Let’s start by stating the obvious: Writing publicly to an audience is a prerequisite of becoming an acknowledged writer.
Otherwise, nobody will know what the hell you do! You’re not exactly gonna get too far with your writing career if you don’t, right?
And I’m no mind-reading guru, but my guess is you want to earn a few bucks, too?
This means that you will have to write publicly in order to get noticed. This might require paid work for websites, publications, and magazines; quite a lot.
That’s on top of things like guest blogging, finding a traditional publisher, writing articles on your personal blog or website, and writing product descriptions for search engine optimization companies.
I’m sure that’s not too much news to you. Hear me out, though.
In addition to that, some entrepreneurial writers, like myself, write privately, too.
There are many benefits waiting to be discovered in writing privately, some of which you might not even be aware of.
To ourselves. For our eyes only. Never to see the light of day. For personal benefits, and only that.
I write full-time, and while I won’t even begin to do the calculations (my math sucks, anyway), I’d take a stab in the dark and guess that somewhere close to around 90 percent of my writing is written publicly for all to observe online and in various local magazines.
So, what about the other 10 percent? Where does it go?
If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
OK, all jokes aside, it goes in my own personal writing journal.
This journal contains positive life experiences and potential writing ideas (top-secret, 007 stuff). It also helps me stay organized by writing up agendas or exercise my brain by penning short poetry (it’s a great mental workout).
Not to mention, writing positive fiction stories is great writing therapy, that is, it helps battle the anxieties and stress levels that come along with being a writing entrepreneur.
Sometimes, the whole entrepreneurial lifestyle can get the better of me with pile-ups of work and strict deadlines, so it’s a great release and technique for me to de-stress after a normal workday by writing something fun and vibrant, recharging my batteries, and going at it again the next day.
Positive energy is good for the soul and mind.
While that 10 percent might not seem like much to some people in the grand scheme of things, it actually is, and has made a big difference to my career as a full-time writer; health-wise, skill-wise, objective-wise, and organizational-wise.
In terms of helping with stress, think of it as meditation, if you like. Others use yoga to wind down, I use personal writing and journaling. And let’s face it, who the hell wants to see me attempt to lift my leg over my head?
Writing privately gives me a feeling of self-control, discipline, and keeps me organized.
I do it just to stay in touch with my writing skills so I’m a well-oiled writing machine, or to brief myself on smaller things like keeping a diary of my past work, future work, and what I need to achieve moving forward.
Here are a few examples of what I write about in my spare time that all writers should consider implementing into theirs, too:
Don’t just write for your audience; write for yourself, too.
You should never overlook writing privately to yourself. Plan ahead and remind yourself of where you can improve your writing. Keep track of work and use meditation for mindfulness by jotting down any negatives that may be a hindrance to you, career-wise or personally.
Use your journal to clear your thoughts by writing them down on paper. Basically, unload.
Remind yourself of the good things you’ve achieved or anything good that may have happened to you that week. Congratulate yourself when you deserve it.
Try rating your work out of 10 and pinpointing what you need to improve on, i.e., wording, phrasing, structure. Move on to the next; do the same. Repeat.
This is for you. For your eyes only.
Never underestimate the power private writing can have on you.
If Joe Bloggs was to read from your journal, it may just look like words on paper to him, but it can be much more than that to the writer who scribbled these words down.
Meditation. A passion. Therapy. A mental release. A plan. A vision.
Write down your fears in life, issues with your career, flaws you need to improve on, your goals, or aspirations—anything you need to get off your chest.
Read over them and make a point of correcting them until you conquer, overcome, and achieve them.
Accomplish goals. Set targets. Organize. You’ll work things out better this way.
Implementing a plan of action, being organized, and having a smile on your face will reflect on to your writing and you’ll benefit from it greatly.
P.S. Don’t show your journal to Joe Bloggs (whoever he is). It’s for your eyes only, remember?
It helps to write to yourself.
Michael Bradley is an entrepreneurial writer currently based in Ireland who lends his services to various brands, SEO agencies, and magazines through his own website: www.freelancemichael.com, or directly through his personal email: [email protected]. When he isn't attending to his clients, Michael is a passionate Liverpool FC supporter and his dream is to one day see Liverpool win the Premier League. Follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.