More Than Meets The Word
Oh, yes, a writer; most people when they hear that you are working a writer, they tend to have this thought that being a writer equals to easy job, heck relaxing even. But that is not the case, being a writer requires you to constantly think creatively (yeah, like even in your sleep) every single day and do a lot of research and these two things, my dear readers, suck the soul out of us writers. (Literally)
If you believe you have a heart made of steel and perseverance as tough as a diamond, then we can still make a writer out of you.
Why do you need those things? Like i mentioned within the earlier paragraph, you have to think creatively, out of the box every single and do lots of research, and digging around to see what’s what. Else, you’ll find yourself struggling coming up with something original, unique and engaging.
So, Is That All It Takes To Be A Writer?
Oh no, there is more, a bunch of things to be exact. Firstly, you need to identify what kind of writer you want to be? And for which platform?
Is it that you want to be next JRR Tolkien? Or maybe the next J.K Rowling? Or George RR Martin? If that is your aim, then you have the work cut out for you. Because you’ll need to have a strong imagination (which not everyone has) and do lots and lots of research on literature, cultures, and languages.
And of course, a very organized mind (even though you might be slightly cuckoo) to ensure every words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters and entries are coherent to one another so that readers able to make sense of whatever story you want to deliver.
Or maybe you want to go for something stable and less adventurous, then you may opt for content writing. If you have the option to work as a freelancer or with a company.
If you choose to work as a freelance writer, then you have the freedom of choosing what kind of article you want to write but if you want to be more stable and have a fixed income, then work with an agency or a company. Though it is advisable to ponder long and hard before committing yourself to a company or an agency, else you might stuck with writing topics you do not like. So think through on what kind of topics or issues you’d like to write on.
Putting On The Content Writer Shoes
Now, obviously the two types of writers (there are more actually) listed above are completely different from another. But for the second one, content writer, there are a few platforms for you to jump on; website design, newspaper/journalist, or advertisement (billboards, television’s ads).
You must be wondering how can website design be related to writing or content? You see, what makes a website design good is not only the looks and functions, but the content within the website itself.
So to create a website that is good not only it must have attractive graphic designs (colours, layouts etc) but also content. Content that is good enough to attract and engage visitors, converting them into long-time customers. And this is where the hard work begins.
If you have the guts and perseverance to scroll down further, means you are ready to be a full-fledged writer, if you’re not…well, might want to think and look for other options.
What Are The Elements You Need To Make A Content Interesting?
Make It Personal
First thing first, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, so that you know what to write. Because when people Google for something, chances are they looking for answer to the troubles plaguing them.
Let’s say I’m looking for the best place to eat around KL, meaning I’ll be expecting to see menus, pricing, and whatnot listed in an article or website’s content, if none of those in an article or website’s content then there is no point for me reading them.
So that is why you need to put yourself in your audience shoes, only then you know what to write. Also, when you are writing for your target audience always use the word ‘you’, this way whenever an audience read your content they’ll feel as if the content is made specifically for them, making it feels more up close and personal.
Look Around, Do Some Research
The hardest and most arduous part in writing is not writing itself, but the act of researching information. It will (literally) make your head feels like it is going to explode there and then because of all the information you have to process and understand within a short time.
Yeah, you might say you have a topic or issue that you are expert in but new things pop up every single day, so it doesn’t matter if you are an expert with the particular topic, you still need to do research so that you get the updated information.
Furthermore, this is especially compulsory to do if you are writing on articles that contain a lot of facts, you’ll want to get all the facts right, else you might suffer backlashes that could affect the website.
Utilize Hot And Trending Issues To Your Advantage, Make It Relatable
Another thing to spice your content up is to use trending issues that are currently going on. For example, last Malaysia saw over a dozen hot and trending issues, one of it was the ‘Crispy Rendang Chicken’, oh boy did lots of food and beverage joints used that to their advantage.
So yeah, use trending issues to your advantage, just be careful that it won’t backfire to you instead.
Able To Write In Different Kinds Of Intonations
This is something you must be able to do and switch on the fly if you are aspire to a good writer. You must be able to write in different kind of tones: formal, semi-formal, casual, or conversational. Better yet, if you are able to switch in between tones in middle of your writing, which will give your audience a better idea of the message that you are trying to convey.
But this either come from years of experience or talent, sometimes a bit of both.
What About The Challenges?
The first and biggest challenge you’ll face is the clients, doesn’t matter whether you are a freelancer or working in a company.
When you are dealing with clients, you need to be mindful of your words and promises, so that they won’t bite back at you. If a client ask you to write content that is reasonable (or ridiculously lengthy) give them your honest expected time of completion first, if they’re not satisfied with it, do discuss with them to find the best due date.
Clients might want you to change finished content to something else, and to do within a short time. This is actually unavoidable, it bound to happen because it is either the clients gave you outdated materials beforehand to work with or their higher ups do not approve of your work, and want something else. In this kind of situation, try to reason with them, and ask for a due date that allows you to produce quality content.
Hey, no point in rushing, if the end result is bad no? It will delay completion and wastes resources of both sides, so better to have an ample due date rather then short and rushed.
So little time, so many clients! What to do indeed. What you can do to save yourself from being mauled by your clients is; list down all of your clients, set their due date in order of which clients approached you first, though there maybe needs to be prioritize before others but this depends on how urgent.
You need to manage your time properly, else you won’t have enough time to complete all of your clients’ project. So make a list, go down through the list, ticked off the project you have completed, and then move on to the next.
You Are Now One Step Closer To Being A Writer!
Congrats! You have reached the end of this article, yes, I know it is a lengthy read but hey, the longer the better eh? More details for you to go on with when you take up the mantle of a writer. Being a writer means you need to be able to touch people’s hearts and desires through your writing, which is not easy to do. When you write something, write it from your heart and be yourself, you can use other sources as references but staying true to your own voice is what will get your writing recognize and engage the audience.