Writing your own content
Don’t do it! they say, me included. Yet I ignored my own advice and wrote the content for my own website.
This is the content conundrum. You have the skills and all of the blocks. It would be cheaper to get someone else to do it, but would they do it as well as you? And, I have to say, I feel like it’s worse for writers writing to try express and coax and convince.
It did my head in! I’m not exaggerating. No one in the world would call me a procrastinator, but I really honed my ‘p’ skills when it came to pulling my ideas into stories for the most recent iteration of A Story to Tell.
I got away with it, though, and am proud of the result. Here’s what I learnt:
Expect your first attempts to be poor. In this way, you are not surprised when they are and a little bit excited if they aren’t.
2. Expect effort.
Because it’s easy enough for me to write on behalf of others, I naively thought I’d breezily translate these skills to my own stories. I did in the end. But it was no breeze.
3. Seek support.
After drawing on my Mum and her childhood friend for inspiration I then engaged a writer I admired to, essentially, do what I would do to myself if I could… She carefully prompted, challenged and stretched my thinking, so often coming up with the exact phrase and tone that I needed. Go figure! Thanks Natalie Dowling. Then one of the ASTT crew offered to proofread the site, which I gratefully accepted. Thank you very much Heather Kelly.
At some stage, you just have to publish, whether or not all of the links work and the lines have proper spacing and you’ve written the right practice/practise in the right place.
If you have a flair for writing and know your own business, there really is a place for writing your own content. It develops your understanding of the cause and, of course, yourself.
And, you know what else? It reminded me of how nervous people must be when they come to me with their story to tell.
May your words pour onto the page,
Note: if it really does drive you nuts, get someone else to do it. And brief them well.