June 15, 2020

The secret to being a damn good writer

Embark on the path to becoming a skilful writer with 3 writing fundamentals.

The secret to being a damn good writer

The Circles.Life blog may have launched just 2 weeks ago but I've already written 8 articles on the site. The truth is, I've been a writer for much longer. My earliest memories of the art were actually the times I spent in primary school tuition honing my "creative writing" skills.

12 year old me wrote a story about He-Man once, it was EPIC - Source

Fast forward some 10 years and I've written something in almost every literary format conceivable. I'm talking poems, interviews and more than enough academic papers to last a lifetime (you can read one of my proudest commentaries on the state of Singapore here).

I'm definitely no J. R. R. Tolkien but my experiences through the decades I spent typing/writing have taught me some simple truths about creating great content.

Start down the path to become a fantastic writer yourself by following these cardinal rules:

Take it from Deadpool, writing is all about expressing yourself. Source

Find your Voice

You're one of a kind. You're special, there's no one else who can do {insert your name here} like you do. So let your writing reflect that.

Find a distinct voice in your writing that's shaped by your own experiences and personality! For me, I'm a bit of a Meme Lord so you can see it shine through in my flagrant use of gifs and pop culture in all my blog posts. Just go ahead and put all your feelings into it; sadness, joy, rage, it doesn't matter because whatever you put out is an intimate reflection of who you are and no one can take that away from you.

Even if you think your life is boring and you have the personality of a bag of flour (I certainly doubt that). The best part about writing is that you can write yourself into a new narrative and verbalize your thoughts through a character you like.

How we see all Circles.Life customers - Treat y'all like the Queens you are πŸ’•. Source

At Circles.Life, our tone of messaging follows that exact formula where we ply the Deadpool persona wherever possible. We're the brand that f***'s shit up for the better, disrupting the stuffy norm by bringing a storm of chaotic good to the Telco industry. There's also nuances to that messaging and you'll figure out how to layer your voice/character the more you practice.

Only 10/10 quality content on this blog yo. Source

Zoom in on that Content

Now that you've settled on how your writing is gonna sound, you can wrap your head around content. This is ultimately very subjective because depending on what genre or format you're writing for, the focus is going to be very different. For instance, my blog articles are intentionally click-baity for SEO so you probably don't want to entitle your academic paper "Capitalism sucks and 4 other reasons the world is f***ed".

Regardless, here are 2 generic guidelines that are great to follow:

Know your Audience

If you're writing entertainment pieces like we are and want the views, you're gonna need to find out what other people are interested in. Looking at our blog stats, I know you guys wanna know more about upcoming tech and what's good on Netflix.

You can then decide to structure your content through tried and true formulas like my all-time favorite listicles or try a different angle. There's room for experimentation here so just test and see what works best.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you can never do too much research. Source

Research. Research. RESEARCH

It goes without saying but there's a world of content and information out there so why not leverage it to make your work better. I actually learn a lot doing research on articles like 5G cause it's cutting edge stuff man.

As a content creator, it's your responsibility to take important, interesting information and repackage it for the rest of the internet. No one has the patience to sift through an 89 page dissertation on the future of the internet so take the juicy bits and feed it to them. Remember even if it's something boring, you can use that voice of yours to make it entertaining af.

Here's to you old sport - Write what you want and forget the haters. Source

Just have Fun with it

At the end of the day, writing shouldn't be a chore. Apart from mandatory school assignments, pick up a pen and paper or start typing on that keyboard only if it genuinely brings you joy. Trust me, you'll run out of steam otherwise 😩

Besides, there's many ways to rate a piece of writing. How many views it gets, is it free of grammatical errors or it's overall coherence. Strip away these technicalities of writing and the best writers are the ones who write for themselves.

And that's not selfish at all because as one of my favourite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, puts it: β€œThat is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

Remember that this blog is your space too! Share your stories with us at blog@circles.asia cause they certainly belong here.