When people discover I’m a writer, the first question is the obvious one. “What do you write about?” Since I write for a wide array of clients, I usually roll out a short list of topics I’ve written about recently. That’s when the second most commonly-asked question pops up. It’s this:
“How on earth do you manage to write about [insert topic here]?”
It could be plumbing, currencies, conservatories, online gaming, home business… the question is always the same. In truth, it’s one thing to write about these topics, or any others you can think of. It’s another altogether to write about them and make the content engaging and hopefully interesting to read.
Curious by nature (if not by name)
I’ll admit – I’m a curious person. As a kid, I always had my nose stuck in a book. I’m 45 now, so when I was young, the internet had yet to be born. Libraries were a big thing then, far bigger than they are now, and they were a major part of my life. I remember numerous occasions when my dad said he was just going to pop to the library. Every time, I’d beg to go with him. He let me wander around in the children’s section, looking for a book to read, while he searched for some seafaring thrillers. I was fascinated by those books – rows and rows of them. I’d look through as many as I could, even though I always checked out the same book every time. (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in case you’re wondering. My other half surprised me with my very own copy last Christmas. It now has pride of place on my bookshelf.)
That shows you how young I was, but my love of reading and diving into books never left me. I devoured fiction of all kinds, graduating to adult books when I was old enough. Stephen King became a firm favourite and still is today.
At some point, I graduated to reading non-fiction as well. I have no idea how that started, but I loved it just as much. I may have swapped from ‘real’ books to Kindle versions, but it’s not unusual to find me with one novel on the go alongside at least one non-fiction book.
If I want to know about something, I’ll read about it. Maybe that’s why I love writing non-fiction content. I do write fiction, but only for me, not for clients. Non-fiction work – articles, blog posts, even books – allows me to learn about all kinds of topics. I won’t accept every job I’m offered – medical stuff is a no-no, as is anything too technical. But I will consider almost everything else. If I read a client’s email and I find I am curious to know more, I know that’s a job I want to take.
Available for quiz teams everywhere
Well, maybe not everywhere, but I am a great source of ‘did you know?’ information. It’s not uncommon for someone to ask me ‘where on earth did you learn that?’ And of course, the answer is usually something to do with writing something for someone.
That’s one of the reasons why I love what I do. Some writers do it as a job, a way to earn some money. Some do it because they cannot imagine doing anything else. I fall into the second group. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I couldn’t write. That curiosity, coupled with enthusiasm, helps a lot whenever I write something – no matter the topic. If I am curious and enthusiastic about sharing what I have discovered, hopefully it will come across in the article I’m writing. It forges a connection with the reader, who may also be new to that topic.
And if I can manage to do that, I’ve got their attention. That makes it easier to lead them through to the end of the article, to the next blog post, or to whatever my client wants to promote or sell. If that sounds like the kind of content you’d like for your website, get in touch now. I’d be delighted to hear from you.