It was a chaotic month—a lot of detail work here, quick tasks there. The small but mounting assignments made for plenty of time-juggling, multi-tasking and inch-by-inching to accomplish everything on my scattered schedule.
Then I looked at my writing. Like my task management for the month, my writing seemed to jump around a bit more than usual. It was antsy, trying to communicate several messages to several audiences all at once.
My writing was multi-tasking like a master.
It wasn’t until I came across this article in Copyblogger that I realized what the problem was. The article talks about how to write more effective landing pages by taking on a fiction writer’s frame of mind. It seemed I needed to
S l o w d o w n a n d s p e l l i t o u t .
Fiction writers typically don’t throw all the plots and subplots at the reader on Page 1. They take their time to develop a solid story, engage their audience and reveal information as it becomes relevant. It’s good advice for landing page writing, as the article points out, but it’s also useful for any type of content task you’re approaching.
I started paying attention to the pacing of my writing and found that whether posting to a blog, developing content for a website, or writing up a news release, taking time to tell a story makes all the difference.
Don’t be afraid your readers will miss something if you don’t cover every single point in the first paragraph. It will only make for hard-to-digest content and bombarded readers. Instead, focus on telling your audience a story through your writing—one that remains centered on a main point and adds details to enhance that point as needed.
And if you’re thinking,
But online writing is different!
Then remember that the way we process what we read is not. Readers still expect organization; structure; and a beginning, middle and end in what they read online. Taking the multi-tasking approach to writing isn’t going to deliver this. But taking your time to clearly develop your points and present them in a logical order will.
How has the storytelling approach to writing worked for you in the past?
Image provided by Speculum Mundi on Flickr.