Whether you are a newbie to the freelance industry or a content writer who is trying to improve their own self, we all have a tendency of developing a niche. If you have written on one topic for even a month, chances are you are probably starting to settle on the topic, do it for more than 2 months and that is all your brain will think about. Once this happens it becomes very difficult to start from scratch on a newer topic, so if you had been writing about traveling, the next time you are asked to write an essay for me on space and time, you will panic.
It’s natural, but it does not work very well if you are trying to climb the ladder in the gig economy. In the gig economy, you have to do whatever job you are assigned, and in order to keep improving yourself and your career, you might have a couple of orders that you just have no idea about. For example, you might be a public policy major, who keeps finding themselves in a situation where they have to write about nursing. Now, in this situation, you can panic, and question yourself and wonder – how do I start just writing? Or you can follow these steps to become enough of a pro to write on all the topics that come your way.
Before we get into the steps, these tips are not just for freelance writers, they are also for college students who have to write on a subject completely new to them. There is no shame in asking for help or asking the question – How do you write about anything? So without any further ado, here is what you need to know about writing on any topic that comes your way.
In order to give you a detailed guide of how you can write on any topic, we have divided the entire process into two phases, the research phase, and the actual writing phase. For the research phase, here is what you need to do:
Understand your topic
The very first thing that you need to do when you are confronted with a topic that you have never seen in your life, is that you have to understand the topic in itself. See what the topic means to you when you first saw it and then come back to it after having done some research of your own. When you come back to the topic a second time, you will notice that your understanding of the topic is different from when you first saw it. You can try and better understand the topic by asking your client or agent all about it. Ask any immediate questions you may have and Google the rest.
Okay so now you understand the topic better, it’s time for you to see what the keywords are so that you can easily do some research of your own. Identifying keywords is important because it will make your research phase, a whole lot quicker. You can easily connect concepts or locate theories online if you know the keywords. So using the keywords also shows that you have developed enough understanding to focus on the macros of your general topic.
Read, read, read
No one ever became educated on a topic unless they read something about it. Reading is important because it will teach you all that you need to know, it is important because you will need to write some things that make sense, and you will not be able to do that any other way. Reading is the quickest way of gathering information and learning stuff, so you have to read anything if you want to be able to write about anything.
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Take notes if you can
Taking notes is important because it will help you remember things your own way. When we listen to a lecture or read a book we tend to listen to it and then write down what we understand, this helps us retain information better and allows us to build our own concepts. So if you really want to build your knowledge, make notes and then when it’s time for you write it will be easier to recall. Taking notes is also a great way to remember what you have researched and it makes it easier for you to map out your thoughts and then build an outline of your paper.
Do an interview
Doing an interview is another great way of learning about a new subject. It allows you to interact with someone who is more informed about the topic than you and ask any questions you may have. Doing an interview, formal or informal, will also allow you to think about what you don’t know and how best to overcome this gap in your knowledge. You don’t have to interview an expert, although that would be great, you could also ask a friend who is in the same field as well.
Gather as much information as you can
The ultimate goal in this phase should be to gather as much information as you can to build your basic learning of the topic and then write based on some of those sources. Gathering information will take time, and you might even require more time to understand it, but it will all add up and build your base.
The second phase of your writing is the more challenging one, as now your knowledge and skill will be put to the test. You will need to make sure that you do not get intimidated by the process, and that you are perfectly capable of doing what you do best – write:
The very first thing when you sit down to write is to not panic or shy away from the topic. Remind yourself that you are an apt writer and you can write about anything you want, even when you do not feel like it. When writing is a profession, you have got to take everything in stride. If you panic, you are going to lose your ability to think and write properly, which may affect you if you have a time-sensitive project. So, you should be confident in your ability to do anything and believe that you will do it, to avoid random panic attacks.
Write what you know
Writing down what you know, will help you stay calm and avoid panicking. Make a list of all the concepts you have covered, and how these link together, then keep this piece of paper in front of you at all times. This will remind you of all the things you have covered, and when you are writing it will keep you from digressing into areas you have knowledge of. So, when you set out to write your essay or article on a topic you are not very comfortable in, you should try and make a list of all the things you know about the topic. This will also help you in writing on the same topic in the future and will keep your mind from panicking.
Stick to the basics
There is no need to get all fancy straight from the start, the more complex words you use the more difficult it is going to be for you to try and express yourself. Don’t hide behind big words and complex vocabulary to hide your lack of knowledge. Instead, we recommend that at least the first draft that you write should be fairly simple and easily worded so that you can understand and make sense of it all easily. Stick to the basics of the subject, because you are no expert on it and you do not want to get caught in your own web.
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Keep it simple
While this point is a reiteration of the previous one, it is important to know the emphasis we are putting on this. Even your second draft should be fairly simple, when you share it with your client, they should be able to understand it quickly and see if your concepts are in the right place. Keeping it fairly simple at least in the initial phases of your writing, will help you by giving you a stronger base to build on.
Add some fancy words
Once you are sure of your content and all the concepts you have employed in it, it is now time for you to add some finishing touches to it. At the very final stage of your essay or article, you can add all the fancy words you like. Now you can add complex vocabulary, metaphors, and examples that you like.
Get some help
In the very last stage of your writing, we recommend you get your work proofread by someone who may be an expert or at least a little knowledge of the topic. You can even find online help with proofreading and editing.
So now that you are ready to write on any topic that comes your way, the world is your oyster. We hope these tips help you and allow you to flourish in your career.