I started my first ”blog” back in 2012. A high school student who had newly founded his passion for weightlifting and nutrition. Using a simple analogy, as my body was growing, I wanted to grow myself, my ideas into the world and in a sense put myself out there.
And so my writing experience started. I had a free website at Blogger named Make Your Life Right with a similar purpose to Papers Of Thought. To help people improve. Of course, back then two things were apparent.
First, while I knew I wanted to focus on self-improvement and of course use exercising and fitness as a cornerstone, my intent was unclear and admittedly messy. Second, my writing was worse than bad. I didn’t keep the basics of punctuation, capital letters, ways to transition from one paragraph into another all the while copying most of the content that I was using from websites that I found inspirational. Things have come a long way. I now know that ”I” should always be capitalized and that paragraphs should have a smooth transition to make an article more reader-friendly. Adding to the above I understood that copycatting is extremely effective in pleasing your ego, but it is not article writing.
Having said all that I don’t regard my self as a blogger but more of a writer. With that in mind, I will focus on how you can become a better writer, particularly as an article contributor. All lead me to this fruit of labor. An essay where I share my experience and the knowledge I have accumulated from trial & error, hoping that I will help young aspiring writers to start their own writing journey all the while providing experienced writers with something fresh, that they can take and implement on their writings.
Article-writing is separated into two phases supplementing with a third. Entering, phase one includes the preparation for the article. Extensive or non-extensive research based on the theme, sorting out my sights if they exist and keeping clear and coherent notes that will allow me to stay on course. Additionally, I make sure that my content is clear and that the reader can fully understand what I am about to discuss. The second part of this phase includes that all the little things are covered. Titles, Header Image, Subtitles. This concludes phase one.
Phase two is by far the simplest. With the aid of my notes, I write what needs to be written in each paragraph (this is where subtitles serve as an instructing guide not only for the reader but for the writer as well), while always consciously and unconsciously checking my language, expression, and meaning.
Concluding the final and third phase includes the applications that I use when writing & the different ”rituals” I follow to keep my mind focused and on point. While phase one and two follow a chronological order by default, phase three often times pre-exists both of them resulting in its essence been supplemental but not vital. One might say that part of the last phase should be included in the preparation process in which case I totally agree. But for the sake of method tracking and pleasing my own mind, I choose to divide it into three separate phases.
The above constitute my writing method. I follow a certain set of actions according to the valid principles of Preparation, Writing and Supplementary Work. I like programming and patterns. Though the latter I can harness my creative power and put my thoughts and ideas into words and sentences. On the contrary, I know writers that even though their ways are messy and sloppy for my standards, they create fantastic articles and essays. This goes to show that there is no right way. Only your way. What I offer below may serve you as advice. It’s up to you to choose what suits and what suits not your way of doing things and in this case, your writing style.
Whether you are a novice or an experienced writer, preparation is key. Creativity will take you so far and in order to be consistent and efficient in article writing, you must set a program, a set of tools to guide you. It is important to learn to adjust to your ever-changing ways. Often times what worked in the past may not work anymore. The principle is that in order to become great at anything you need to be prepared and keep that practice intact every time. This leads me to my next point.
Stick To The Basics
Following tested and proven patterns works. Of course, evolution comes from adjusting to change and recognizing when the time for change has come. Like in biology, writing requires evolution and adjustment. Yet it is always efficient that when starting out, you understand the importance of the basics. This sets a tone that you may configurate in the future. Your theme and content need to be clear. Your title needs to be describing your article and at the same time interest your readers to invest their precious time in your sentences. That’s why language and words mean so much in this domain. An unpolished product means nothing to an audience that cannot comprehend it because of inadequate context methods. Adding to that your subtitles serve as a mini and frequent introduction to your paragraph flow, so make sure they are efficient. Closing the preparation section I strongly suggest you keep notes. Brainstorming and putting your ideas on a piece of paper before creating your article enables you to create a stream of thought, structure your article and most important make mistakes. That way you understand which ideas you can implement in your article and which don’t work.
Your Writing Matters
Starting out I really didn’t know much about writing. I knew I wanted to express my views, make money out of my blog but even though I had ideas, I was missing the tools that would enable me to express my inner workings. The easy way was to copycat. I took ideas and opinions that I liked and I agreed with, and copy & pasted them. After writing for the past few years I came to the conclusion that nothing, no piece of writing is truly and completely original. In the same way that no behavior is entirely our own. We are influenced by someone in some way. Constantly. A fashion of this was my copycatting. I wanted to create but I didn’t know how. I aspired to write well, but it took a long time before I understood what it takes to make your own fine writings. The first step was recognizing I wanted to produce my content, through my context, my way. I felt my writing mattered and by copycatting I was sabotaging my self. The abilities we accumulate from writing matter and so I invested in learning how to write by writing a lot. I’m always affected by other people’s ideas and thoughts. We will always be. Little by little especially as writers we must learn to embrace our language and realize with each essay our own distinct yet influenced way of writing. This applies to any form of writing either articles, essays, books and so on. Embrace your writing and something great will come out of it.
Applications That Help
Living in the modern world we are bombarded by new advancements in technology. The writing world is no exception. Admittedly there are a few applications that have loosened my arms when it comes to writing and overall content creation and it would be a pity not to share them with an audience interested.
Advice & Tips
My main advice when it comes to writing is staying as focused as possible. To do so a few things must be done with discipline and concentration.
- Learn to take breaks. This depends on the individual’s need but recognizing you may need five minutes to an hour away from your text is key in your writing continuity. Take a coffee break, eat a snack, nap a little.
- Don’t get distracted. Social media, open tabs, a funny video on Youtube are all distractions that deplete your creativity and break your focus. When writing, be as present as possible. Leave distractions for your break.
- Keep hydrated. Studies have repeatedly shown evidence that cognitive-motor performance is affected by water deprivation. Specifically «increased subjective task-related effort suggests that healthy volunteers exhibit cognitive compensating mechanisms for increased tiredness and reduced alertness during slowly progressive moderate dehydration».¹
- Mind Your Stimulants. Coffee is a terrific brew. But if you are anything like me, coffee will boost your creativity and focus for a few hours before draining you of your regular energy. This fight or flight response is why I choose to keep my energy levels in balance with good nutrition and hydration without excess sugar and stimulants spiking and dropping my insulin to the point of mood swings. If coffee works for you with little to no downside on your energy and overall performance then I highly suggest you sip it while writing.
This was the written extension of a video I made earlier this week posted below. Here I tried to delve deeper and present to you a format that may not be apparent when you watch the video. The method of writing & blogging is simple. Have a plan, come prepared and take your time. I often say that rushed work in no work. We all have deadlines to make but it is better to create quality work than quantity. Especially when it comes to the written word. Besides speed comes with experience. Spend time on your preparation. Distinguish between notes and actual writing and use what you can to advance your writing experience. When it comes time to write, execute on that thesis with vigor but when you recognize you need a break recede for a while and come back fresh and renewed. Writing is an art so nobody can tell you how or what to write. Only help you. The rest is up to you.
- Effect of water deprivation on cognitive-motor performance in healthy men and women. «US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health»