Writing an Article: How I Write
August 14 2021 · 5 min read
Writing an article is all about the torture of wasting hours on deciding a topic, doing some research work, and worrying about how to make your article engaging. And if your editor is a dumb ass, for sure, he or she will never be satisfied with your first piece. I once had an editor who used to sweet talk and trash my piece in a manner leaving no room for me to protest. He would often start with “Hello, I hope you are well. I will make the circumstances clear that we want to make a big hit. The publisher gave you this article because I was busy and now I can write one again. Your article is good but as you said it is not very entertaining. The issue is you need to reorient it and I have already written a draft. What I want you to do now is cover the rest.” And just like that “pheww” the next moment I can see my article crying in the waste bin. In sugar-coated bullets my article would be rejected, my topic would be stolen, and I would feel empty-handed.
Let’s take it straight: getting to writing
“Eh! Come on, you did not take it serious right?” But I really hope none of the people I work with find this otherwise it might disappoint them and backfire as me getting kicked out of the team/s. Let’s get to some serious talk now. Actually spending some time looking for a topic that could suit you is not a waste of time, I was only messing with you up there. You must spend a generous amount of time choosing a topic. Then dig deep enough into some research work. Research work not really demands you to distribute questionnaires among people and collect actual data, it is not going to make you Einstein. It only implies that you read some content about the topic you wish to write about prior to getting started with it.
Let me share a secret with you, a secret that you would have already noticed. When you read content about a topic you come to categories the data you know about it and the information which is new to you. You interact with different styles of authors. And then you can come up with an amalgam of ideas and use an innovative approach to write about the topic. Austin Kleon says in his book Steal Like an Artist: “art is an undetected form of plagiarism.” And so is writing undetected form of paraphrasing.
When I roll up my sleeves, log in to my PC, and type a word, a notification on my phone would distract me and unless I check who is missing me I cannot concentrate on writing. I think the same for the poor readers who would get to read my article, would they not have an unfinished episode of Money Heist or perhaps some Facebook scrolling to do. Therefore, searching for a way to hook the reader is the toughest work to do for my articles. “Articles are not games to engage with”, this thought crosses my mind when I often hear people demanding engaging content. But if I want my reader not to through my article away after reading the introduction, I have to create content worth reading and saying no to the distractions.
When I closely look at what I am writing, I feel it is nothing more than some words dumped together in a word document. Sometimes it sounds like I am arranging words into lines called sentences, which could make sense to a reader. Writing is only the art of playing with words.
The trouble of choosing a topic and crossing the word limit
- Find your style
It may sound ridiculous to you, but writing is personal and thus one needs to find their personal style of writing. I remember my editor once telling me to write ‘Mangobaaz’ articles. I was hearing the term for the first time and I had no idea about the style. When I looked it up it was way too sarcastic for my style. I came up with a blunder when I tried writing a ‘Mangobaaz’ article. And my writing made sense only after I adopted my way to write. In addition, you should be in your right physical and mental state to bring what is in your mind onto paper. Once you get connected to the right state ideas flow themselves.
- Write what you like to write
Do not start writing about cryptocurrency only because people are talking about it. Write what you know about and which interests you. You can choose any topic that suits you and write more than the word limit may require you to write. If you wish to explore something new experience it, feel it, come into contact with it then write about it. If you have grown up watching Minions writing about rocket science will do no good to you.
- Aggressive reading and writing to make sense
To provoke your brain and creativity, stimulate it with active reading. Keep a highlighter or a pen, write down what suits your topic, and encircle sentences that trigger your thoughts. In a notebook collect every bit of information. After you are done reading jump back and forth all the data to arrange them in an order which can make sense to your target audience.
In a situation where I am out of topics to write about I contact professor Google. And, trust me, it does not help at all; it shows all the middle school essay topics or filters the business and scientific topics to mess with. Then I use the feature of story sharing on social media and bother every single person in WhatsApp groups asking for suggestions. None of it works unless I come up with a topic that interests me personally.
Writing articles is a hot topic now, but googling only shows the conventional way of starting with an introduction, writing a body paragraph, and finally ending with a good conclusion. If you fancy writing entertaining content you should write what comes from within. Keeping in mind the target audience will always help to choose appropriate vocabulary and make your content enjoyable to them.