Social Media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has given everyone a voice online. Before that blogs were giving everyone who chose to use it, a space to write and voice their opinion. Just like Facebook friends and people you follow on Twitter, some blogs are great and some not.
First of all I’m a firm believer that not everyone should be putting their voice or opinion online. Luckily for us most blogs are short lived (Facebook and Twitter is a different story) because the writer either loses interest or has a hard time keeping the quality content coming.
Over the past year and 10 months I have “trained” myself in the art of creating content. Some of it has been great and some of it sucks. I’m the first to admit that I still have a lot to learn. But by changing a few simple things I now find it way easier to create content for not only gevaaalik.com but also a few other online outlets that allow me to write for them.
Here are a few things that helped me get to where I am in creating quality content:
This is by far the hardest and most important change any person who wants to write has to make. It’s hard because getting into the groove of writing every day is not easy. So what I did when I started out was I set myself a daily goal: just write 250 words every day. You won’t get better at writing if you don’t write.
It doesn’t matter what you write about. You can choose a topic or you can just free-write and see what comes out. The important thing is that you will start finding your voice and writing style and it will become easier and easier to write. Hell, at this stage I’m writing a minumum of about 750 words a day, because I soon realised that I like writing.
The number one reason I hear for people not writing is: “I don’t know what to write about.” That is fair enough, sometimes it’s hard to find a topic. I still have this problem to an extent but I’m dealing with it by constantly making notes.
If I hear a song on the radio that I love and have not heard in a long time I make a note to write about that song or the album the song came from. If a friend brings up a topic that turns into a debate I make a note about that topic because I might be able to put my own twist on it. As I’m driving I make voice notes if something comes to mind.
The key here is that your mind is constantly bouncing around thoughts. Make notes of these thoughts and use them.
Don’t limit yourself
I’m lucky. On gevaaalik.com my topics range from music to something that pisses me off to something that I find funny. I basically write about anything I choose to write about. But when I write for LitNet.co.za it has to be music related.
I understand that if you write for a music site you have to stick to music articles. But if you feel like writing about something that is not music related you can still write it. Write it and save it somewhere on your PC, you never know when that piece might come in handy.
I write loads of things I never use as the full article, but I might use 140 characters from it for a tweet. Or a part of that might fit nicely into another piece you wrote. You just never know.
Feed your brain
I love reading. Whether it’s a good book, a blog I visit daily or a magazine. The point is I’m constantly feeding my brain with content from the minds of other writers. Something I read might inspire me to get my own opinion about a topic down on paper. I might read something that gives me an idea or gives me something to make a note about.
Just like your body needs food to produce shit (pun intended) your brain needs to be fed to produce shit (pun intended, but let's hope it's not shit). So balance your time accordingly, when do you consume and when do you create?
There you have it. There are some more things you can do but that is a good start if you want to break the content creation barrier. And as always, practice makes perfect. Wow that is 750 words done!
Please leave your tips and comments on becoming a more constant writer and content creator in the comments section below.