Why should Software Professionals and Techies consider writing?
Writing! Not my cup of tea. I am better off writing code. Writing sounds so boring. If this sounds familiar to you as a techie, read along.
Forget writing, consider sharing
Let’s just forget about writing for a moment. Do you as a techie have an immense knowledge that others could benefit from? It may sound like an everyday skill to you. But, if you have been working for some time in a specific area (or a set of domains as these are often referred to), chances are high that you have built a wealth of knowledge over time. This could be in the form of skills, experiences, how to do something better, things to watch out for, and so on. Yes, there are thousands of other techies just like you who probably also have similar experiences. The question is how many people have you met in your career who have the exact same learning and understanding as you? And, you may be surprised to realize that the answer is zero or a very low number! Each one of us who has been in a technical track eventually has built his/her own understanding. Hence, even if our experiences may be similar, our learnings are often not the same. So, there you go. Now, you have a reason to think beyond yourself and share your experience. You could think of this as goodwill or giving back to the community, but the key is to believe in it. The moment you do that, you would find ways of sharing. And, one of the obvious ways of sharing is… you guessed it right, writing.
Writing could generate a supplemental income
That’s right! If you write for sites like Medium, there is a potential for generating some supplemental income. How much? That will typically depend on user engagement and payout policies. But, there is definitely a potential. At this point, I would still like to remind that focus on good quality content and chances are high that will lead to better user engagement and income.
But, I don’t know how to write? English is not my first language.
This is true for many of us. And, honestly, nothing to be ashamed of. It is just a reality that we should understand. Everyone starts at some point. Some may start at a better point than others, but the key is to start. Here are some useful tips for what I consider to be the key to make useful writing contributions.
- You have to genuinely believe in sharing and gather experiences that can be shared. Do not write for the sake of it.
- Organize your thoughts. What topics would you like to write about? Avoid clubbing too many different topics into one and choose a clear title for your article.
- Identify a few key bullets about the topic. These should preferably cover an introduction, the key points you want to convey and a conclusion.
- Capture any additional media like screenshots, videos, etc that would be helpful in demonstrating content. If you do capture such media, make sure the quality is good.
- Once you have these basic ingredients start expanding on the bullets. It may look difficult in the beginning. But, if you go with one bullet at a time and generate a paragraph or two out of it, this seemingly complex task may not be as difficult. Think of this expansion process as an ‘explanation’ for the bullet point as opposed to a paragraph with ‘x’ number of words.
- Most importantly, focus on building good quality content.
Of course, you should try to learn and improve your writing skills. But, there is no silver bullet there. Just like you had to learn to code (or do other technical stuff), similarly, you would need to learn to write. You can also use writing assistants like Grammarly to avoid common mistakes. One thing I would strongly recommend is to be yourself. Your writing should reflect your voice and should not sound like someone else. With practice, things will become better and you will develop your own style. In the end, one of the biggest rewards is when other people like your article and the feeling that you experience was useful to others. And, if you could make some supplemental income with it, even better!
If you like this post and would like me to write about other motivational or leadership topics, please drop me a note.
Happy writing and sharing!
Also published on Medium.