Lately it seems like I keep getting asked, “How do you write?” by people who don’t think they are good at it. So I decided to put down in – what else – writing, about writing. I hope you enjoy this little trip behind the scenes!
Let’s start by agreeing that everyone has a different writing style – professional, relaxed, goofy, etc. I also think a lot of people have a different style of writing. By this I mean the processes by which they compose their content. Here I am sharing the methods I employ and hopefully you will recognize how highly customizable writing can be.
Determine the Topic: I prefer to write about something that is significant or important in my life at the moment. Because my thoughts are already consumed by this subject, I am motivated to conduct research and excited to share what I am learning. I also believe that my passion for the topic comes across in my writing and readers find it motivational.
Contemplation: Once I’ve narrowed town a topic, I usually let it bounce around in my head for a few days. I take this time to think about the points I want to cover or different angles. Yes, sometimes this leads me to a totally different topic to write about and that’s okay!
Conduct Research: Because I don’t want my articles to strictly be my opinion, my next step is to research the topic. I want facts or the opinions of other people to back up or disprove my reasoning. I take notes of everything I find useful.
Composition: Research usually gets the ideas flowing, so I just record as many of them as possible in whatever order they arrive. It’s like brainstorming at this point. I always go back later to clean it up and make sense of it all. The beauty of a computer is being able to literally move sentences and paragraphs around until they flow in the right order.
Article Structure: I always start my article with an introduction to and a reason for the topic. By utilizing bolding, bullet points or numbers in the body of the article, my readers can at a glance determine if the content intrigues them. Then I end it with an upbeat or positive summary.
Writing Style: I want my articles to appeal to everyone so I try to intertwine common occurrences or examples that most people can relate to. Also, I write my articles as if I am speaking to a friend because I personally prefer the relaxed tone it encourages.
More Contemplation: My articles are rarely written and finalized in one sitting… well, never. I like to write the first draft and leave it for at least a few hours, preferably a day or two, and then come back for the second draft.
Second Draft: This is when I remove information that doesn’t fit well with the overall theme. I also try to keep my articles to one page in length. I read it out loud to myself several times to find phrases that make me stumble, because if I stumble my readers will, too.
Proofreading: I firmly believe you cannot adequately proof read your own work because your brain knows what it wants to see, not necessarily what is actually there. So I always like to have a friend proof read my article for typos, missing words, and other things I might overlook.
Publish It: Now it’s finally time to share it with everyone! First I share it with my subscribers through my e-newsletter broadcast, then after a few days I post it on my blog, social media sites and EzineArticles. Then lastly I schedule the article for a few more rounds on my social media sites to make sure it gets a lot of exposure at different times.
Writing does not have to be a boring or intimidating chore. Find what process works best for you. Maybe you can crank out a wonderful article in one sitting, but know that it’s okay to spread it out over the course of a few days in order to get what you feel is the best material. But however you do it, relax! You’ll discover that once you find your groove, it can be a very rewarding and gratifying experience.