Having a Brit as one of the top four tennis players of his time, has not necessarily enhanced my enjoyment of tennis. Or at least my enjoyment of tennis tournaments. I used to watch match after Wimbledon match, tuning into the BBC to enjoy whoever happened to be playing, with no expectation of anything other than some good tennis. Even in Tim Henman’s day I could enjoy the majority of matches without the added anxiety of ‘what it means for my chap’. Because of course now, I’m watching every match with an eye on Andy. I have an added reason for watching that goes beyond pure enjoyment: I have an end objective.
Like you have with your blog posts, if you’ve ever listened to me. To my mind the best blog posts start with an end objective and meet it as efficiently as possible, while crafting a story around it. But many of my clients complain they can’t do that. They enjoy writing so much, that writing to one end objective isn’t much fun. Their preference is for writing long, wordy articles and meandering to their eventual conclusion via several, well thought out, tangents. Well, guess what? Me too! I love writing for the sake of writing: I enjoy putting pen to paper and just writing whatever comes to mind. It’s how I do some of my best thinking, and writing ‘morning pages’ got me through a particularly difficult time.
The problem these clients have, is that when it comes to blogging ‘my way’, they don’t enjoy it, so they don’t do it. Writing to an objective means they aren’t blogging at all, which in turn means they’re missing out on all the good stuff that blogging brings. And these are people who love to write! Disaster! So if you’re reading this and thinking it sounds like you, I have good news. You can write your blog posts using your favourite way of writing. As long as you accept that if you want anyone to read them, you’re probably going to need to spend as much time editing them as you did writing them. Because on the whole, the only long, wordy, meandering writing that people like to read, is in a book that they’re reading for their enjoyment or entertainment. When it comes to blog posts on the other hand, your customers and prospective customers are looking for information they can take on relatively easily and in a relatively short period of time.
So how do you deal with that epistle that you’ve laid down? Well with a bit of work, it’ll give you more than the one blog post you were originally writing. The first thing to do is to work out what the main points are, and separate those paragraphs into distinct sections. It might be that you started off with three key points and meandered off into a further two substantial tangents. You can separate those out, and see if you have enough to make five blog posts. A little bit of reworking of the material you have for each key point, with an introduction and, if necessary, a summing up, will mean that you’ve been able to make the most out of writing the way you most enjoy.
As for me, I’ve decided to enjoy the edge that Andy brings to my enjoyment of the tennis. I realise I enjoy watching each match with more of a critical eye and wondering if Andy’s game can match these particular players. And I definitely enjoy watching Andy’s matches, where I have much more invested emotionally than I used to have! And it’s the same with blogging. I enjoy the challenge of writing to a particular objective: it’s a different medium and one that I’ve found through doing it, that I love.