Creating Content that gets talked about
In: Writing20 Oct 2009
Becoming an article writer can be both creative and rewarding, for some people it’s the perfect job. But the fact of the matter is, the more you write the more you will earn. For an article writer, being able to squeeze every last drop of writerly juice out of yourself is the route to financial success.
Being a writing machine does not mean you write without emotion or creativity, it simply means you focus on speed, accuracy, and quality. It means not having writers block, not having a problem getting started and being able to keep to deadlines.
Over decades of writing experience I have discovered 3 simple steps.
1. The great thing about writing is that you can do it part time or full time and need very little resources to get started. But you do need to get started. You need to flex those wordy muscles. Writing every day will help you do that, it helps build stamina and enforces a rhythm in your writing day.
I have used this system very effectively over the years. When sitting down for the first time of the day do a word dump. Open up a new document and force yourself to start writing, even if it’s “I’m really not in the mood to be writing right now, I would much rather be fishing……..”
Just write it, it doesn’t even have to make much sense. Fill up about 500 words minimum. Don’t try to write, just the words flow, make mistakes, ignore grammar and spelling rules. What you will find is that this excercises the part of the brain which does the writing, and at the end of limbering up you should be more in the mood to write.
Plus, you will have blown off any excess thoughts by putting them into words and uncluttering them from your mind, leaving your brain free to be filled with the important stuff.
You may also find that this free association method of writing produces some interesting writing which you can use later.
Save the document, knowing that the next day you start to write you will crank out another.
2. I absolutely need a routine, as my mind can wonder as easily as a goose in a granary. Make a specific period of time for writing only, and by writing I don’t mean twitter, which I am sure you realise by know is a huge eater of time.
Develop a routine, the brain has its own internal clock and will know when it is time to start writing and prepare. The brain is an amazing thing and the subconscious can do a lot of the heavy lifting if we allow it.
If you are new to being a writer explore the best time for you to write. For some people it can be afternoons or late at night. For me it’s 5.30AM till about 1pm. The afternoon for me is a writers dead zone, I pick up again after 7 and can write till late.
Everyone is different and don’t try to follow other writers habits, find your own way and create your own habits.
When you have a routine you find you can get all those distracting jobs done in the down time. Your friends and family will know that you will be working. And just a quick word, not that I need to. Turn the IM, the twitter client, and the email off. They are not needed for the goal of writing.
3. I’m amazed at how many ideas I get when doing something else, and sometimes they happen on the rare occasion when I don’t have my notebook and pen with me. Fortunately my iPhone can act as a back up and has an excellent voice recorder and notepad.
Always carry a notebook and when you have a thought, write it down, don’t trust your memory.
Walking is a great aid to the thought process of writing, but it can be so hard to unshackle yourself from the computer and the Internet and let your mind wonder. Discipline is required and to be a writer you must have it.
Think about the articles you are writing and different ways you can approach the same subject. Think about future articles and problems you can solve. Most articles are about solving a problem, as you go about your daily business keep your eye out for problems and instead of having a moan about them think about how you would approach it in an article.
For example, you could have a problem with your phone company and have to spend hours on the phone to a foreign call center. Think about writing an article about how foreign call centers have affected business. You don’t necessarily have to be in that niche as it helps excercise you writerly muscles, plus one day someone may ask you to write such an article and wouldn’t it be great to simply reach into your file and say, “Already done”.