Today, I’d like to try out a new thing.
I love writing and talking about writing – but not so much writing about writing. (If you can believe it!) But I still find it a fascinating subject so I’m going to be doing something a little different with this (hopefully) series.
I’m going to literally be talking about writing – as in, I made a video talking about writing.
However, I realize that many people HATE watching videos (even ones with convenient closed captions), so I have transcribed the talk and cleaned it up a bit.
I also resisted the urge to “perfect” the piece and make it a million words long.
So, please keep in mind that these blurbs about writing are meant to be quick and dirty and not exhaustive. (Because if it becomes that, I will be plagued with Impostor Syndrome and get too intimidated at the prospect and this project will die on the vine.)
CAN THERE BE A LONGER PREAMBLE? (I suppose there could, and I could be just the person to provide it.)
If you prefer to read the contents, just scroll down a few inches.
Today’s tip is inspired by a conversation I had with someone at the Watermark Conferenc during lunch and the question is: How do you start writing? How do you write something?
The first thing I would say is that one of the most important things you need to know is: who is your audience.
Who are you writing for?
Before you write anything, you need to think about who you are writing this for.
For myself on this blog, Mandarin Mama, I write for three people:
- Who I was/who I used to be
- Who I am now
- Who I hope to be/who I will become.
So that is who I am writing to and that encompasses a lot of things. It’s very easy in the sense that I can write basically as myself because I’m writing to myself.
If you happen to overlap with that, great! If not, you know, it’s not for you.
All my pieces, whether it’s about teaching kids Chinese, homeschooling, BTS, or writing – whatever I write about – it is to one of three people: who I was, who I am, and who I will be.
So, who are you writing to?
Are you writing a corporate blog? If you are writing a corporate blog, who is reading this blog?
Are you writing to prospective clients, partners, or people in the industry? Are you writing as a thought leader? Are you writing to the average person who has no idea what you do and why that is meaningful?
Depending on your audience, you will approach things differently.
Let’s say your blog is a corporate blog. It’s about widgets and your goal is aimed towards people who know nothing about widgets. You’re going write that differently than if you are an industry thought leader and teaching people who already have some background about widgets, right?
So, who is your audience? Write to that audience.
For example, today, I was live tweeting from the Watermark Conference and so this was a different audience than my normal blog. I had to think about who am I tweeting for.
In my mind, I thought of 3 people again.
First, the general conference goers – so that’s kinda like me, right?
I went to this conference because I wanted to learn stuff and so do people who go to this conference. What are they looking for if I’m live tweeting a session? What do you want to know if you’re reading tweets in a session that you have not attended?
Second, the Watermark Conference staff: what would they want to see from these live tweets?
And then third, the speakers of the sessions I’m live tweeting. What would they like to to see?
These are the three main people in this audience and you can choose to only cater to one. You can choose to cater to two, or you can choose whatever you want.
I chose to cater to these three.
What do conference goers want that overlaps with what the Watermark Conference itself wants, which also overlaps with what the speaker wants?
Ultimately, it’s to highlight the information that the speakers give, right? That’s the main overlap between all three groups. What is the Speaker trying to convey or teach? What are the main thoughts that that are the main points of this thing? So that’s what I chose to live tweet and write.
Also, depending on your medium, you need to know how many words it requires. It’s actually harder to use fewer words because being concise is difficult for me (and also, a talent). It’s a lot easier, I guess, to use more words because you don’t have to think as hard about it.
Anyway, my point is again, consider your audience. And so that’s it!
It’s my 5 Minute Writing Tip for the day/week/whatever and if I like this, I’ll keep going. Let me know if there are other questions or topics you’d like to address!
Thank you for reading.