I remember wanting to be a firefighter for a while as a kid. And then an astronaut after watching “SpaceCamp” in 1986 but my mother wasn’t going to send me to Alabama. Plus, I’m not that great at math.
At some point, around 11 or 12, I started paying attention to the news. I would read the newspaper and watch the local and national news on TV with my parents. My mom loved Peter Jennings. I started writing and thinking about being a journalist. I wanted to tell people stories about what was happening around them and why. I loved writing essays in high school and had English teachers encourage me to keep writing or write for the paper and that pushed me to study English and Broadcast Journalism at Marquette and I never looked back.
Writing Just Comes to Me
Luckily, all this writing wasn’t something I labored over. I love sitting down, getting my thoughts out there and figuring out ways to tell a story and make it compelling so the person will keep reading. When I wrote for television news, I had the extra benefit of writing to video. That’s not easy, by the way. Just because you see something on a screen doesn’t automatically make it compelling to keep watching. The words describing what you are seeing or adding context makes a huge difference.
Words matter even more these days. The internet is basically just a bunch of words mixed with some media for people to consume. The words that describe what you do, who you are, and why you do it are how you get found. But it’s not just having words on a page and hoping people search those words and “VOILA!” you get traffic! There has to be a compelling reason for people to want to read what you are offering. What’s the story?
I have spent more than half my life telling stories. I love telling them and writing them. And everyone, every business has a compelling story. But, not everyone or every business can tell that story.