Hooray! This is the 365th article on business creativity and innovation that I have written over the past 14 years. It all started in April 2007 with the first piece co-published on a bi-weekly basis in a (then) new Bangkok Post column titled “Creativity Un-Ltd.” and the Thinkergy Blog. And over time, fortnight by fortnight, it has grown into a collection of — as of today.— 365 articles of unlimited creativity So what? Why should you care? And what might this mean to you?
Why I celebrate the 365th article
You might have guessed it correctly: 365 is the number of days in a year. Writing one article amounts to —at least— a full day of work for me if I count all related activities (such as secondary researching a topic, writing the first draft, liaising with one of my native English-speaking editors, submitting the edited draft to the Bangkok Post, selecting or creating supporting images, uploading copy and pictures to the content management system of the Thinkergy blog, and sharing the published column/blog on social media).
This means that with this 365th article, I have spent one year of my life writing these articles on creativity and innovation without getting paid for it. But was this really time spent — or instead invested? Why have I done it? What are the benefits of publishing articles regularly as a columnist and blogger? And why might you want to consider becoming a regular writer/blogger/columnist yourself if you’re an inspired “work in progress” in a particular domain of your interest? Here are the six main benefits that I’ve noticed over my writing routine.
Benefit 1: It gives you a channel to share your passion and unleash your creativity
If you are genuinely passionate and knowledgeable about a particular domain, the first 50 articles flow with ease out of your fingertips onto a computer screen and essentially write themselves. And since both passion and creativity are contagious, your column or blog will also help you attract a readership and group of followers who are also passionate and inspired about your favorite domain.
In my case, it was a relief to have a channel to regularly express my verbal messages that I relayed in creativity classes to master’s degree students and in training sessions to business audiences now in writing to a wider audience.
Benefit 2: It helps you to evolve to deeper levels of understanding and expertise
Once you’ve written the first 50 articles on your domain, you’re likely to have discussed many aspects of your domain on the surface. If you want to continue writing novel, original and meaningful articles, you need to start digging deeper and thinking harder. In other words, you have to make an effort to move to deeper levels of understanding in your chosen domain. You also need to expand your view on the domain by discussing niche topics or touching upon specific issues in the intersection with a related domain.
Over time, all of these continued writing efforts will pay dividends by further deepening and expanding your domain expertise, which will allow you to move from a master to an expert level.
Benefit 3: It enforces a healthy discipline of regularly producing content
One of the best things about being a blogger and newspaper columnist with a regularly running column was that I had to produce new output every two weeks. This bi-weekly schedule forced me into a writing discipline that, over time, became a cherished writing routine. In other words, writing a new column/blog post every two weeks became a regular part of my work and life, and regardless of heavy workloads, holidays, travels, sickness, I have managed to stick to the discipline and reliably produce a new output every forthright.
Benefit 4: It creates new opportunities
Being a regular blogger and columnist positions you as a topic expert over time. And sooner or later, being viewed and gaining a reputation as a domain expert is likely to attract those people to you who seek this particular expertise (and some of whom are willing to pay for it). So clearly, and especially in the first five years of running the newsletter column and blog, my articles have brought a steady stream of business opportunities to Thinkergy that we could monetize through innovation training and projects.
In recent years, due to changes in newspaper consumption (from paper to online) and an increase of new “topic experts” in my domain of business creativity and innovation, the articles became less critical for filling our deal pipeline but still can bring in the right client with the right need at the right time.
Benefit 5: It becomes comparatively straightforward to turn articles into books
When you practice the habit and discipline to write articles in your domain of interest and passion regularly, you will assuredly end up with a large volume of content that you can quickly turn into one or more books. The 365 articles that I published over the past one-and-a-half decade have an average length of roughly 1,000 words per article. So, I’ve produced a stock of domain content of 365,000 words. Given that nowadays, a typical business book has between forty-five to sixty thousand words, the said volume is good for 6-8 books.
I am in the process of launching my first book in the 4th quarter of 2021. Titled “The Executive’s Guide to Innovation”, the book contains a curated collection of 64 articles that I first co-published in the Bangkok Post and the Thinkergy Blog. I plan to release four to five more books in the coming years, two of which I have already written and another one where 80% of its content already exists. As you expect, all of these books draw heavily on content first published in the newspaper column and blog.
Benefit 6: It enables you to co-use the articles to add more value to other offerings
Not only can I “recycle” some of my 365 articles in the form of books. I also used them to add extra value/professionalize other contents that I make available to my students and Thinkergy’s business clients. For example, apart from my research papers, I also use relevant articles as part of the required reading list for academic courses I teach at universities. We also integrated on-topic articles into the comprehensive, book-like handouts we give out in our Thinkergy creativity training courses.
Moreover, when answering a question in a course or a discussion panel, I can often come up with a compelling answer by simply drawing on contents I already wrote about earlier in one of my 365 articles. And it’s as simple as copying-pasting a link to our blog to then share the respective article to an interested party for a deeper dive into the respective topic.
Outlook: How to find a fresh topic if you write on a regular basis?
One of the things I pride myself with is that I have never written about the same content twice. In other words, over the past almost one-and-a-half decade, I always managed to come up with an idea for a topic for a novel, original, and meaningful (or in other words: creative) article. Come back in two weeks, when I will share with you some secrets and how I managed to get my ideas for new posts.
- Have you become interested to learn more about our range of creativity training courses that we can also offer as an online format for you? train
- Or perhaps you’ve got curious about my upcoming book, “The Executive’s Guide to Innovation”? You can preregister here so that we let you know when you can order your copy.
- Contact us to tell us more about how we may help you to unleash the creative potential of the would-be innovators at your company.
© Dr. Detlef Reis 2021
Credits: Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels