Anyone who writes regularly will be familiar with the fear factor an expectation to repeatedly produce remarkable content can bring. In a previous post, I wrote about 22 GIFs demonstrating the trials and tribulations content writers face, which I am sure you can relate to.
In my quest for inspiration and advice on how to improve my writing, I came across the article below offering five top writing tips by Paula Hawkins.
Paula Hawkins’s psychological thriller The Girl on the Train is a literary sensation: it has sold over 20 million copies, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, and has been made into a film starring Emily Blunt.
While these tips are for book authors, they are also relevant for content writers too.
- Be ambitious - In the crowded online space, your content needs to be ambitious and remarkable to get noticed.
- Write the best book you can. Tell the story you want to tell - If you try to be something you are not, or write in a way that isn't your style, the disconnect is obvious; especially on a blog, where your posts are typically laid out in one feed.
- Avoid distractions: you need to get off Twitter - I would widen this to social in general. Procrastination is not your friend, and if you are struggling to get your teeth into your latest blog post, it is all too tempting to get side tracked by your Facebook feed.
- When feeling disillusioned, re-read the books that make you want to be a better writer - My defaults if I lack inspiration are: HubSpot, Marcus Sheridan, Square 2 Marketing and inbound.org. I can always find an article or some great tips which offer me inspiration and motivation.
- Luxuriate in the writing. It’s the best part of the job - it took me a while to come to terms with Emily's final tip. Getting to spend the day writing feels too indulgent to be work; having come from a background where writing was my hobby, so I guess it is a luxury to get paid to write.
I am very much looking forward to seeing how Paula has put these five writing tips to practice in her latest novel Into the Water.
"There are times when I love writing. There are times when it flows and goes well and it’s a wonderful thing. What happens when you have a degree of success the way I have – I have to spend all my time talking to journalists, I miss being alone writing at my desk, so I think enjoy the writing while it lasts."