Writing articles for the web differs greatly from articles that you might write for a newspaper or magazine. When I started writing articles for the web I never realized how different it was from print media.
Although I have never written for print media, the years of reading articles from newspapers and magazines have taught me well on how not to write for the web. Although I did not realize it at the time.
I used to write extremely long winded articles and believed that it simply had to be perfect before posting it on a site. At the time of writing this, I believe in excellence rather than perfection in writing.
Excellence is giving your best and making the most of the opportunities that are presented to you with the resources you have available.
I enjoy writing, but I have found that at times it is easier to write than at other times. I want to share with you a couple of tips on how I approach writing.
Find a time and place where you are comfortable
At the moment I'm sitting outside on a bench, it's dark and the only light is the laptop I'm typing on and the moon. I am in the zone. Words are freely flowing out of my head into my fingertips. It is almost as though I'm not really involved in the whole process of writing. This is where every writer wants to be.
There are different times of the day when you have more energy or your mind is clearer. You might be more in tune. It might be early in the morning while everyone is still sleeping. Writing outside with a flask of something hot to drink, waiting for the sun to peek out from the horizon and greet the day. Or you might prefer other times of the day.
Where you write is almost just as important as when you write. Writing in an environment that is not supportive of your writing can be very destructive and discouraging. You need to be in an environment where you have the mental space to concentrate on what you are doing with as little interruptions as possible.
Take some time to discover where and when you feel the most comfortable to write. It will make a huge difference in the quality of your work.
Newspaper journalists have very little time to write their news stories. There is very little time for crafting a masterpiece and checking for spelling errors. They need to write quickly with all the facts they have on hand and move on to the next story.
If you have any trouble working on a story try to give yourself a deadline. Take 10 or 15 minutes and spend that time working on only the article and nothing else. Don't read through what you have already written, just write.
I see a lot of articles where people have not taken the time to read through their own article before posting it. I always take the time to read through an article looking for spelling mistakes and trying to make a sentence easier to read or understand.
I never edit an article just after writing it, I would rather save it and work on something new or leave the editing until tomorrow. Leaving some time between writing and editing gives me some distance from my words. The editing process is then a lot more objective. Sometimes I will edit an article up to 3 times before I'm satisfied with it.
I mentioned earlier in the article that I used to write long winded articles. Not realising that people probably got bored or lost the plot halfway through the article. I prefer writing articles between 500 and 800 words at the moment and found them to be more engaging with the reader.
Try to keep your sentences as short and to the point as possible. People don't like to read a lot on the web and we need to make it as easy as possible for them to read everything we have written.
I hope you can make use of one or all of these tips. What writing tips do you have?