Human beings are a unique breed. We have the ability to think and create things on a level unmatched by other species. It just baffles me just thinking about it. It is unfortunate that many of us fall victim into consuming more and more content and rarely end up creating anything. The good news is that every day is a new day and perhaps today is the day you made something.
So what should you make?
The easiest way to get started is to write articles that teach others something that you’ve learned. If you think about it, humans have been passing down their knowledge from one generation to the next, first in the form of stories, then books.
If that isn’t your thing, that’s fine – just keep in mind to write something that is useful for others – it can be informative, entertaining, interesting. Don’t over think it – take a look at this document from Marty, it’s a simple list of words he found useful when writing formal essays and it’s got over 1.5 million hits! http://martinpiecyk.com/improveyourwritingability.html
How do you make it readable?
Now there’s no magic formula, but here are some pointers that you can use as guidelines:
- Think about who you are writing to (parents of young children? Older parents? Office workers? Students? Etc.) If your writing is technical, write down prerequisites.
- DON’T START WRITING YET! First, PLAN your article – identify the main goal for the article (e.g. the goal for this one is to get you to start writing), then jot down a few points leading towards the “climax”, and a few points after.
- Use a conversational tone – write the way you would talk to your best friend (use the singular ‘you’ and ‘I’). Now, I know this isn’t what we were taught in school, but a general reader is more likely to tune out if you use a formal tone. Think about it – what was the last formal document you’ve enjoyed reading?
- When you’re done writing, make it skimmable – you can bold or italicize your key points.
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GIVE IT TO ME!
“…but I don’t want to set up a blog that no one will visit..” That’s where you’re wrong.
There is a social blogging site (where articles are categorized) – it’s called Medium. You’ll get readers even if you don’t do anything to promote your articles. Just tag your articles and start writing!
Their text editor is very nice allowing you to focus just on the writing. You can even paste in images directly from your clipboard!
[edit: 10/2/17 – Niume is now shut down 🙁 ]
Still Need some motivation?
I’ve came across two methods that have helped me out a lot when it comes to overcoming writers block.
Here’s a video explaining how to plan out an article. The short version is that you should have the main point (the climax) written down (on paper), then jot down the topics that come before and after it. Source (article): Chase Reeves of Fizzle
The other method is called the MacGyver secret. The idea here is to write down your problem, then do some activity that doesn’t require thinking (allowing your subconscious to incubate the idea), then returning to it and starting to write. Source (article): Yaro Starak’s interview with MacGyver creator Zee Zlotoff
When you’re happy with what you’ve written, post a comment below with the URL and a short two sentence explanation of why your article is interesting and I’ll feature it in the next newsletter! (and if I like it, I’ll also submit it on Reddit) I look forward to seeing what you’ve wrote!
The Internet needs better and useful content, and that’s where you come in.