It’s never too late for an epiphany on your writing career.
As you probably know, I blog a lot, often on web stuff and travel, and occasionally on other things. In the course of the past year, I’ve come to realize something about myself – being too much of a specialist can severely limit my creativity!
As nice as it is to have regular writing gigs, the fact is that when you are writing about a narrow niche or within a limited spectrum of client-set parameters, there are times when it’s difficult to come up with new ideas. Sometimes the posts you write can seem a bit samey – and if they seem that way to you, the writer, what about your readers? Sometimes when you write for clients you are following their passion, not your own, and it takes a skilled ghost blogger to consistently deliver the excitement that all the best blog posts generate.
Even when you have a gig writing about topics you like, there are days and weeks when inspiration doesn’t strike in the way you’d like. As an established writer, you may already have a format you follow that gets the writing job done efficiently and effectively. I don’t know about you, but occasionally I’ve rewritten a post because although it was factually correct, it seemed a little bit soulless, devoid of personality. As a professional writer, I can’t publish stuff like that.
So now to the epiphany …
I’ve just had a great email exchange with the new editor of a blog I’ll be writing for. I said to her that I wanted a roving brief because I have a wide range of interests related to the topic. She thought that was perfect – and I got really excited about the gig. I realised that not being tied to a single sub-niche had unleashed my creativity. In the course of writing a short email (say ten minutes or so), I came up with several ideas that I’ll develop into posts. And because I have license to write about stuff outside the web-tech-travel niches, I’ll be able to come up with more great ideas that don’t necessarily fit within a box. It’s extremely liberating!
Of course, this does not mean that I’m going to give up writing in my niches. After all, I started writing on those topics because I enjoyed them. However, I am hoping that the creativity unleashed by my roving brief on one site will spill over to ideas for other sites, giving all my posts an extra shot of juice!
P.S. Another way to keep creativity flowing is to guest blog.
Disagree with me? Check out my follow up post on the value of being a specialist writer.