The reason for this follow-up is that writing is simply not easy for everyone. Making a definitive item about writing is almost impossible, because writing is enormously complex. So I thought I’d write more about how I write.
Indeed this is an item that serves as a direct foolow-up to the earlier item “Writing writing and writing“. If you have not read that item yet, I would strongly recommend it to you.
If I could really only give 1 tip with a view to creating content that fits your website and that will really help you further, it would be this;
Write like you are explaining it to a friend
You will often hear the advice; “Write as if you are speaking.”
Something that is not in itself a bad suggestion, but it is just not always true or the best approach.
Why do you perhaps wonder? Now take a random conversation and write it out word by word. You will notice that speaking and writing are still 2 very different sports.
When you talk you secretly use a lot of stop words. If you see that in a text, it doesn’t look good and it doesn’t work out the way it was verbally.
But also think of thoughts that can go from left to right during the conversation. Or the breaks that come in a conversation because the speaker may not even be able to keep up with his own thought process which is firing at level 110. Believe me that even the most experienced speakers still have this happenning, and then often an “eh” will follow as a result.
I much prefer the following advice:
write as you would explain it to your friends. Or a family member, or even a 6 year old child; if that is more relevant in the context that suits your situation.
KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
If you have to explain it to someone who is “a little further away” from the technique or approach, then in almost all cases you will explain it more practical.
The easier you can articulate something, the better you can explain it. And with that you ensure that it becomes more tangible and therefore also easier to understand.
Keep It Simple Stupid is a credo that you often hear but you know what the worst is? Simplicity is one of the most difficult things there is. So thinking about something “simple” is never a bad thing.
It all has to do with the fact that we as a society expect that from now on everything must be transparent and clear in whatever sector. As people, we want everything with as little effort or expense as possible. But that also applies to how we are going to consume content, it must be unambiguously clear, without any room for obstacles.
The target audience decides
I want to add a little nuance to that because you can explain things simply as much as you want, but that is not always practical. It must match how your target group / demography would like the content to be delivered, basically coming down to what they like.
If your target group is seniors, youth, or a whole range of developers, it determines how you are going to convey things. Because if you start working with developers with a totally dumbed downversion, for example, there is even the chance that they cannot “follow” it or might even think that you are not taking them seriously.
Always coordinate the way you are going to deliver content with whom the content is intended for. Especially if you are still “new” in the field of writing, try to hire a proof-reader who can actually represent your target group.
I mentioned proofreading very briefly in the previous item and especially pulled it to the writer’s side. But nothing is better than having someone who reads your written text with fresh eyes and who looks at what could be better.
Proofreading is something that you see happening quite often, for example, when it comes to movies in Hollywood. For example, a script may have gone through a whole range of eyes before it is actually brought to life. Now that may be a bit much, but you will understand that a final check is certainly welcome before your text goes out.
Read what you have written!
1 extra tip that I want to give in order to grow even further and which you can always repeat is;
Periodically read back items that you have written and published.
Sometimes you will see things that you did not noticed yourself from what you have written before. Or what even was “approved” by your proof-reader that makes you say; “Did I have the courage to publish it like that?” And there is nothing wrong with that, because it indicates that you are growing when it comes to writing.
Always keep writing
Also always keep in mind nobody writes perfectly from the start. Even worse you will never write perfectly.
Rapper Mackelmore brought this very nicely in his song 10,000 hours;
The greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint
The greats were great because they’d paint a lot
His song is about being able to do anything as long as you practice a lot and stay at it. With his quote, he indicates that the greatest artists were not great from birth. But that they have become great due to a lot of practice and art.
And that is something that certainly also applies to writing.
If you think about it and you see continuous growth. Then you are already making a very big step towards becoming a good writer.
Develop your own writing style
In the beginning it is difficult to speak of your own writing style because you develop style. There are very few people who immediately have an actual style when they start something.
But you will develop your writing style with everything that will come on your way. That can be feedback, things that you read from others (including competitors, for example), developments that occur in your field, etc.
As long as you do not force anything, you will see that it will be a very nice development and that you will write items on the most diverse topics with growing ease.
If you want to work with a party that can help you at every step of that development. Whether it is writing, editing or advising, I am ready to assist you wherever you need it!