Have you ever visited a tourist location then browsed Flickr only to find everyone seems to have taken the same photograph? One of the principal techniques of better photography is to move around, look at the scene in different ways, approach from new angles. The same is true for writing. While the direct approach, the writing equivalent of taking a picture from where you stand, might not be the best you can produce.
Yes, there is a lot to be said for developing a writing instinct. It will certainly allow you to produce content at a brisker pace. Spending a little time exploring a topic, poking and prodding at its submerged pockets, could take your idea from being just about “ok” to sock-popping splendor.
Blogs that make an effort to stretch, to break out from norms and provide something unique are the ones people remember, talk about and return to. Do you aim to be one of those blogs or a me-too?
We will be tempted to simply think of what you need to say, impart it, maybe fiddle with the headline a bit, then hit “post”. The trick is to spend time working out what the bones of the article will be. Bullet point the facts and put them into some sort of order. After you know the basic map it is now a case of how you explore the landscape.
In writing we have many ways to express an idea. You could write it as
- a story,
- a letter,
- a discussion,
- suspense …
It’s not just those sorts of styles that could help you spice up your writing:
- Could you take an opposing view, show both sides as it were?
- Zoom in to one tiny detail, or take a 1000 feet clouds-eye view?
- The more theatrical amongst us might like to see the world from a fictional characters viewpoint.
- Perhaps call in friends to provide their take in quote form? I asked Darren to provide a quote for this post …
Every day thousands of bloggers jostle to draw attention to posts that say largely the same things as the next blogger. One of the keys to rising above the noise of the rest is to find a way to explore the topic in a new and fresh way.
Maybe changing where your blog, your physical perspective, could impact your writing? Try writing from a cafe as Darren does, or from a park bench.
It might all sound like a lot of hard work. What is the point of this exercice?
The fact is if we get stuck in a routine, if we don’t try to mix it up a bit, then we will lose our mojo which will cause our audience to be less engaged.
Having an occasional break out of the norm keeps all of us on our toes. It’s also fun sometimes to have a play with your writing so that it doesn’t become a chore.
Which ways do you change up your writing? Do you know anyone who has a particularly off-beat way of working? Please share in the comments …