I tend to spend an hour or less writing an article each morning, but is that all there is to it? I might knock them out quite quickly, but there is hours of thought and inspiration first. Even the photography supports the writing, the opening image often helps me find the mood to write. Music can help too.
The first paragraph is always the most difficult, it’s making a start. Today was particularly difficult, because I was planning to write something totally different and so I was thinking about that and focused on that subject. That will be an article that I will write later.
I don’t think too much about the technical aspects of writing for the internet. If I use sub-headings (h2, h3, tags; etc.) it tends to be an afterthought for SEO. Not that it does any good now. Search engines favour sites that are already popular and the sites that are linked to them. I even get requests from popular sites asking me to remove links!
Creativity is often about being honest and searching deep within yourself for something new. There isn’t really anything new, just different ways of presenting the same things. Musical notes are musical notes, but arrange them differently and you have a new tune. It’s very similar with writing.
We create things for other people and so I try always to remember readers and engage readers. Some of my readers this week are local people who I photographed on Sunday. Their photographs will also be in the local newspaper and on a website and so I’m having an influence in my local community. Writers can have a good influence or a bad influence. I hope my influence is positive and I’m promoting local culture and tradition.
I get many comments from around the world on my photographs. Many people think I live in a beautiful place. There are beautiful landscapes to photograph, but there is ugliness too. Some people don’t care about the environment. At the moment I see black tarmac replacing white paving slabs near my home. Local politicians are bragging about it; like it’s a good thing. They like speed humps. They think leisure centres are ‘front line’ services. Beyond the stupidity and greed of politicians there is the common sense of the common people. I see people getting involved in the community and trying to make it better and I applaud and support that.
I didn’t know what to write today, but I managed to write over 400 words once I got past the first paragraph. I hope it was inspired by honesty. Emily Bronte looked out of her window onto the Yorkshire Moors while she was writing Wuthering Heights. I can look out onto an English garden with squirrels chasing each other around the apple trees. I can see sunshine and blue skies; these are the important things.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.