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Writing Wednesday: Do I Contradict Myself? The Number 1 Lesson Walt Whitman’s Famous Line Can Teach Writers

Script Below:

Hi, everyone, and welcome to Perfectly Planned Content’s Writing Wednesday video series, where we dive into the power of words and the many ways writing impacts your business. I’m Lauren Keller, Director of Content and Strategy, and I’m thrilled to bring you a monthly video series completely dedicated to the craft of writing.

Walt Whitman and Writing

In his famous 52 verse poem Song of Myself 51, American poet Walt Whitman says,

Do I contradict myself?

Very well then I contradict myself,

(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

This brief, though compelling stanza illuminates a resonating message not just to accept but welcome change.

Change can be challenging, but there’s a certain charm and comfort in knowing that things won’t stay the same forever—it’s what gives us a voracity for life. Regularity can dull even the richest blue in the sky or the calmest lap of the ocean. Change keeps life fresh, exciting, and ripe for newness and experience. 

Change and writing are like a quiet winter morning and a good book—the ultimate companions. 

Words change meaning,

Writing changes form,

And we all benefit from it.

How can you consciously welcome change into your writing?

Embrace Your Creative Ideas and Imagination

Sometimes marketing can feel prescriptive—posting blogs on certain days of the week, being active on social media, sending a monthly newsletter, engaging in events and webinars—that you forget to leave space for your thoughts and creativity. 

While sticking with a consistent and organized schedule is imperative for long-term marketing success, it shouldn’t leave you feeling listless or uninspired. 

Next time you read an incredible book, listen to a provocative podcast or encounter a story that moves you—find a way to incorporate it into your marketing. It might be as simple as a social media post or as elaborate as an in-person event. 

Record All of Your Ideas (Even the “Bad” Ones)

Not every idea you have for a blog post will make your brand go “viral,” and that’s more than okay! Because, honestly, your blog isn’t about bolstering your brand; it’s about educating, inspiring, and nurturing your prospects, clients, and larger network. 

So, build a system to track your ideas. 

You may prefer a pen and paper note-style or a more tech-focused system like Evernote (a super popular note-taking app). 

Ensure you store all of your ideas because you never know when inspiration might strike. You may also find that your “bad” ideas were maybe just not right for a blog but could turn into another marketing initiative like a collaboration or another project. 

Update and Refresh Old Content

While you want your evergreen content to age like fine wine, it may end up aging like a half-open soda bottle and fall a bit flat. 

See these posts as an opportunity to infuse all of the new ideas and experiences you bring to the table. A blog you wrote ten years ago may not be the best representation of your brand because of the direction you grew and evolved. In that case, welcome the opportunity to look at what you have and update it to fit your current vision. 

Updating blogs is an excellent way to leverage the content on your website. 

Keep Writing, Keep Changing

It’s often difficult to give change a warm reception, especially with how busy we all are. But a healthy dose of change can help bring perspective and open up new opportunities to create something even more special. 

Even Ernest Hemingway lost the only copy of a novel he was working on, and after that, he wrote his famous work, The Sun Also Rises. 

Change isn’t always easy, but with the right mindset, it can be worth it!

How will you embrace change in your writing and marketing efforts?

Let me know!

Until next time.