The impulse to write comes from some sort of energy. In his book Write is a Verb, Bill O’Hanlon identifies four energies that compel us to write: Blissed, Blessed, Dissed and Pissed.
Blissed – The energy is generated from within, you are just so excited or pumped up about something that spontaneously bubbles up from within, you are inspired. Your muse is speaking to you.
Blessed – The energy that comes from being encouraged by someone. Somewhere along your path, someone encouraged you – they saw potential in your ideas and urged you to continue developing and sharing these ideas.
Dissed – The energy comes from the belief that you have been slighted in some way (think Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech) and you are wounded and feel rejected and you write to prove these people wrong. There is a chip on your shoulder and you are looking to set the record straight.
Pissed – O’Hanlon describes this state as that of anger and righteous indignation. It usually stems from frustration that comes from incompetence or social injustice.
I think it’s fair to say that the majority of our writing should be of the Blissed/Blessed variety. We are here to help people and be of service. There are plenty of blogs that do Dissed and Pissed quite frequently. These articles are usually referred to as ‘rants’ and very often are justified. Rather than a muse there is a soapbox that is beckoning. On Twitter, you see a lot of Dissed and Pissed with regard to poor customer service. It has its place, but I think we are wise to use it sparingly. And with a blog, there is a danger that too much of a negative tone will turn people off. Again we are here to help.
I like coming from the positive. I want to take a challenge and look for a remedy. I want to help business build on the good things they are doing.
Also, when looking for topics to write about, tuning into what the Blissed and Blessed for our customers is a good place to start. What was the muse that spoke to them to start their business or nonprofit? Who Blessed them with encouragement along the way and who have they in turn Blessed? Chances are you were involved with that encouragement by providing the tools, strategies and solutions to free them from the mundane and manual so that they could use their time more powerfully.