things: 1) Apple products cost a shit load more than their competitors, 2) Even Apple will have had shitty prototypes which didn’t work very well at first.

    I’ve recently been experimenting with creating YouTube videos. I created a nerby tech demo of some new kit on my PC. It was taken in 1 shot, the focus was messed up, the image was shakey because it was handheld, and generally it seemed a little amatuerish. The people who understood what I was doing didn’t care about that, they were just impressed by what I was trying to show them – the message.

    Yes, I had one idiot post a comment saying I should have used a tripod, better camera etc. I was tempted to respond and be defensive, but instead I let it pass. This guy just didn’t seem to get the message (or he didn’t care about it). I’m not going to waste time on those people. Maybe I am finally maturing a little!

    I also created a video CV recently. Yes, it was rough around the edges. Ideally it needed more editing and the audio had lots of pops and clicks. But to polish it would have taken at least twice as long, and I wanted to submit it to a potential employer the next day.

    IMHO, it’s a vital skill to take action early and also know when something is “good enough” vs “perfect”. The Pareto rule is quite old, but it’s also stood the test of time remarkably well, despite the number of times it’s misused or misunderstood!

    Incidentally, taking action early (before you have all the information you’d ideally like), is listed in a book I have (“How To Lead” by Jo Owen) as one of the hallmarks of an effective leader.

    • It’s ironic that when setting this post up I inadvertently set the publish time to 7pm on a Sunday evening rather than desired 7am on Monday morning.

      The Universe sending me a sign methinks.

  • Also, I read a blog post recently which stated that there is nothing original to write about any more. I think he was overstating his point, but what he meant was this: Don’t let a lack of orignality stop you from writing.

    The chances are, someone has already written something very similar to what you’re going to write. But your audience don;t read your work because of how original the content is, they read it (mostly) because they love *your* voice, *your* opinions, *your* unique slant on things.

    I realised that I’d been procrastinating myself. For at least a week I’d wanted to start a new blog about my journey becoming an entrepreneur. But something was stopping me. I realised I was worried about not being able to generate original content. Take a look at Pamela Slim’s “Escape From Cubicle Nation” blog. It’s excellent and highly successful. (I’d recommend her book too). What could I possibly add to this?

    I can add my own personal, individual story. Which is why I wrote the first 3 blog posts in 2 days.

    • That is certainly true in self development. Some new brain science comes out from time to time, but by and large we are all regurgitating the same stuff. Which is why I use humor, I want to approach it from a different angle.

  • Mary-Ann Hill

    Vic, you obviously have a message you want to deliver, you obviously have an audience in your minds eye who want to hear it, all you need to do is to sit in front of your PC/laptop and start writing as if you were sitting in front of one person in that audience and sharing that message. Then read it out loud and change what is jarring or get rid of words that get in the way of the message and above all else, just get a little done each day and you are guaranteed to get it done. Tim’s style is authentic and free flowing and when I read his stuff (blog or eBooks) I imagine he is sitting in a room with a bunch of us having a chat about whatever is the subject at hand. I wish you well Vic, all you need to do is start talking it through in your head and get those words on the page. Thanks again Tim for sharing your humour and wisdom :) Mary-Ann

  • Nolan

    No man you’re not a crap writer. Not for me. Your writing inducing people to find the meaning of life. That’s the real job.

  • Kenny Mc Bride

    Hello Tim,
    Funny that you posted this at this time. I have had a project kicking about inside my head for a few years now. In fact, I even took steps to get it off the ground a few years ago and crapped myself because of the level of interest, I wasn’t sure if I could cope! So I put it on the back burner with the never ending line of excuses like, my partner has just had a baby so leave it until we get over the first few months. I am too busy at work and home to concentrate on a new project.
    Anyway, to the point. Over the last few months this idea has been floating around my head again and I have been getting a great urge to do something about it. In fact I am starting to annoy myself for not doing anything about it and then you post this…. KICK UP THE ASS FOR ME! thank you.
    You make sense, not always (only kiddin) but this post really makes sense to me so cheers… Now, where is that couch so I can think about this some more… NO!! get off my ass now!!

  • Haha love this post Tim. I’ve written about this topic a few times. The problem is back in the day I didn’t think too hard before pushing publish on posts like “the UnPhucked Formula” and the like heh. Needless to say they were full of good content (at least that’s what peeps told me) but my ideas were definitely raw and in lots of cases not very well edited.

