No doubt it’s a question that sits on everyone’s minds when they open up whatever medium it is they have chosen to write with. A question pounding in their mind as they stare wearily at that blank page. Whether it be with pen in hand or the constant blinding of the cursor daring you to start typing.
I know it’s something that keeps me up at night, like a perpetually looming spectre. How do you create an article worth reading, an article that will draw in the reader and leave them wanting more? So much more that they’ll return again and again to see what you’ll throw together next.
How do you know what kind of style to write in? Is there a preferred one or should you try and mash different forms of writing all into one article and watch them clamber over on another fighting for the readers attention?
Questions, questions questions, always more questions and very few answers. Of course the two best ways to find those answers are through two almost seemingly obvious methods: experience and research. Simply just writing and trawling the internet, reading the work of more experience successful writer as well as their hints, tips and how to articles.
But despite the overwhelming abundance of resources available on the great wide web, I always still find myself questioning.
How can you write about something you don’t know a great deal about? You don’t have the time to become an expert in everything. How do you format an article or piece, how do you lay out, order and present your information and what you want to say? At times the answers appear easy, like riding a bike. Whereas at other times the exact opposite can be true.
I realise by this point you’ve come to the conclusion that there is very little useful information about writing your next great post. So lets look at a few things that may in fact aid you in your valiant quest. (In no particular order.)
Do a Little Research
It helps! You don’t need to spend hours reading wordy research papers detailing the ongoing patterns and emerging schools of though surrounding everything you wish to write about. But if its a more technical topic or a matter of some significance like a world event, it’s best your understand the context and the facts. Not only will you produce a more relevant and accurate body of text, but you may avoid potential embarrassing claims or statements. Aside from that a little research may even open a few more avenues or ideas you hadn’t yet considered.
Read and the …. Read it Again
Seeking out the work of your favourite writers and authors is an fantastic way to grow as a writer. So go out there and get reading. By all means enjoy their work, how it flows and reads, their witticisms, their character development and story telling whatever it may be. Then read the article or story etc. again. This time read it through a more analytical lens. Read it slower, take notes and pay attention to how the information is delivered as well as the information itself. Think a particular chapter, paragraph or sentence was particularly smooth for instance. Read it and re-read it, how would you have written it, what are the differences between how you’d approach the information? What can you learn from these differences and apply to your own work?
Read greedily, read expansively but also read carefully. The best advice will always come from those at the top of their field, those who have already made it.
Shed those demons of insecurity by practising your craft relentlessly. Write about anything and everything that interests you. When you start writing about things that interest you, your passions and things you love ideas, articles topics and all that goodness will come to you in floods. (Disclaimer: I can’t promise you anything though, but, I mean it should.) Practice techniques and styles you’ve read about, seen, heard about or maybe even developed yourself. Practice until it all becomes second nature. Practice until you can apply all these methods and stylistic traits together in some beautiful amalgamation of beautiful prose.
So how do you write your next best post, article, poem or whatever? You just write it!
[Image(s) from Pexels]