This morning, after I had my coffee, I got ready for a mind-clearing jog. After opening the door and feeling an arctic blast on my face, I quickly turned around and thought about another activity, writing.
You see, I am a very persuasive person and a natural story teller, but...
I AM TERRIFIED TO WRITE. As an accounting consultant, writing is not in my comfort zone. In fact, I will do just about anything to get out of a writing assignment -– and I have. I’ve asked someone else to ghostwrite for me, have procrastinated well past a deadline and have even looked on the Internet for “inspiration.” Instead of writing, I am quickly distracted by Facebook, Twitter, Words With Friends and about 934 other things.
During the day, I work with business owners to improve their companies and help them become more profitable. Sometimes this requires small modifications to their already existing processes and, at times, the modifications are large. Any engagement or project always requires a lot of trust. Trust that there will be open dialogue, trust that we will scrap ideas that don’t work and trust that we will stick with ideas that take longer to pan out.
I am reasonably accomplished, have a good reputation and am well known in accounting circles. I speak in front of audiences regularly and am never at a loss for words. Yet, somehow, I can NEVER bring myself to write something that will be read by an army of my professional peers.
I shouldn’t have this writing phobia! As of right this moment, that’s all going to change with this confessional blog post.
Yet, the voice in my head is telling me another story:
- If I write it on the internet, it is there forever. Am I sure I want that?
- What if I’m wrong with a fact? Can you recover?
- What if I’m laughed at? Will it be like that time in high school when Charlie Sutton stole my clothes in gym class and I had to wear school-issued shorts all day?
- What if I’m no longer taken seriously?
- What happened the last time I submitted a piece for publication? Three sentences ended with prepositions!?!?! (gasp).
All kidding aside I am finally at the point in my career and my life that I can say with absolute certainty that I have stories to tell and I am going to tell them. Who really cares if something exists forever online or if I have to admit that I made a mistake? So what if I have a split infinitive or a dangling participle?
Seriously, who cares? Writing is about telling a story and giving good advice, something I excel at and do every day.
I’m going to follow my own advice I give so freely to our clients: JUST DO IT. Beyond that, here is my basic plan for getting them past my fears:
- Write every other day. Sometimes for work, sometimes for me … but every other day is a must.
- Immerse myself in books on how to write better.
- Take a creative writing class and write a short story.
- Rely on my network of valuable co-workers, peers, trusted advisors, a great editor and talented people who I have been lucky enough to surround myself with (yep – I just ended a sentence with a preposition).
- Ask those same people to hold me accountable on writing and check in with me to make certain I am practicing my new “passion.”
- Follow up this article with a “check-in on Richard’s progress” six months from today.
The point of my “big” confession? We all have that thing inside us -– something we have to force ourselves to do or that we just avoid doing altogether. Keep challenging your clients, but also remember to challenge yourself.
I am going to take my own advice this year and overcome my self-perceived writer’s block. Wish me luck and stay tuned!
About the Author
Richard Roppa is director of AQB’s Partner Program where he works with an exceptionally talented group of QuickBooks experts and business owners across the country, all with a common goal of business growth and expert consulting. AQB, the #1 Ranked Intuit Solution Provider, is a QuickBase Solution Provider and Intuit Premier Reseller specializing in QuickBooks Sales and Consulting, Advanced Inventory, Point of Sale, QuickBase Development, Field Services, CFO Services, Bookkeeping, and QuickBooks Conversions.