I know what you’re thinking. I purposefully chose a visual design career because I don’t like writing!
You don’t have to write.
I just don’t want you to miss out on the massive advantages of writing.
Writing is where it all begins
Whether you are starting a new project, responding to a client’s request to work with you, or trying explain your process to a perspective client, you need to start with writing.
Writing is the best ways to solidify an idea you have in your head. We are pretty terrible at using our brains to simply think through a problem. Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are there to make sure you don’t complete a thought or come to a full conclusion without being distracted.
Writing is a way to keep your mind more fully engaged with an idea.
Write for your motion design projects
Yes. Motion design projects need your writing.
Do you want to show that you are a professional?
You do this by delivering a presentation that goes through all of your design decisions and why those decisions are in the best interest to the client. Write an outline. Write a script. This isn't the time to wing it.
Do you want your clients to trust you to deliver the best solution?
In order to build trust with a client, you have to start with writing. You have to write about your process. You have to write case studies for each of your projects. You have to write clear contracts.
Most motion designers don’t do this. They deliver iterations and ask if the client likes them. Show some professionalism and deliver the right solution and stop subjecting design decisions onto your clients. Design decisions are your responsibility.
Do you have goals?
I hope so. My goodness. You’re not an animal.
Ok, so you have goals… but have you written them down?
Writing your goals down and putting them in a place where you can see them often is a proven way to make you more likely to achieve them.
Take it step further and write how you are going to achieve your goals. What steps do you need to take this year, month, day to get where you want to be? Write them down.
Building an audience
There are several ways writing can build your audience.
Social media Are you writing blog titles that catch someone's eye and give a nugget of value in 140 characters? Social media may not feel like writing, but the more you intentionally practice, the stronger you social game will be.
Blogging/Newsletter Writing a blog and newsletter is a great way start making a name for yourself. Show that you are active in your craft and that you have things you want to share about it.
Podcast/Video series Get in front of the mic/camera. But before you do, write! Writing an outline or script will help you come across more professional.
I am writing for a video series I want to produce. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be. But I know if I didn’t write, it would be a disaster if I just turned that camera on and tried to talk my way through the ideas I want to share.
Teaching is probably something you are already doing, but don’t even realize it. We all teach other people little things here and there. Keyboard shortcuts, new Adobe features, etc. Sharing those types of things with others (whether in person or online), that’s teaching.
Take it up a notch, start a blog, make some tutorials, and you are full on teaching. And you better believe writing is crucial to teaching.
Why should you teach? The reason you should teach is you want to learn. Teaching is the best way to learn. And if you’re not learning, you’re falling behind.
Processing the events of your life
This is a bit touchy feely, but it’s still good stuff. Write about your life. Journal.
The only way I have come to journal consistently is using the app Day One. My favorite feature is being able to add one photo. It’s my favorite feature for two reasons. One, when I start writing my entry, I find a photo from the day that I want to use, and it jogs my memory of what I did that day. And two, when I’m flipping through my entries, the images jog the memories really quickly. And yes, most of my pictures are of Mr Willoughby.
I highly suggest getting this app and start journaling for 5 minutes before you go to bed. It’s great for processing your life and feeling less stressed.
How to write for the web
Most of your writing will be for the web. I do all of my writing for the web by using the Mac/iPhone app iA Writer (I don’t use the pro version, if you’re wondering). This app provides the most simple way I have found to write. It syncs really well over iCloud. I find myself often jumping back and forth between mac and iPhone. And it just works.
I am writing this post as a way to hold myself accountable. I am actively working towards being more professional and taking responsibility for my design and animation decisions. This is a form of speaking things into existence. I believe everything I wrote, and I am now going to act them out.
If you want to see one of the main inspirations for thinking this way, I encourage you check out my friend @seanwes’ podcast episode 139 - It All Starts with Writing Again or episode 39 - It All Starts with Writing. I guarantee these will be massively inspirational to you.
Go make something move… but don’t forget to write about it ;)