    Like you it hadn’t stopped people from resonating with the message and them sharing that they actually felt me through my writing. (Grammar mistakes and all!)

    Bottom line is get it out in the open and work through it!

    • Now that’s a headline I can resonate with!

      I dread to think what people that read some of my posts back in 2006 think. They make me shudder!

  • Personally, a very timely post for me. I recently joined a local group of women who meet every couple of weeks to work on their writing. A great source of encouragement and support which some of us need more than others. Lots of things kicking ’round in my head to put on paper (real or digital) … now to figure out where to start. Tim, your blog was one of the first self-help blogs I really started to look at and it showed me that it’s OK to let “self” come through rather than trying to be text-book perfect. Thanks for you realism and honesty … and the kick in the butt kind of motivation your style dishes out.

  • Tim, This is an excellent distinction between “writing” and “communicating” that can give us confidence and get us up off the couch. In my case, I’m a good writer and not too bad on the communication angle as well. I still feel a stumbling block though when it comes to going beyond giving my writing away for free. It’s starting to come undone. I don’t know why or what the secret is, but I’m glad to see it gradually happening! Thank you for the encouragement.

    • Yeh that is the real acid test, it’s one thing to slap it up there and let people read if they want to, and quite another to get people to part with their cold hard cash, but I’m sure you’ll get there ;-)

  • I remember when I have all those doubts in my head. I was unable to share my message, I was unable to write, out of fear, not lack of skills.

    I’m glad I took the leap and now I have a good website. So, Vic if you are reading this, take the step, don’t be afraid, you can do it.

    Oh, and I’m a crappy writer too! Ask anyone. :)

    • I did, I just asked the guy over the road and he said “I’ve no idea you imbecile, wtf are you talking about?”

      I’ll try the mailman tomorrow see if he has any light to through on the situation of your writing ability.

  • Lefteris Kokkinhs

    First of all,I wish to everyone who will read this post,to get his inside music out and personally to Vic to write his book no matter what,even if things do not go as planned,at least he will gain experience and a story to tell :D So Vic,go out there and give this fight because losers are not the ones that lost a battle,but the ones that never had the guts to give it ;)

    Great post as always mate.Personally,I am trying to find my own music and my way in life.Even though I find barriers inside me,I am trying to overcome and listen to my heart :D

    Have a great day!

  • Thanks Tim – Beautiful writing (er, I mean talking) as always. Great timing for me. Just recomitted to writing the book I’ve been talking about for 5 years.

    Also just recently ran across this idea – along the same lines and has really freed me up:

    “Express yourself abashedly in such a way that your readers/clients will either want to turn up the volume or change the channel.”

    That way, you are sure to end up with the people who really resonate with you message!

    • That’s true enough Leisa, at some stage you have to polarise people.

    • Really good point! You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Whenever you try to do something unique and that isn’t “safe”, some people are bound not to like it. I guess the trick, like you say, is to focus on the ones that do.

      • Was it Napoleon that said divide and conquer? Or maybe it was Julius Cesar or even Thatcher for that matter, cuz she did a great job of achieving it.

  • Lana Jones

    I’m not a great writer either but I have friends that love grammar (who would have thought that to be possible), and I borrow their eyes to proofread what I write. Honestly I am less concerned about the grammar over trying to get the idea across, and despite the mistakes I make, I would like to think that my writing is worth reading.

    • Winner of “nail on head” award goes to Lana. Great point, succinctly put. Nice one!

    • I too have had lots of kind offers to help Lana, and with my books I gladly accept that help.

      With posts though I simply don’t have the time or patience and I often write posts on the spur of the moment and as such cannot expect people to drop everything just to proof read my blog post.

      Keep delivering the message ;-)

  • Vic

    Hi Tim and others,

    Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond to yourself and your readers… excuse coming up… wait for it… nervousness… a little over whelmed by the response, but as you can see I eventually got over it.

    Tim, I want to thank you for sharing my post with your readers and your valuable advice too, it is the kinda of butt kick I really needed. Honest!

    Yes… talk the post/eBook whatever… I really never gave that a thought. Hopefully that might help me over the hurdles with my grammar which is lacking… that is going from past tense to present tense without even realising it… oh ignorance is bliss, but it can be an insult to the grammar aficionados of the English language.

    I do like to see posts with a touch of humour, it does keep it interesting… well that’s my personal view. But as you say, why try to please everyone, and end up pleasing no one… so for me its let’s keep it humorous… I like it that way.

