By Terreece M. Clarke
…Then I’m likely bored reading it.
It’s true. Writing articles or blogs can become so by-the-formula that you can mentally check out and still deliver, on the surface, a quality article.
A “surface quality article” has all of the makings of a great article – structure, sources, insight, clean copy, but lacks oomph or the passion of the writer behind it. There is a difference between mom’s brownies made with love – whether from box or scratch – and the mass produced, machine-handled bricks that pop out the vending machine. You can serve them both up on a plate, but it feels different.
A bored writer often comes from boredom with the subject or approach. Figure out which one applies to you and work on bringing the vigor back. If it’s the subject that puts you to sleep, new sources, new angles, unusual audiences may help stimulate your mind.
How are you approaching your work? Downtrodden with a heavy heart, all business or with enthusiasm to bring out the best the subject has to offer for your audience? Often it’s the mood you’re bringing to the table that will determine if your article has that extra sparkle.
Step out of your comfort zone or regimented routine and try something different. Inject humor into the article – where appropriate. Write the article from a completely different perspective. But do something, because if you’re boring I won’t read it and your audience won’t either.
So very true! Readers can spot boredom miles away. Certainly, writing something you enjoy makes the act of writing so much easier too.
OMG – try writing grant proposals for BOR-ing. It seems that reviewers prefer to read words like “utilize” versus “use,” “engage” instead of “enjoy,” and “will involve the creation of” instead of “will create.”
But… the $ is quite decent!
Terreece Clarke says
I can see how that would be boring. It reminds me of when I used to do technical writing for an insurance licensing class developing their coursebooks from state and federal insurance laws. I would literally fall asleep at times. I turned it into a game giving myself chocolate or other fun stuff for completing a set amount of work…
Abby Heugel says
I agree totally and am actually in this position right now–burned out. The thing is, I can’t really do anything that “different” because although I have a monthly magazine, I have to stick to the basic premise and format. I’m trying to approach things with a new angle, but when you have to cover the same stuff a few times a year, it gets old!
Laura Spencer says
Sometimes I think that I overwrite to avoid this very problem (especially when I read on forums and other blogs about writers who can polish off articles much more quickly).
Your article highlights the ultimate end customer of our writing: the reader. I agree that it is important to keep the reader in mind.
What type of pub do you have. I might be able to offer some suggestions. Feel free to contact me @ [email protected]
I think writing an article should always come out from the writer’s heart. I always find writer should write something that will motivate or inspire others life. Life might not be beautiful or exciting everyday. But the magical imagination of a writer can draw others into a world of fantasy which do not exist in this world anymore.
David Dittell says
Very true; thanks for the warning!
Part of what gets people interested in any story (and everything written is, to some degree, a story) is the passion in the telling. If you can’t build up that interest inside yourself, it’s disingenuous to expect it from your audience.
Find what excited you before, or a new way of looking at what you normally do. The novelty has worn off somewhere, and you have to find a way to return the sense of surprise and newness you once had.
I agree with Abby and Angsana. I’m at this point right now. The problem is that it’s my only gig (I did have another one, but lost it a few months ago).
I’m getting bored with the material..plus the direction of the website has changed. I’m doing my best to be flexible with my writing style. I’m told that I need to use more contractions and that it would help to remember that people “speak” differently today. Unfortunately, I have not “dumbed myself down” to others levels. I do have high standards. I don’t know.
What do you think? I would appreciate feedback — email me at