Multiplication for writers
Writing a series.
Sometimes I have so many ideas it’s difficult to figure out how to organize them.
Other times I’m captured by a new concept and spend a lot of time reading and doing research.
When I spend a lot of time on one topic, I like to use the information in as many ways as I can.
I found a way to streamline writing multiple articles about the same subject.
I call it the multiplier effect.
First I choose a topic and brainstorm ways to look at it from a different perspective.
When I have a single topic and want to expand on it from several different angles, here’s my process.
One caveat - With this technique, you might risk repeating yourself, so keep that in mind.
First, I write down everything I know about the subject. I call this the ‘mind dump.’
Then I use angles I want to expand into or explain further.
For this example, let’s consider ‘Coaching Techniques’.
First I research various techniques and write everything I know about Coaching Techniques in a rough draft.
I pay attention to commonalities, such as generalized tips.
When you examine a topic in-depth and want to write several articles about it, these tips might be used but from a different view, so it’s good to make a note of them.
How does this topic connect with different groups of people, different occupations, or geographic locations? Does it reply to your relationships or hobbies?
Is there a universal angle? Who will benefit? Who will this affect in a negative way?
These different perspectives will generate ideas.
Here are a few examples of different articles I could write about Coaching Techniques.
How I use coaching techniques to train my dog (horse, neighborhood crows).
Coaching tips for the workplace.
Coaching yourself and pitfalls to avoid.
Using coaching tips with your boss. (spouse, teenagers).
The single most important thing my coach ever taught me.
One important technique for every coach to remember.
Create a different story for each of these angles, writing a different introduction and ending.
The middle of the article might cover some of the commonalities found in the general information in the rough draft. Some examples for coaching might be expectations, goals or planning, commitment, follow-up. These could apply to each of the topics noted above.
I’m careful not to repeat what I’ve written in a previous article. I reword areas to get a different point across. Setting goals while coaching your dog will be different than goals in the workplace.
I also add angle-specific information such as ‘how a dog remembers commands’, or an anecdote from my personal experience with coaching my adult children.
Then I tweak the title and tags and do a final edit.
I hope that’s a helpful way to look at creating several articles out of a single topic.
This installment of Words in Motion is free for anyone. I send it weekly. If you also want to receive it, join the thousands of smart people who enjoy it today.
If you enjoyed reading this post, share it with your friends.