On Writing

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I’m in Ann Arbor, Michigan this week working with a team of marketing academics and practitioners on a new digital marketing anthology. Each person was invited to author a chapter in an area of interest, which we had to submit in August. This week we’re meeting for the first time, peer-reviewing and editing our chapters and pulling them into one cohesive anthology that readers like you might read. The image above is the barn we holed up in yesterday to work. It’s has a beautiful view of the fall trees in the back, and it was nice to catch a walk around the neighborhood yesterday to create some mind space.

Over the summer, I decided to keep myself accountable to writing every week by starting the CMO Mondays series on my blog. And, as of last week, I decided to keep myself accountable to writing every day – even if it’s just a short thought.

I’ve always enjoyed writing and back in high school thought I might actually become a full-time writer. I wrote my first two feature film screenplays in high school, and went to undergrad at Syracuse to study screenwriting. But, when I entered “the real world”, I discovered I had a knack and interest for business. So, while I still love a good fictional story, most of my writing these days are focused on different aspects of business.

I started blogging in 2011 as a way to structure and codify my thoughts on social media and technology, as I had recently entered the space and was learning so much so quickly. But, once those thoughts were codified it was easy for me to ease up on the blogging and focus on work. The same thing happened last summer of 2015 after finishing my MBA, I had a lot of thoughts percolating that I needed to get out of my head. But, once again, I let focus on work derail my writing.

When my friend and former colleague Marcus Collins presented me with the opportunity to contribute a chapter to this new anthology, I decided that it was time to make writing a priority in my life. I’ve had some ideas for books that I want to write, but have pushed them off because I was too busy or simply didn’t want to make the time. Writing a twenty-page chapter was a nice way to dip my toes in the water to see if I have the desire to push through and write a whole book. The CMO Mondays series is a means to get the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years out of my head and into a format that (hopefully) can help other marketers. And, the decision to write daily is really about getting any other thoughts out of my head and into the world. I’m an introvert, and I have come to recognize that I sometimes let ideas sit in my head too long to formulate instead of sharing them with people that might accelerate an idea into becoming something bigger. I also recognize that I’m a better executive when I’m writing because the process of writing helps me codify thoughts, so that I can communicate them more effectively at work with colleagues.

So, going forward, expect that I’ll be publishing longer, more thoughtful content on Mondays on the topic of marketing, whereas the rest of the days might be a bit lighter, more random musings bouncing around in my head. Next year, our “Digital Marketing: Concept, Theory and Practice” anthology will be published. I’ll share when that happens, and hope you take time to read it.

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