You love writing.
Ever since you were young, you’ve spent your free time writing poems and you’d always look forward to doing writing assignments in school, especially essays. You consider this one of your greatest skills, and whenever you’re writing, you’re feel that you’re in your element.
Writing is your first love and you to continue to write in your profession—that’s basically the reason why you ended up as a journalist, blogger, or author. You’re content with your job because you get to do what you really love.
But sometimes, even when we love what we do…it can be a grind. That’s why they call it “work,” after all.
Say, for instance, that you’re a freelance writer. You’ve been assigned to write a story on how the elderly spend their leisure time.
Yawn! You took one look at the assignment and figured it was going to be a slog because you’re not interested in shuffleboard, much less whatever else the elderly do.
This happens more than you’d think, no matter what you write for a living. Given that it’s your job to write, there are instances when you can’t choose what story to write, and this includes writing stories outside your niche.
As a working writer, you’ll often be expected to write a variety of stories, even those that seem a bore to you.
So how do you make the story interesting—not just to you, but to your readers?
Find your hook!
1. Educate Yourself about the Topic
It’s impossible to write about something that you don’t know anything about.
You don’t expect a word document to fill itself with words, right? It’s your responsibility as a writer to educate yourself about the details of the story given to you. You want to sound like an expert to your readers and not merely a neophyte in the industry.
With our example topic, you can start by actually spending time with your grandparents, to get to know them better. Schedule a visit to their home and spend your time chatting with them. You’ll not only understand your topic better, but you’ll be creating a tighter relationship with your grandparents.
If this isn’t enough motivation for you, maybe consider visiting a nursing home. You’ll learn a lot from different kind of elderly folks. Additionally, you can talk to the nurses there. Their experience will be an excellent resource in your story because these serve as another perspective.
Always consider what outside perspectives you can add to your story. You’ll gain background information about your topic, and you can also get ideas how to approach the story from another angle.
The more information you have, the easier it will be for you to write the story. Go out there and equip yourself with all the necessary information and your article will start to come together in your mind.
2. Make It Visual
Keep in mind that some of your readers might have the same perspective as you when it comes to your story—some might think that this topic is a bore. And because you want to earn readers, you want to stray away from that direction, whatever it is.
You want to spark their interest with your story. You want to catch readers’ attention whenever they get a chance to navigate through your website, or through whatever medium your story will be published.
So how do you catch a reader’s attention? Incorporate images into your story! Humans are visual creatures, and we respond strongly to visual imagery.
Use vivid descriptions in your article to set the scene, then supplement with pictures whenever possible.
For example, when you visit your grandparents or a nearby nursing home, you can take pictures of what is really happening there and showcase that in your story. If possible, you can even support your story with an infographic containing relevant information.
3. Use Real-World Examples
Not everyone cares how the elderly spend their leisure time, but everyone has grandparents. Keep this in mind when you’re writing your assigned story.
Since you think that some of your readers might consider this topic boring, tackle the topic in a way that everyone can relate to.
You can start your story by detailing how grandparents have contributed to everyone’s growth or how grandparents may still need care when they’re already living on their own. Trigger the reader’s emotions so they’ll be hooked into reading your story.
4. Be Helpful
Stories can never be boring to someone in need.
Think of how your story can be helpful to people or add value to their lives. How can you answer a question or solve a problem they have?
In our example, you’d be able to be especially helpful to readers who are planning to start a business in elderly care or to people who want to spend time with their grandparents.
With your assigned topic, you can help readers in more ways than one. Your story can bring a lot of ideas to the people who need it: you just to present your material with sufficient information. Even if your story is boring, if it’s genuinely helpful and provides an actionable answer to a certain audience, your story will become something they want to read.
5. Let Your Personality Shine Through
You might think that this topic is dull and boring because all of the resources you’ve come across were written flatly.
You don’t want to imitate that approach because you don’t want your readers to have the same opinions of your story. You don’t have to go anywhere because the solution is within you all this time: it’s your personality!
Inject your style into the story and make sure that your readers can get a glimpse of who you really are. If you consider yourself an outgoing and happy-go-lucky type of person, write your story in that line. Convey to readers how fun it is to spend leisure time with your grandparents. Be unique in how you present your ideas, because this can become the easiest way for you to transform a boring story into a compelling one.
Average writers choose stories within their niche, but great writers come up with the best stories, regardless of the topic given to them. If you’re aiming to become the latter, you should know that getting there is never easy, and may mean overcoming some serious writer’s block.
There are a lot of challenges to overcome on the way to becoming a fantastic professional writer: it takes a lot of time, effort, and patience. But achieving your goal is not impossible, and with the tips provided in this article, you’re already a step closer.
For more nonfiction writing tips, read on:
- How to Write a Nonfiction Book
- How to Become a Travel Writer: Travel Writing For Fun And Profit
- How to Write Popular Nonfiction: Making the Shift from Academic to Popular Writing
Sarah Robinson is a passionate writer and advocate for donating stories to the less fortunate. She currently works for BookRazor.com and enjoys reading her favorite novels in her spare time. She has a loving and very supportive family and enjoys visiting book signing events whenever she can.