I’ll write it once more, with a little emphasis: Try Doubting Yourself A little less This Year!
I write this with so much authority because in 2018, I did some stuff I thought difficult some three years back!
Identifying myself as a Content Strategist / Director was one of them. I eventually figured: because I can do so much with words, why not push the needle even farther and render myself uncomfortable.
Think about words on products and retail: Directing the flow of the story on a Coca Cola can or a box of Weetbix cereal is as important as music / film scoring is to film-making. Words are everywhere and that creates a phenomenal opportunity for Writers to tap into varied forms of writing.
The life of a writerly some-body ought to be summed up as: Where There Were Words, He Was There.
This would of course denote the depth of the relationship a Writer (well, me-feels) needs to have with words to be able to pull this off. In fact, it is how I have been pulling it off for awhile.
This also made me think thus: words on an A4 page are words still when emblazoned across a girnomous billboard atop a bustling intersection in Cape Town’s city centre.
My guess is, if you can write a blog article, you can write a book of sort. Learning the technique side of it is essential, of course.
So, it was both enlightening and empowering to finally see the magic I can make with the love for word slinging and storytelling.
And then, you know what, then came along strategy-making.
Themba Jay and Strategy?
Well, not quite.
I remember convincing myself that I am no good at strategy, and opted to remain squarely within my writing abilities. So, for a long time, without my writing words, I would suffocate. Without writing, I was in no-man’s-land.
This went on until the beginning of 2018, wherein I was hired the previous year — October — as a Social Media Manager by Kwambele Social Marketing (originally a design firm). The job necessitated that I think differently and heck, I wrote until fingers fell off (I plucked them back in and continued). It stretched me.
Attending meetings with office professionals soon had me thinking about how to add value in the boardroom, say, by building an editorial / social media strategy predicated on business insight and need for solutions that generate some rands and dollars.
The great thing is, I had long started reading on business and society and to boot, for many years, I had seen my father build businesses and had us (his children) work in them. As a consequence, I know the nuts-and-bolts of how the world works.
The job required me to learn-on-fly and I found myself writing strategy for clients and editing anything word-related that circulated in the business.
Before long, I learned about myself what I had been told manier times before: It’s incredible how you connect dots.
That’s how I have always thought; I just, for a long time, did not see it as being strategic.
What is infinitely interesting about all this is . . . all the years spent doubting my prowess in strategy were spent sharpening this very ability that I suppressed — through the projects I have been a part of. And it does not feel like a waste of time at all.
I actually could not be happier that I discovered abilities that have accentuated my writing, oratory, consulting and footballing endeavours.
So, puh-lease, doubt yourself a whole lot less this year — well, forever!