I just finished learning some hard truths about how I write. If you’re wondering how to make your content more engaging, I hope this helps.
All I can say I am going to be making some changes.
If you’re a beginner blogger without at least 7 (preferably 15 or more posts) you might have to wait until you have a bit more content before you try this.
The exercise itself is simple and, in the interest of being honest and open, you can use my results as a template. DO NOT let the results discourage you. Writing is about improving by doing.
Something I’ve been finding myself saying to myself a lot lately is: “You have to be willing to create crap, if you want to create wonders”.
Why a time limit? Purely to prevent overthinking. With that being said, let’s start!
Time limit: 30 Minutes
- List out your last 7 to 15 of our articles.
- Read each articles
- Summarize the articles tone and content using just four words.
*I think it is important to look at the content as well when developing your voice, because authority adds gravitas and confidence.
[Day 0]: “Everything here feels like it should’ve been gotten rid of yesterday.”
- Personal, revealing, empathy, determined
[Day 1]: “Optimism and Positivity Can be F***ing Toxic”
- Provocative, Self centered, self congratulatory, arrogant
[Day 2]: “Tired, anxious but not really ashamed. “
- Mopey, Self centered, self depreciating, lame
[Day 3]: [First Poem]: “A Wealth Of Time”
- Creative, relatable, reflective
[Day 4]: [ART]: “The Bridge We Share”
- Romantic, creative, personal
[Day 5]: [Step-by-Step]: What do you Do About a Change That You Desire but Can’t Commit to?
- Unhelpful, hard to read, not personal , self-promoting
[Day 6]: [Photography]: “Fire Breather”
- Eye catching, cool, exciting, fire
[Day 7]: [Reflection]: Simplify Simplify
- Catchy, humble, honest, simple
[Day 8]: [Reflection]: So Dumb That It Makes Me Smile
- Honest, personal, interesting, optimistic
[Day 9]: [Weird Fitness]: Training Like My Protagonist
- Weird, awkward, focused, crazy
[Day 10]: (Reflection) We Do What We Want We Don’t Do What We Should
- Facebook, personal, happy, friends
[Day 11]: First Chapter completed
- Interesting, celebratory, accomplishment, personal
[Day 12]: [Photography | Story]: Sweat, Wristbands, and Breakfast with A Girl
- Random, convoluted, busy, unrelatable
[Day 13]: Cinematic Graphics for Self-publishing Authors
- Helpful, interesting, creative, relevant
[Day 14]: [Reflection] Just Plain Tired
- Honest, relatable, bummer
[Day 15]: [Reflection] You should love words, but do so carefully.
- Confusing, honest, incomplete
The specifics of the reflection for this exercise will be posted later as part of the final results and findings for my “Journaling for 30 Days” challenge. Here’s a preview, when I compared it to the engagement rates for each posts on the day they were posted I found something rather interesting.
I pledged when I did this challenge that it wouldn’t be to just get followers, that the goal is to connect with, help, and learn from other creatives. So far I have been very with my journey, and these posts have kept me humbled and focused.
This exercise was a reminder that it isn’t just about working harder, but also to work purposefully. Someone once said, “It takes 10000 hours of practice to master something.” Well, why isn’t the streets overflowing with NASCAR drivers?
It takes more than practice to improve–it takes being honest about your efforts, learning and then improving. I learned today that my love of people, conversation, and ideas will take time to translate into good writing. It has showed me that I am capable of improving.
Which is why, I thought it was important that I share it. How we talk to others shapes so much of how our daily life. If you, like me, have chosen to be a writer than you have made a commitment to communicate for a living.
And communications also involves listening, and respecting how people want to be spoken to and what they are interested in discussing. Which is why from now on I will be making a greater effort to write as if I am speaking to someone.
I’m not sure that’s the right answer for me or for everyone else, but I do know that things are often made harder simply because we don’t try.
If you found this helpful, or just have some thoughts on the matter please comment in the section below.