The Precision Writer / by Chris Weigl

In a recent piece I did for Quora I emphasized the importance of editing in the writing process.  I have been thinking about the point I was making in that piece that becoming a better editor can make you a stronger writer I think that idea should be expanded upon.  Before co-founding this company my primary vocation was as a writer.  I was so focused on turning out material that fit “my style” that I didn’t consider the fact that other people’s methods of doing things might be just as good as my own.  As I’ve worked on expanding my business and writing for different mediums and to different ends I’ve realized that there is a great deal of value in being a more versatile writer at times.  True there are times when you want to hire a specialist, but if you can get someone who has experience in many areas to the point that it helps inform everything they do then that person is going to be all the wiser because of it.

What I’ve learned as I’ve been forced to write things that are outside my comfort zone is that sometimes what you don’t know can help you.  When I started this business I knew nothing about running a business.  I was resistant to learning about how to run a conventional business because as an entrepreneur I had no interest in running a conventional business.  To me, being an entrepreneur is about being an innovator.  It’s about being different and standing out not in blending in and not making any noise.  I stand by that assessment that running a different kind of business is the best way forward for this company.  I believe in a why not? mentality that dominates everything that we do.  I believe that even the most ordinary lives have extraordinary moments and I believe that above all else we can turn our greatest adversities into our greatest opportunities.

Mindset has a lot to do with how I’ve come to approach business.  Through most of my twenties I suffered a great deal from depression and had a very negative mindset.  I believed that there were external forces holding me back from achieving my goals.  Today, I understand that the only thing holding me back is my own willingness to step out of my comfort zone and embrace new opportunities.  I don’t believe that living a life dominated by excuses is healthy.  To be clear: the difference between a reason and an excuse is that a reason is something you give when you are successful while an excuse is something you give when you are not.  When you live an excuses-oriented life you find yourself looking for things to blame for not taking the necessary step towards excellence.  We’re all guilty of doing this at some point in our lives.  I’ve done it and I’m sure many of our readers have done it as well.  When you start looking for reasons to do things however your worldview changes and your opportunities multiply like you never thought they could.

Mindset also plays a big role in writing.  Writing with a positive mindset is something that is still new to me and as some have remarked it has made some of my writing a little less exciting.  I would wager however that whatever excitement is lost in my writing is easily made up for in attitude and outlook.  Where mindset really starts to improve your writing is in editing.  When you start to look at the reasoning behind your writing decisions you start to make the necessary decisions about what you’re trying to say and what you’re actually saying.  That’s crucial for the brevity of your story and the one thing that has been most impacted by my shift in mindset has been the brevity of my writing.  A year ago a post like this would have been at least one thousand words, but today this piece will clock in at under eight hundred.  It’s not that what I was saying a year ago is not as good as what I’m saying now it’s just that it was different.  Where I’ve improved is in my ability to understand where the story is and how best to communicate it.  Once you understand those things you can cut out the ambient noise and start producing content at a much higher level.  Think about living as a precision writer.  The only place word counts matter is in news print – most of which are either defunct or bankrupt today – so it’s advantageous to be efficient and precision oriented when writing your material.