Join Tom Geller for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing the article, part of Writing Articles.
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The thing that many people find hard about writing is something called blank-page syndrome. That's where you sit down to write but then get intimidated by the enormity of the task before you. But if you've been following this course from the beginning, you probably have a pretty good idea by now of what your article will look like. You might have even written some of it while doing research. But you do have to actually finish writing the thing. Here are a few tips to help you get the words out as strongly as possible. The introduction, and the lead sentence in particular, is by far the most important part of the article.
It's where readers decide whether to invest time reading the whole thing. It has to encapsulate the article's entire message and yet be concise and engaging. Now that's a tall order, and often you won't really know what you go into that sentence until you're done writing the rest of the thing. So my advice is to just give it your best shot and then keep writing. Don't let the introduction stand between you and the task at hand. Then it's just a matter of writing more. Even for the easiest stories though, give yourself more time to write than you think you'll need. Very often I'll be in the middle of a paragraph and will think of just one additional fact that would make the whole thing more real, so I have to stop writing and find it. And that all takes time.
But you won't know your own work patterns until you've published a few articles. Until you get that experience, the important thing is to get that first draft done. Then at the end give extra attention to the conclusion. Like the introduction, readers will remember a conclusion more than all that stuff in the middle, especially if it's strong. Then after everything else is done, go back and revisit that first paragraph to make it even stronger. One common trick is to simply delete that first sentence and then see if it's reads any better.
A lot of writers, including me, need a sentence or two to get into the swing of things, and you really want that first sentence to be as strong as possible. It's funny, this course is about writing articles, but this is the only video with writing in its title. But I'll tell you something: all of these videos are about writing. The typing bit, the bit that most people think of as writing, is really just a small part of it. Doing research, defining a structure, interviewing people, they all pay off when you sit down to actually write the words.
In this course, author Tom Geller explores the process of writing articles and publications for businesses large and small. The course begins with a look at the preparation you'll need to do, best ways to find assignments, and smart strategies for determining your article approach. Next, the course dives into techniques you can use to brainstorm angles, research, interview experts, finish a piece, and build your portfolio.
- Adopting technical tools
- Gathering reference materials
- Defining an article
- Finding assignments
- Determining your approach
- Conducting interviews
- Managing revisions
- Following up