Monday, 17 March 2014

Making Working Enjoyable

Just occasionally I get a commission that I love. For a while I was asked to write about an aspect of the countryside for which people would need weather-proof clothes or particular equipment. Of course it was for a company that sold country style clothing and waders for fishing and suchlike. But I had carte blanche on the ideas and I loved doing the research and writing it up. Among other things, I remember writing about ancient clapper bridges and a particular show jumping arena I had been to. I was heaped with praise for raising the interest level of their blog, but of course the job didn't last very long. I suspect they got the idea and thought they could do it themselves for less dosh.


This clapper bridge pic by Brett Sutherland was taken at a place called Postbridge on Dartmoor in Devon near where I was brought up.

Most of my work is to write about something that's already been done to death, and the client wants an original slant. People often ask me how I get started on something like this. My technique is to use mind mapping. I'll put a working title in the centre of a piece of A4 scrap, and as I do my online research, I jot down notes around it, trying to paraphrase where possible. Usually I get an idea for a somewhat different angle, so I can get started with a couple of sentences. After that I normally find it easy to get the flow going, and I cross out the notes that have been useful as I write. I don't stop until everything has been crossed through. Once I've got the required word count, I'll then round it off with a conclusion and I'm done with that for the day.  I like to sleep on it before reviewing and proof reading if the deadline allows.

Some pieces are more difficult than others, though. When I'm trying to write something and I can't think where to go next - I get writers' block, if you like - I click on the spider solitaire icon. After losing a few games, I've usually refreshed my mind enough to get an idea on how to continue my article. What do you do to defeat that writers' block?

2 comments:

Sharkbytes said...

That new slant on an old topic is always hard. How many new ideas do "they" think there are?

Jean Knill said...

Somehow, we get there!

Writing Tip



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