Writing 101: Original Content

By: Kelly Smith; Photo by: Brooke Dennis for Alt Summit

If you decide to be like so and so, or write like so and so, or post like so and so, it will show. It will not be genuine because it will not be completely you. It will not be original content. So here are my tips to writing a post that you are proud to call your own.

let it percolate.

Start with an idea and let it sit in your mind for a while. I feel like I always get my best writing done while I am running. So go do what you love, and let it percolate.

write it out.

Do not try to be clever. Just sit down and write. Sometimes getting started is the hard part. If you need to, set a timer for ten minutes, then write the entire time.

let it sit.

Then walk away. Get a snack, make a craft, play with your kid. Whatever floats your boat. Let it sit.

re-read and break apart.

Now that you have had a moment away, you can look at what you wrote with fresh eyes. You now have the capability to fix what sounds weird and break it into manageable paragraphs. Do not worry about the rules your high school English teacher told you, just break it up where it feels right. I prefer short paragraphs, but if you like long and elegant then go for it. You are trying to be true to you, so do what feels right to you.

edit, keep it short.

But, you should probably try to keep things short. Blogs are for sampling a taste. Books are for the entire meal. Unless you are magnificent, then by all means, write to your heart's content. But for the rest of us, let us plan on editing out the repeats and making our words as thoughtful as possible. Because taking the time to be clear, concise, and direct will deliver your best voice.

ask questions.

Before you push publish, go ahead and ask yourself a few questions. Mostly, ask yourself if you are really proud of what you wrote. If it sounds true to you, then it will represent a genuine, unique, view.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.