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Practical tips

Writers’ S.W.O.T Analysis: Do You Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

S.W.O.T analysis is the process used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding a project, or a person. It is a term most commonly used in business plans, where CEOs get to do in-depth analysis, and know what they are working with.

Let’s take as an example a simple firm.

Strengths:

  • Location
  • Strong management team
  • Unique product

Weaknesses:

  • Lack of strong marketing
  • Lack of strong partnerships

Opportunities:

  • The industry is growing fast
  • Additional revenue models might be possible

Threats:

  • Competition

The above is an example of how a company can perform S.W.O.T. With every year that passes we must do S.W.O.T on ourselves, and this topic rates pretty high on our tips for writers in 2020.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” – May Sarton.

Knowing ourselves will allow us to practice transparency and authenticity.

How Does S.W.O.T Apply to Writers?

Writer or not, everyone needs to do basic S.W.O.T analysis on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Good self-awareness is an essential social-emotional skill, and it helps people make better decisions that contribute to an overall healthy emotional lifestyle.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

Writers need strong time-management skills, they need to know what works and what doesn’t for them. Writing, although it might appear as a romantic notion, in reality, is it is hard, challenging, and at times draining.

At the same time,  it is rewarding and exciting!

When writers understand S.W.O.T they can gain control over their time-management abilities. They can stop feeling frustrated, and focus on the things that will yield results.

What is the Real Power of S.W.O.T?

To guide you to identify and:

  • Utilize your strengths
  • Work to improve your weaknesses
  • Expand on new opportunities
  • Minimize your threats

Are you ready to assess yourself?

Our tips for writers in 2020 start with the fun part of identifying strengths!

Explore Your Strengths

This is the fun part of the process.

Your strengths as a writer might lie in various areas.

  • Are there any specific topics you naturally excel at?
  • Are you great at details and descriptions?
  • Are your plots very imaginative?
  • Do you have exceptional PR skills?
  • Do you find it easy to get new projects onboard?
  • What do other usually compliment you on?
  • What topics make you happy to write about?

These are some questions you can ask yourself in the process.

Write as many strengths as you can, but be honest with yourself. This process will allow you to capitalize on your strengths.

Strength should be something you excel at without much effort. Strengths should be characteristics that are part of your core system, and that you would use without a second thought.

Explore Your Weaknesses

This is less fun than identifying strengths, but everyone has areas that can be improved on.

Knowing that should allow you to do some serious self-reflection.

  • How is your time management technique?
  • What do you not enjoy writing about?
  • How is your grammar?
  • How long can you work without being distracted?

The above are some of the most common issues for writers.

By understanding where your weaknesses lie, you can begin implementing small changes in your routine to fix them.

For example, if you are finding yourself suffering from bad time management, place yourself on a daily schedule for a week and see how that feels.

Writers usually have the luxury to work on their own time, but this is a double-edged sword.

If you manage your time correctly, you can find yourself enjoying a lot more free time.

If, on the other hand, you keep procrastinating you can find yourself racing against deadlines.

Explore Your Opportunities

This part of our tips for writers in 2020 is a lot of fun!

We all get stuck in our routines, we write for others, we write our books, we edit and we generally have a freelancing career that might fall short from our initial expectations.

This is where you can turn it all around.

What other opportunities are there?

You can continue to write, but can you also perhaps create an online course?

Can you explore other areas of content?

Examples of opportunities:

  • Creating online courses
  • Write a new book
  • Provide consulting services
  • Attend more events to book more clients

Explore Your Threats

This is a highly speculative part of the process.

However, being able to project into the future by reading trends, will help you to identify potential threats and prepare yourself accordingly, by building on more opportunities.

Examples of threats:

  • Is your particular niche growing or shrinking?
  • Is there excessive competition in your industry? If so, how can you become more competitive?
  • Is the industry moving into new areas of content? Can you keep up?
  • Do you need to take classes to learn how to use new tools and software to stay competitive?

Nearing the end of 2019, this is the perfect time to explore your S.W.O.T analysis.

Consider performing this exercise with friends, where you can help each other be objective.

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