I publish more content than most people. Part of that is because blogging is how I prepare for work. It is like priming the pump or stretching before a game.
This story that I am workingÂ on is a hell of a lot of fun but part of that is because it is different. I find it stimulating in a different way than some of the other things I do.
If you want to be a good writer you need to practice writing and you need to stimulate your mind. Ask questions. Write down the answers. Think about how things work and find a way to look at the world with wonder.
A while back one of my 14k sisters asked me if I could help her put together a desk, a bookcase and some chairs that she had purchased. I have done that sort of thing a million times so I said yes and told her that my services were available for the very affordable cost of a coke and two slices of pizza.
When I opened up the box for the desk we found approximately 1,983,743 parts and an instruction manual that consisted of 18 pictures. Â Now I could tell you a story that would make you laugh but I want to go a different way.
When I looked at the various parts I began to wonder where the manufacturer of that unit acquired all of the parts. I looked at the pieces and wondered how many different people were involved in getting it all together. Think about this for a moment.
- Someone had find the packaging for the unit.
- Someone had to design the artwork that went on the outside of the box.
- Someone had to find and purchase the wood that was used.
- Someone had to find and purchase the other parts.
- A machinist(s) were used to shape and form many of the pieces.
- A technical writer was involved in building the manual.
- Someone had to see that the manual was translated into multiple languages.
What Is The Point?
The point is that in less than 2 minutes I came up with seven questions about a desk. Every one of those questions offers an opportunity to tell a story. If I wanted to I could have come up with another 7 or another 50 questions. But the seven I asked are enough to provide a framework for a story that people would be interested in.
It is the tale of that desk is the culmination of the work of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people. Who are these people? Where do they live and what do they do? Surely there are some very interesting tales to be told about that.
The point is that when we open our eyes and look around there are a million different stories just waiting to be told. All we have to do is open our eyes and remember being children.
Start Asking Why
Children are famous for askingÂ WHYÂ and adults should be too. It is even more important for writers to askÂ WHY.Â Your readers have questions. AskÂ WHYÂ and you can answer those questions. Answer those questions and you add value. Answer those questions and you will entertain them.
Do yourself a favor and search for answers to your questions and then share it on your blog. You’ll learn something in the process and because you are already interested in the topic your post will have more energy and excitement.
Stop Over Thinking Things
Writing is something that you can improve with practice. Write often and good things happen. Ask questions and share the answers. But most of all have fun with it. Blogging shouldn’t be a task and if it is you need to reconsider why you are still doing it.
It is easy to fall into the trap of over thinking things. Our internal editor whispers in our ear that our words don’t work the way we want them to and we worry about boring the reader or not being as good as someone else.
But that internal editor forgets about how different voices appeal to different people. What is the major difference between Time and Newsweek or The New York Times and The Washington Post?
I’ll put money down that most people can’t provide any distinction or offer any substance. Maybe they’ll tell you that the Post covers D.C. and the Times covers New York but aside from geography they are unlikely to say one is better or worse based upon writing.
The point is some people will like your work and some will hate it and many will be ambivalent but the biggest impediment to your gaining more readers is listening to that voice inside your head.
Part of the way to overcome it is to just write and part of it is to work on writing stories/posts that you find to be interesting. When you do that your own level of interest in the story increases and good things come from that.
What do you think?