This is a self-reminder post. Part of my purpose in building this site is to improve my writing. Thirty-thousand words later I’m satisfied with my progress. NotesTaken, as a platform, is a grand way to skillful writing.
Deliberately ignoring the rules to build a niche1 site. I let today’s thoughts push my writing. The plan was to write 100 posts and sort out future directions. Refine the focus of NotesTaken or add more focused sites. So far gardening, musings on how the world works, apps and iPads, and wellbeing posts dominate. The aim is also to have a site up and running for at least one year.2
Rethinking The Basics
Questions for myself and ideas to mull over….
Who’s my audience? What combination of instruction, engagement, fantasy, and entertainment are they seeking. ...fun for me to write.
The 4 main purposes for writing is to Inform, Entertain, Persuade, and Convince.
How to sharpen my writing? That is what I’m about when I sit down and write. To inform and to entertain with wordplay. ...persuade and convince? Inform yes. You decide. If you smile, you’ll read to the end of the post.
- Different slant… informative
- And I learn/explore/muse/have me some fun
Sit down… Think. Point my direction. Miss the target? An opportunity… gives me a chance to shift my point of aim.
Keep in mind…
King: It’s what you hear in your head, but it’s never right the first time. So you have to rewrite it and revise it. My rule of thumb is that a short story of 3,000 words should be rewritten down to 2,500. It’s not always true, but mostly it is. You need to take out the stuff that’s just sitting there and doing nothing. No slackers allowed! All meat, no filler!
King: Always ask the student writer, “What do you want to say?” Every sentence that answers that question is part of the essay or story. Every sentence that does not needs to go. I don’t think it’s the words per se, it’s the sentences. I used to give them a choice, sometimes: either write 400 words on “My Mother is Horrible” or “My Mother is Wonderful.” Make every sentence about your choice. That means leaving your dad and your snotty little brother out of it.
- The theory of a niche site is to limit posts to a narrow topic. Build an audience. Then monetize it with ads, products to sell, and provide classes to support readers interests. Not against making money but I wanted the freedom to fumble. ↩
- I had a site, now gone, AndroidEveryday. My audience kept growing after no new posts were added for a year. Shows, unless a going viral occurs, time is on my side. ↩
- I recommend King’s book On Writing ↩