    Yes, I will try to get my head around setting up a blog with WordPress (self Hosted) in the next few days. I have been told, not quite sure by whom, that the best way is the famous 5 minute install… because it ends up being a securer blog from would be hackers… what are you readers thoughts.

    Kindle book for learning how to meditate.

    I have lots of thoughts going through my mind on this one, and what I don’t want is a book that is stuffed with fluff and padding… I think that’s what they call it, when a book goes on and on with no end in sight… and then the reader ending up feeling cheated as there is no real conclusion… just a whole load of waffle. Or a load of old Tripe as we Brits says.

    What I would like to do with the Kindle eBook is get straight to the point… which is surely what readers must really want … BUT would they feel cheated by a report style Kindle eBook? If I turned it into a digital tome it would either never gets written or UPS Cyber Cloud Service would have to deliver it.

    Mary-Ann Hill – Thanks for your kind words… yes I do have a message and I will try my best to deliver it. But not forgetting that I now have a new weapon… it’s called “Talk it Through”… the wonder of the new communication method… also called the “Tim Style”. I just love it… it will open new doors for me and hopefully others.

    Reading out loud – I hope no one will over hear me when I’m reading it out load or the little yellow van will be around to take me away… “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” Saying – Curtsy of: Jerry Samuels.

    Alejandro Reyes – Thanks for your kind words too. Yes we can be crap together… only joking. Alex, I do like you website will have a look around in the next few days. Perhaps as guest poster if allowed?

    Lefteris Kokkinhs – Thank you also for your kind words, and the added music:) You’re right… there are the runners and the non-runners… if you don’t enter the race you can’t compete or even hope to win… no prises for thinking about it… only doing it.

    Soooo, what do you think I should call my new wannabe WordPress Blog… any ideas?

    And also, I need a title for my new Kindle eBook which will be a freebee… then followed by a paid version… but much more in depth… covering a sort of personal journey.

    I’m open to any suggestions as this does seem like a sane website blog with Tim at the helm.

    I am pleased you have all given me a kinda map to work with… now I shouldn’t end up either stagnating in the murky waters of the harbour or even drifting around in the open seas… completely oarless.

    My Warmest and Kindest regards to you all… wherever you may be…
    … And thanks for reading.

    P.S. I hope I have not offended anyone will my British type of English.

    Vic

    Victor I. Daly
    A British Ex-Pat – Residing in Spain.

    • So cool that you commented Vic. I was slightly worried I’d stepped over the boundary because I only asked you if I could use it in my newsletter, but it came out too long to fit with that format.

      Personally I don’t do any techie stuff of my own, I have Tim Gary from http://www.mindcue.com do it and he’s awesome and inexpensive. With the strength of the Euro at the moment against the $ that may be the best option.

      Length is unimportant, at least as we’re talking about it here!

      One of the greatest self development books ever written, As A Man Thinketh was barely more than a pamphlet and my Core Values book can be read in two hours.

      Focus on the value you’re adding mate!

      Writing is a skill and the more you do it the more skilled you’ll become. Go and look at some of my early posts (actually don’t), because some of them are embarrassing to me now! Self-indulgent, forced humor and some horrific typos and grammar no-no’s.

      Even though I’m no grammar Nazi now, I do edit my posts a bit more thoroughly because I don’t want to break peoples reading state when all of a sudden something doesn’t make sense.

      Best of luck with it mate, and btw, I’m always looking for high quality guest posts. I’d be happy to help (if needed) with the structure. Hope that doesn’t sound too patronizing or an offer for the blind to lead the blind ;-)

  • Vic

    Hi again Tim,

    No, you’ve not stepped over any boundary… It’s me…! Trying to get a leg-up.

    Today I am in the process of buying a new domain today called: http://www.AlphaWavesAndBeyond.com

    So the WordPress Blog will be titled: Alpha Waves And Beyond

    I have purchased a Premium Theme called – OptimizePress by James Dyson.

    If anyone knows of any shortcuts in how to mastering this theme… please, please come to my aid.

    The Book/Books:

    I have decided to write a Trilogy… There I have said it… sooo I will have to keep my word won’t I.

    These are not necessarily going to be the exact titles… but a general guide to what I have in mind.

    • The first – The basics – The Whys and Wherefores´
    • The Second – How to meditate – Step-by-Step
    • The Third – Healing through Meditation (ESP)

    Warmest regards
    Vic

  • Vic

    P.S.

    The first book – The basics – The Whys and Wherefores´
    Will be FREE!

    Regards
    Vic