Thursday, May 24, 2007

Article Writing - Write From Your Experience

There is an old standard out in the writing world: "Write what you know".

This is a very good guide, and should provide a vast array of subject matter. However, it may appear limiting to some people, for two reasons. A person may consider their experiences narrow or uninteresting, and thus find it difficult to draw out an appealing article idea. The second reason is when a person feels they've exhausted all topics with which they are familiar. In truth, writing what you know is the best place to start, and essential if one is to present an accurate and informative article.

Every person holds countless life experiences. No matter how unexciting we believe our life to be, each experience is unique and of interest to someone else. A single, everyday event can be developed into a multitude of articles, each slanted toward a different audience.

Let's take a simple, outwardly mundane example, such as re-painting the exterior of a house. Just a handful of possible ideas include: Painting on a budget, How to extend the life of a paint brush, Choosing colours, Hiring professional painters, Spray versus brush – what is best? Ideas are numerous. Brain storming potential titles will often generate many more article ideas than one would wish to write, and that is good news for any freelance writer. To increase the idea pool even further, thinking about the various reader groups to which a subject may relate also helps. It is possible to write individual articles on the same subject, angled differently for each market.

Certainly, a writer should write about the things they know, but possibilities vary far beyond the information and skills currently held. Exhausting all avenues in your personal experience does not equate to the end of marketable ideas. When it comes to writing about something you do not have knowledge of – then go get it. Driving a race car may be far from the world of a single, mother-of-two, but it does not have to remain so.

Gaining the new experience necessary to liven up your knowledge base might be as easy as researching the topic at the local library. It can also be as exciting and rewarding as participating in a new activity. This might be just the right day to seek out the local photography interest group or take Salsa dance classes.

Writers sometimes limit their opportunities for income by keeping a too-narrow focus. There is a world abounding with possibilities that will not only expand your idea bank, but also enrich your life in the process. When the inspiration pit dries up, perhaps it is time to try a fresh experience and create a new focus.

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