The people you see in this photo are special. They are wonderful programmers and coders with a treasure trove of technical knowledge. However, much like most tech folks, they lack the confidence to share their knowledge in writing. That’s when Suresh Sambandam, the CEO of OrangeScape and KISSflow, came with an idea. We discussed a writing workshop and I helped conduct one at Vaksana Farms over a weekend. This was a month ago and today we had our first review meeting. I was super impressed that all of them have consistently written their blog posts and on their way to successfully finishing their 100 day writing challenge. We even shortlisted names of Chief Guests who will headline the celebration event on March 26, the 100th day of the challenge.
Here are my key learning.
1) The Team Spirit is the Magic Potion. It’s no longer an individual goal but a group effort. We are all social animals and we perform better in groups.
2) Consistency is Key: Every afternoon the team gets together for a writing session. This is self-organized. No pressure from me or the CEO. Regular freestyle writing let’s the thought juices flow and makes writing easy.
3) Deadline Matters: March 26th is the 100th day of the challenge. Everybody has clear view of the end goal. This gives clarity and forces to put the writing as a priority task as no one person wants to be seen as a laggard during the launch function.
4) Just Ship it: Much like the agile method that the developers are very familiar, the trick is to quickly publish it and NOT put it in draft. For a person getting started with writing, publishing anything, even a half baked blog post, is better than putting it in the dungeons of drafts which may never see the light of day.
5) Have Fun: No wonder OrangeScape won the top slot in the best places to work category. There is such positive spirit, joviality and supportive camaraderie amongst the team.
Seeing the team succeed is what gives me high and motivates me to conduct the workshops at my farm.
I recently discovered this site http://www.FutureMe.org which lets you send emails to yourself in the future. We can’t talk to our past self but we can speak to our future self. An interesting way to visualize the person you want to be and describe the achievements you want the future self to accomplish. An interesting novelty worth a try. I sent three letters to myself and am conscious I need to accomplish certain important tasks before emails reach me in the future.
Can I write 365 blog posts in 2018? That’s the challenge that I’m setting myself. I like challenges like these because they give you reasons to continue doing the tasks even when the enthusiasm sometimes wanes.
The idea is to blog every day but this challenge gives a certain amount of flexibility. If I miss a day, I can catch up by writing two blogs the next day. The goal is to arrive at a total of 365 blogs by December 31, 2018.
Super thrilled to have Author and Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik agree to come on the First Book Podcast. Imagine a person who has authored 30 books (many of them bestsellers), tell you about his tips, techniques, and secrets of becoming a better author!! The Interview is scheduled for 25th Oct (day after tomorrow). If you had one question about authoring to ask Devdutt, what would it be?
To my friends in Singapore who are passionate about writing, I would recommend you participate in this short story contest. I’ve interviewed many bestselling authors in my FirstBook Podcast and many have told me that it was the little things like participating in contests or essay competitions that gave them the belief and confidence to become an author. Go for it. There is prize money but way more important and far more beneficial is the feedback and validation you get from the readers. Go for it.