There’s not much difference between writing a letter and writing an article.
It’s just something I’ve noticed. So when I’m not confident about writing an article, I just pretend I’m telling it to a friend. That way, I don’t have a voice at the back of my head saying “watch out, this is an article” or “maybe you should write that bit in a slightly different way” or “will your readers really get that?”
Instead, I can just focus on putting down what I have to say, in a way that at least one person will understand. And usually, it works out where that person is much more than one.
When I’m writing a letter, I don’t have to go back and correct sentences like the previous one to make them sound right. I know the person will get what I’m saying. And if I’m doing an article, I can always come back and edit that bit, if needed. Depends on what kind of article it is.
How do you normally write articles? Because I used to usually keep a particular person in mind, and write the article for that person. I mean, not in letter style, but just sort of write to that person through the article.
Anyway, I’m asking because of late I seem to have stopped doing that. I’ve been spending too much time researching and planning and plotting and editing and re-editing and trying to get that particular sentence right. I think, when I’m writing an article, I’ve been spending too much effort on the ‘article’ and too little on the ‘writing’. Do you get that same problem?
I’ve also noticed that when I write an article in the letter way (I mean to a particular person and without thinking too much about it; not literally like a letter) then I don’t think it’s turning out that great. But when I look back at those articles after a gap, they often turn out to be my favourites.
Which is great, because those articles are also the easiest and quickest to write. I can just sit down and finish them in one shot, no edits required. (Of course, they’ll probably improve even more if I edit them a bit).
The only problem is that I don’t always manage it that way while writing, and instead get stuck doing it in the other, overthinking, way.
Sometimes it’s because I want to do all the research and get all the details correct. That’s partly why I’m writing this to you now: to take a break and get back the feel of writing without (over)thinking. I’m not taking too much effort to edit this piece or get the grammar right, because I know you’ll get what I’m saying. The strange thing is that I don’t even have a particular person in mind while writing this piece — even though it’s certainly more of a letter than what I normally write.
To get back to information-gathering, I actually shouldn’t be worrying so much about it. If I leave out facts, they often become great material for another article.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention. Most of my articles are info-pieces. You’ve probably guessed that by now. I do write other kinds of articles too, but that’s what most of them have been, at least at the moment.
Okay, I should probably stop now. I’ve been going on for quite long already, and have some other articles pending. Maybe I’ll write more later. Reply soon!