Going From a Blog to Articles

As a writer, do you sometimes/often/always find yourself at a loss as to what to write next? No, I am not talking about topics or subjects you already have nailed down. Rather, the simple desire to get started with something, anything to break the brain logjam. It could be a personal project or something you want to develop to show to a potential client the stuff that you are made of. Whatever, I have been there myself and have found that some of my sources of inspiration have come from blogs. You got it...sites that have sparked my creative juices and allowed me to take a concept and bring it to fruition.

Typically, I come across a blog geared toward a particular topic, let's say aviation, and find something within that blog that catches my attention. It may be a trend, company news, even simple speculation. Oftentimes, what I read becomes the inspiration for a fresh article so I take that idea, do some additional research, and create my own new work.

No, I don't cut and paste someone else's writings. Instead, their pithy work becomes the seed that I germinate to produce a unique and compelling article of my own. The key here is this: it is my own< voice, not someone else's work.

We all have our favorite blogs, you can be certain of that. Spend some time on those particular blogs and see what inspires you. Who knows, but a sentence or a paragraph you read may gel your brain into producing a 500-750 word article that you can include in your vast repository of interesting and relevant work.

Edit or Rewrite: It is Still Work for You!

As a freelance writer, some of my least favorite projects are those where the client wants me to rewrite an existing article. I have since learned that this type of statement, "It'll only involve a little editing," usually really means, "You'll have to rewrite the entire article in order for it to make sense." My advice to you, the freelancer, is try to determine in advance just how much "editing" you will have to do, otherwise be prepared to initiate a time consuming rewrite that won't pay for itself.

My first sizable rewriting job was one I now call, "my blunder from down under." By down under, I certainly don't mean Australia, you have to dig a lot deeper to go to where it is hotter. Get it? A real "devil" of a job!

The job involved "editing" five articles by including new information and cleaning up verbiage and syntax. Or so I thought. As it turned out, each of the five articles lacked clear and concise purpose and failed to produce a tight and sensible conclusion. I saw the "writing on the wall" and decided that the editing job would need to turn into a complete rewrite in order to make any sense of them.

Two full days later my work was done after submitting the drafts to the client, having the client send back additional changes and comments, and resubmitting the final copies back to the client.

After this experience I was mentally exhausted and frustrated, but I learned a valuable lesson: work diligently to uncover what a job entails before agreeing to take on a project and/or leave open the possibility that your price may change [read: will increase] should extra work be involved.

It was a tough lesson learned, but I found out that the "devil" is really in the details when it comes to accepting a rewriting project. Either way it is "work" for you!