Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Write for One

Contributed by Colin Dunbar

There's the blank page.

Maybe you have an outline, and although you get going on your blog post, momentum slows down.

Here is an idea you can try, and see if it helps to keep your impetus going all the way to the end.

Do you find it easier to talk to one person rather than to a crowd? Do you find it easier to talk to someone you know rather than to a stranger?

Use the following idea when writing your blog posts (or any content.) You may find your writing becomes easier, and the quality cud even be better.

I have seven people I "talk to." These characters all have different personalities and experiences. What I'm writing about determines my choice of audience (i.e., one of the seven people). The seven personalities vary between stubborn and skeptical, while experiences vary from very experienced to very newbie.

Depending on the subject matter you're writing about, for example is it's complex or sensitive, you could have a photo of the photo near. It doesn't necessarily have to be a photo of a real person. By doing this it makes the "personal" part of writing just a little easier.

When I start writing my first draft, I actually start with a salutation, "Dear Gordon" for example, and then go on to explain what it is I want to "tell" Gordon about. Sometimes, I use his name throughout the article. And then when I go onto the second draft, I remove references to his name. Often there are very little changes needed, because just as I would use "you", when talking to the person, it's very close to ready. Occasionally, I may need to make some revisions (depending on the topic) but most of the time, there's very little I have to change.


Dear Sam, I've heard you struggle to keep your writing flow. I'd like to share an idea with you that you may want to try. Before you start writing, decide that you're actually going to write to one person. Choose someone you now, Sam, and then write your article or blog post directly to that one person. After your first draft, you can edit out any references to the person's name. etc., etc.

Also, depending upon what I'm writing about, I may use a voice recorder and narrate the article to "my person." This exercise sometimes has some funny bits because I have the person "talk back" to me.

Give this tip a try and see if it helps with your writing.

Colin Dunbar is a veteran technical writer with 40 years' experience. He offered a book design service for over 7 years, and is the author of How to Format Your Book in Word. He shares his vast knowledge at (


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1 comment:

Karen Cioffi said...

Thanks for contribution to our site, Colin. Writing for one is a great strategy. It narrows the target market and makes it easier to relate the them.

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