Do you find it difficult to write longer-form content?
So you can write 280 characters.
So can a lot of people.
But what happens beyond that?
What happens if you want - or have to - write something longer?
This is where it gets tricky for some.
Writing long blog posts, articles and essays is hard
Here’s the thing:
- Writing long-form content is nearly always a pain in the ass.
While there are a few strange people who really love this kind of writing they tend to be the exception and not the rule.
Writing anything with any length can be physically painful, even if you’re an experienced writer.
Why should I write better long-form content?
Despite this though, more people are writing more than ever.
You know this because you use the interwebs just like I do.
And don’t ignore the flipside.
What do I mean by that?
What I mean is that is this:
- Even more people are reading more than ever.
Perhaps by an order of magnitude.
There is a demand for long-form content online
The amount of new material created daily and available online is staggering.
Sure, it’s true that there is a lot of content based around videos and photos.
Instagram and Youtube are obvious examples.
But if you just isolate Twitter and Email and run the numbers it looks something like this:
- 682 million tweets per day...!
- 293 billion emails per day...!
Is all of that long-form content?
Of course not, but it does reinforce the idea that people are reading more, not less.
What are you going to do about that?
Learning to write is a meta-skill that teaches you how to think
Another reason - a more important reason - that you need to learn how to write better is that learning to write is a great way of learning how to think.
Writing and thinking are meta-skills that will help you in nearly all aspects of your life.
It's learning to write that's the important thing.
The process of writing and thinking clearly is way more important than whatever it is that you have to write about.
You can save time and gain the benefit of my experience
I've had a long time to think about this.
And I think it's worth developing the skill of essay writing in order to develop the associated thinking skills.
I used to be very average at writing.
But when I was a university student, I figured out a system for academic writing that took me from B and C grades to getting A grades consistently...
A+ grades actually.
Trust me... I'm a teacher!
I was so good at it that after I graduated, I got a job teaching academic writing.
I did this at two different universities.
This forced me to make my writing process systematic so I could teach it to others.
It's not complicated and I can teach it to you.
Here are the four key areas I cover.
You need to know:
- The basics including how to get started
- How to understand your topic or question
- How to plan your long-form content
- How to write your long-form content
This is not a book for writing snobs
This is a practical book.
The first version which I self-published before it was easy to create eBooks was called the Pragmatist's Guide & Crash Course Edition.
This version is fully updated and expanded to include writing long-form content for the web.
It's for pragmatists... people who just want to get the job done and usually as quickly as possible.
Will this still work for academic writing?
This is as close as it gets to "paint by numbers" for writing
My method has been criticised.
Not gonna lie.
The reason for that is - that for some people - it feels too much like a "paint-by-numbers" approach.
But perhaps a better metaphor for describing what happens when you learn my method is really more like having a set of trainer wheels for your bike.
Once you get good at riding the hike - or writing, in this case, - you can throw the trainer wheels away.
But you can still ride the damn bike.
What will you learn?
I've distilled the essence of my writing course into less than 100 pages of easy-to-read guidelines, instructions and strategy.
You'll learn about the golden rule of writing for an audience:
- Always give a monkey a banana.
- The McDonalds approach to writing.
- How to "play the game" of academic writing.
Discover the technical skills you need to know and use BEFORE you start writing
And as well as some basic operating principles that all writers use (whether consciously or not), you'll also learn the technical skills you need to know and use BEFORE you can get started on your writing.
This is important and includes how to:
- Understand your topic or question that you can use before you even start brainstorming and planning.
- Overcome writer's block so you can focus on the creative and the editing aspects of your writing process.
- Plan and outline a piece of writing so you have the equivalent of a map for your journey.
- Use brainstorming techniques effectively to generate, categorise, organise and order ideas so they make sense and flow.
- Use freewriting and mind mapping to get the ideas in your head down on paper or in your computer.
- Break down a word limit and allocate targets to the different parts of your outline.
Write in a way that has structure and "flows"
Then once you've done the hard yards here, I can show how to put it all together in a way that makes sense including how to write:
- Introductions that actually connect to the body of your writing.
- Paragraphs and sentences that link to and support each other.
- Topic sentences, controlling ideas and supporting details.
- Conclusions and summaries to tie everything together.
- Effective end statements that bring your writing to a close.
What's more, you'll get my MEGACHARTS of linking words and expressions that you can use to create cohesion and flow in your writing.
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