Why Did I Write That Article?

Have you ever written an article, published it, and then wondered why you bothered doing it in the first place?

For anyone who writes on a consistent basis this thought has no doubt crept into your mind.

You truly believed when you sat down to write that your subject was a good one and that it would provide some value to your target audience and even to those not in your target audience.

And yet, at the end of the day (literally), few came to read your pearls of wisdom.

Perhaps the title was not enticing enough to create interest or buzz but, more likely, the problem was that you (or I) weren’t telling potential readers anything that they didn’t already know!

Of course some writing can simply be done for the pleasure of putting your thoughts out there but, particularly in a business venue where readers have limited time, we the writers need to provide the readers with information and/or ideas that offer some relevant takeaway!

So in the spirit of providing value…

Blah, Blah, Blah‘, written by must-read blogger Seth Godin!

Writing and speaking (essays, non-fiction, copywriting, direct interactions, speeches) can be easily sorted into two groups:

The expected

The unexpected

We don’t remember what most people say when they greet us (at a party, or even a funeral) because it’s banal. Most college essays, tweets and advertising copy fit right into this category. The prose we consume every day gets instantly processed, filed away and ignored.

The other kind of writing is super risky. It is the original, vulnerable work of the edges. This is the interaction that adds real value because it’s not something we could have already guessed you were about to say.

The unexpected doesn’t work because it’s surprising. It works because it’s valuable. Valuable because it brings new truth, because it says something we didn’t already know.

Of course, expected writing is often important. We need to check the boxes, pay the toll, make it clear that we know how to act and speak and write in a situation like this one.

But unexpected writing isn’t merely important, it’s a miracle. If we already knew what we needed to hear from you, we wouldn’t need you to say it.

[Here’s a first step in moving from one to the other: Cross out every sentence that could have been written by someone else, every box check, every predictable reference. Now, insert yourself. Your truth and your version of what happens next.]


Article author Michael Haltman is the President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions.

For anyone either buying or refinancing a property your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider, although you always have the right to choose your own (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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