Writing can be hard, but because we still have to pass across messages in written text, we still do it. We write. We write reports, applications, letters, assignments, social media posts, you name it. Since writing is something that each of one does frequently in varying degrees, it still remains a skill that most ideally possess. One does not have to be a professional writer to master the art of writing, but one has to be willing to learn and improve. To help you get started with whatever you are writing, we have compiled five questions that will guide your writing and make the task not-so-gut-wrenching.
1. Why am I writing?
Before you get started with any writing, determine your objective and goal. Many writers will tell you that they do not need reason to write, they just write. However, for most, writing will be to achieve a specific objective or requirement. Ask yourself why you are writing. It could be because you are finishing a work task, class assignment or an application. This might be the simplest and mundane question, but it will give you a clear picture of the end goal and what you want to achieve, making it easier to write while achieving that clear goal in the process.
2. What am I writing?
Establishing what you are writing is something already at the back of your mind before you even start. One of the things that will guide you is knowing what you are writing. Is it a report? Script? Article? Poem? Cover letter? However, it does not end there. Once you establish what you are writing, you will know how to write it and the format you will use. This question will help address the structure of your writing. An article is usually written in prose with paragraphs but a script has a totally different structure. Therefore, get to learn the format and structure before you get to writing, as this will help you form you words in a concise and correct manner.
3. Who am I Writing for?
One of the major things to consider is your audience, who you are writing for. You may not know the exact people, but you can have a clue of what they are like; their age bracket, their perceptions and expectations. For instance, how you will write a children’s book will be different to how you will write an application letter or a report to be read by your boss. Knowing your audience will help you determine the tone to use- is it formal, informal? and the choice of words and the kind of information to put- are they well versed? Do I need to explain? It will also help you address your readers’ needs or requirements.
4. Why Should they care?
Related to your audience, you have to constantly ask yourself why people should care. Is there new information they will gain? Will they be entertained? Is it a current issue? Is it offering a new perspective? Is it a call to action? This all boils down to your objective in the first place and what you want to achieve. All the same, ensure that your writing stands out with perfect clarity. Also make sure that you care about the subject you are writing about before you make other people care about it.
5. What platform am I using?
Like the audience, this will help you determine the tone and especially the length. The number of words in blog post will differ to a social media post. In most cases, the platform you are using will pre-set the requirements. For instance, a blog article is typically 500 words while social media posts support fewer words. Knowing what platform, you are using will help you adjust your writing accordingly. The platform also determines who will most likely get to access your information.