By designers I mean my own, isolated perspective. And also, this is only about blog posts and not like poetry or something more advanced or lyrical. So now that I set your expectations with this honest subline, let us begin.
About necessary prerequisites
Before the first written word, I need to have a general idea of what I am going to write about. In a best case scenario, it is something I am passionate about. Then I ask myself a set of questions. Is this topic interesting (for anyone else then myself)? Do I think my perspective is worth sharing? Are there concepts included in my idea that I need to explain, because they are hardly considered generally shared knowledge? Questions answered positively? Nice. That means, I got my topic set.
Next step: structure and keywords. Like in a good story, I try to have a dramatic arch in my blog posts. A catchy title, followed by a question or a bold statement. Then general introductions and necessary explanations. Now it is time to get into the nasty details. And at the end, I think readers are best sent off by another statement of what I think, or something that keeps them thinking about my topic for another few seconds. That’s like a rough blueprint I am trying to follow. And of course, everything is structured by headlines.
And even though I first hated keywords, because they seemed very restricting to my creativity, I now like them. Because they can give you a frame and keep you on track, so you do not get lost in your writing process. By the way, everything I know about writing blog posts, I learned from this awesome woman here, called Teodora Petkova.
The writing process itself
After the structure is set, I try to follow that guiding star throughout my writing process. Whenever I get lost, I can look at my structure to remind myself where I should go next with my post. For me the danger lies in the temptation of explaining too much and going into detail too much. But also being shallow is just as dangerous. So balancing the fine line of finding the right depth in my writing is a big challenge for me. But here I can always rely on my pre-set structure as well. It is like painting an illustration. It helps to sometimes take a step back and view the whole picture again, when you just spent 30 mins on perfecting this one hairline on a portrait. By doing so, you get a sense of the overall detail and maybe notice that this is already detailed enough, or maybe on another part you were kind of lazy and lacked attention to detail there. It is very important that in the end you get a pretty even result on a portrait as well as on a written piece.
What it feels like to write as designer
Surprise: designers are not really taught to write, except for basic school writing and a bit of creative texting, at least in my case. But what is taught to designers, is designing information to be best received by the recipient, in the case of writing, the reader. So I would say, we are quite good at explaining and structuring information for optimal transmission, human to human. Also, designers do not write a lot. Texting is something that marketing people do. Designers then need to make those texts pretty, blankly said. So, we are not exactly the most comfortable when it comes to writing.
Getting lost and finding something new
But even with the best preparation, I sometimes get lost when writing. To be honest, while writing this blog article, I got lost exactly here. Which then inspired me to write about exactly that. So you could say, getting lost while writing actually got me to write something down, I would not have written if i didn’t get lost. And that sounds like quite the philosophical theses one might reckon. And since I like being philosophical, this is also a good point to end this blog article here.