The Express Lane Blog Begins
Where do you start when you write a blog?
How do you start any mode of communication?
How do any of us manage that overwhelm of both excitement and pressure to produce that accompanies new writing – be it a creative writing project or a business writing contract?
Millions of words I’ve written to represent my clients, or meet my academic demands and even before all that my training as interpreter of language and culture for my elderly immigrant parents, still do not spare me from the obelisk of all openings. Yes, that first, big, blank page.
For more than half my 30 year career as a professional writer, I started with the sizzle. The juicy stuff – hot content. The creativity and passion for writing is still with me.
What has changed is that I now try to start with structure. More and more, structure features in effective communication and writing and even speaking success for me, my students and my clients.
The concept of structure as an effective element in communication impressed me most while watching my kids learn to get their own messages across succinctly. In high school they each had an opportunity to participate in public speaking and debate training and tournaments. They were astute enough, at such a young age, to pursue developing their natural talents. Learning to think critically, to build their research into strong opinions and talking points, they were able to deliver persuasive speeches or defend their messages against challenge during debates. They won awards for their oratory skill and their debate style and substance. Their disciplined efforts are rewarded to this day with an ability to understand their audience and connect well with people in all forms of communication as they now launch their own professional careers.
I admire their tenacity and their talent and I learned many lessons while watching their meticulous preparation process and then listening to them practice.
As I mature professionally and personally, structure has taken on new significance. It now helps me even out my delivery of energy and information. It helps me be more consistent as an instructor of business writing and communication techniques. It helps preserve my energy for true and clear expression in a world where technology has connected us across so many cultures and geographies and in which we must all communicate with so much more speed.
For this blog, I have a structure. I have ideas. I invite your ideas on communication as it pertains to culture, technology and the skills we need to communicate effectively today.
I’ll start this new adventure in writing then with an old tradition – a dedication to my kids. In watching them learn and grow, I learned and grew. Now in teaching others I draw on the ways they pushed me and continue that pattern of ever expanding awareness and most of all with the help of technology, sharing.