26 April 2016
How do you sound interesting or creating meaning to write, especially for blogging? Almost every blogger would attest to the fact that they want a lot more people to read what they are putting out or a good feedback that says “that was so enlightening, thank you.” Or “I learnt a lot from reading that. Thanks for putting it out”. Well, easy peasy-not really. But Maria on the Tim Ferriss Show shared writing tips that every blogger can inculcate into their content, regardless of your inexperience or experience.
Why should you listen to Maria?
Aside the fact that she is an excellent writer, she is the founder and editor of brainpicking.org which she refers to as a labour of love. She’s also a curator of interestingness and meaning. Her website, which started as a weekly mail has grown into a space of 1.2 million viewership in a month. Maria carved a niche for herself in finding meaning through time and has mastered the art of crisscrossing – linking the relevant things to take note of across a wide range of topics.
So how do you write what you want others to read?
1. Write for Yourself: The only way to be interesting is to be interested. Maria advises to write what you will be pleased to read and passionate about. As paradoxically as this sounds, she explained that while you think you have a particular audience you write for, what really keeps you going is the passion for that subject. The minute you start to write for an audience, you’ve lost the long game. When the audience loses interest from a particular trend, you find yourself dancing to the tune of another trend. Write what is true to you, if you want to create something that is meaningful and fulfilling.
2. Listen to Sontag: She says to love words, agonize over sentences and pay attention to the world. Meaning comes from deep reflections and a lot of times, what we peruse over is a by-product of attention to the things going on around you.
3. Ask this for every writing to put out: Is it interesting enough to leave the reader with something – a thought, an idea, a question – after the immediate fulfillment of the self-contained reading or viewing experience? Is it evergreen in a way that makes it just as interesting in a month or a year? Am I able to provide enough additional context – historical background, related past articles, complementary reading or viewing material – or build a pattern around it to make it worthwhile for the reader?
See? I told you it was that easy, no bend-your-back breaking rules or technical overload. Lastly, creating something with meaning would, of course, mean you pay attention to your writing; words. What’s a good idea if it drowns neck deep in a sea of grammatical errors?