Have something to contribute to the L&D field? Write it down… then publish it!

In April I took my son to Washington, DC for spring break. I took advantage of being in DC to meet up with some old colleagues and professional contacts.

On my last day in the city, I reached out to an editor at TD magazine and asked if we could grab lunch; I had an idea to pitch. 

We ate and we talked about my idea (based upon this periodic table of the elements of amazing learning experiences). I’d need to broaden my initial concept and write a lengthier article than my typical 500-700 word blog post, but she said they could use it.

Last Thursday, in the August 2019 edition of TD magazine, my article was published (you can find it at td.org or download a PDF of The Science of Effective Training).

TD article

I’ve met a whole lot of people who have said: “I’d love to do more writing and get something published.” If this is a sentiment you share, my advice to you is simple: do it.

Do it for the following three reasons:

  1. Odds are good that you have something to share and just holding those thoughts inside you without letting the rest of the world know is just selfish.
  2. When people read what you’ve written and then they send you a note saying: “I read your article and it was really good!”, the ego boost and accompanying euphoria are indescribably cool.
  3. You get to know that there are people out there who you’ve never met and probably will never meet who will be able to do something new or differently or better as a result of your contribution to the field of L&D.

I’ve written four or five articles for TD magazine over the past several years and last year I had an opportunity to write a longer-form issue of TD at Work focused on using PowerPoint as your co-facilitator. The ATD editors have always been friendly and encouraging as I’ve written the articles (and then they make my words sound even smarter through the way they do their final edits).

If you have an idea, reach out to them. Pitch your idea. Let the world know what you know.

Feeling a bit more shy? Drop me a line and I’d be happy to talk in more depth about my experience and/or make an introduction to the editor(s) I’ve worked with.

2 thoughts on “Have something to contribute to the L&D field? Write it down… then publish it!

  1. I love this article for several reasons, including because you, Brian, lead by example by consistently writing and publishing on Train Like a Champion! But also, the process of writing is an excellent learning tool that compels the author to reflect on, organize, synthesize, and explain concepts in ways s/he might not otherwise do through contemplation. As L&D professionals, it’s important for us to walk the walk and apply effective learning techniques to our own development. After taking a short break from writing the past couple of weeks, this article is good motivation for me to return to some of my half-finished blog articles. Thanks!

    • Thanks Mark! You make a point I totally forgot. I’ve been writing blog posts on a regular (weekly!!) basis since late 2012, and it’s forced me to do exactly what you’re describing. I *must* reflect on my recent experiences or something I’ve read or in those weeks I’m running on empty when it comes to inspiration, I need to go seek new ideas, research or content to write about. The habit of writing (and publishing) forces me to stay on top of industry trends and research AND it forces me to constantly reflect on my own experiences.

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