Content Writing today has surged up to become an obligatory skill to be learned for each one if one wishes to follow originality. This simple skill, if done right can help you ideate well and put up your thoughts in an effective manner. Below mentioned is an INTERVIEW of Luqman Farooqui, who has been a passionate content writer for several years now. His experience, resources, and guidance as a whole will definitely help you provide a major boost if you are willing to “WRITE“.
Q1) How would you describe CONTENT WRITING in a nutshell?
Luqman: Well, in one line, content writing is the backbone of any and all content in any format as it’s responsible for conveying your ideas in the best manner possible to your audience which is both an art, and a science.
It does not mean only writing for blogs as it’s used in social media, politics, marketing, and lots of other niche areas.
Q2) How has your journey been so far as a writer?
Luqman: I started out in middle school by writing a little bit for my school magazine and taking part in competitions, which was a natural choice for me as a reader. Although initially, I didn’t win much in the story writing category, I analyzed and improved my writing in general and so started winning for articles and essays.
Then after 12th grade, I dived deeper and learned more about the technicalities of such non-fiction pieces. That got me into rhetorical writing where I enjoyed analyzing such pieces. So even after joining MAG (the literary club of VNIT), I have continued writing in this category mostly with fiction only from time to time. As of now, I look forward to my internship where a small part of my role is about content creation and marketing – one of my favorite areas due to its own awesome ecosystem!
Although my journey has been a simple, textbook one so far, it has still been quite fun and diverse as I got to expand my perspectives by talking to many people and experimenting with different styles thanks to different opportunities that kept coming up.
Q3) Are there any prerequisites for beginning content writing? Can anyone at any point of time start writing content if he/she wishes to do so?
Luqman: The short answer is yes, you can start right away with the only major prerequisite being the right mindset.
- But keep in mind that to come up with good, impactful content, you have to polish your basic writing technicalities – on which I can’t stress enough.
- If you think your basics are shaky, you can still start writing content directly while working on your basics and content writing skills at the same time.
You can check out the link at the bottom of the page for getting started in writing from scratch.
Q4) Writers often struggle with something called a “writer’s block”. Did you experience it ? If so, how did you overcome it?
Luqman: Yep, I have faced writer’s block occasionally.
This is an oversimplification, but in general, we face this issue by not being able to focus on an idea or not coming up with the perfect way to actually write it down.
- I overcome the latter by mainly talking to people and the former by just writing without any restrictions at all.
Talking with the right people helps me gain new perspectives on things in a diverse way that I alone could have never come up with.
Just writing without any restrictions or judgment of what I am producing helps a lot too.
- Like it’s perfectly fine if you are simply writing anything, on any topic, in any manner by jotting down words, phrases, ideas, incidents, peculiar people you met, literally anything that comes to your mind irrespective of relevance to the topic or result.
Remember, it's just the first draft, which is going to be far from perfect, so don't give up by saying it's no good.
- Other than that, you can do some physical activities to freshen up your mind, like taking a walk.
- Or maybe, we all just need to experience life a little more.
Here’s a quote that I really like:
Oh, and don’t think that this block is going to fly away only when ideas hit you – that’s simply not true! You have to actively work to ideate.
Q5) What hurdles do you come across while learning Content Writing? What advice would you give to the readers for overcoming the same?
- I think that coming up with substantial, creative content is a huge challenge. When we look at other material, we tend to lock our view of what’s good content – which puts our personal creativity to the sword. So instead of thinking “Hey, this is good I will use it in my piece next time”, I just keep the good stuff at the back of my mind so next time when I write, my brain would have processed it, in its own unique manner, the combination of different good content I came across so I can come up with my own fresh thoughts
You can look up how the brain makes unique neural connections between ideas - quite interesting!!.
Just remember, an original is worth more than a copy.
2. Another challenge is cultivating one’s inner creativity. You have to think and live that way and not only at the time of writing.
Here’s an elegant example of inner creative thinking from a friend of mine.
So this inherent creative nature is something that should be with you every time (can be quite handy), and not only while writing.
Now that I have told this example, please don’t be limited to it because that is the exact challenge I am talking about!
And just to clarify, you don’t have to always force yourself to think like this. These types of things are best left to spontaneity so all you gotta do is, at a subconscious level, be on the lookout.
Q6) They often say “practice makes a man perfect.” In your case, what were the resources /platforms/ guidance used by you to develop the skill and evolve with time?
Luqman: I have followed two key resources to learn the technicalities of writing: Khan Academy’s SAT English preparation, and a course on edX, whose link can be found on Slide 40 of my PPT (link given at the end of the page).
- Other than those, I mostly resort to searching up things, as that way I get exposed to a wider variety of the same matter than sticking to a particular resource only.
- On the other hand, it’s very important to start your journey in a guided manner as you usually don’t know what to look for at the beginning.
- As for guidance, I always ask my peers who are quite good at writing and also a few others who have unique thoughts on life. They have always given me fantastic feedback and guidance without which I couldn’t make my pieces better.
- An important aspect regarding practice is to take up opportunities or challenges whenever they come up (like your college’s Instagram writing contests). If you don’t practice by yourself regularly, you should follow this so that at least for the sake of these events, you write something or the other. The good part is that you can gauge yourself based on whether you win or not (but can be dubious if the competition is less). You also get to try out different forms of writing which unlock creativity.
- Other than that, you really should write every day for at least 5-10 minutes which makes for good practice. It can be on any topic or if you don’t have one, you can write about your day (things you are grateful for, that you are proud or not proud of, etc.).
Q7) What are the career options for content writers? Are there any additional skills content writers can learn which would make them more industry efficient?
- Content Writing is like an umbrella term for a wide variety of specialized fields and careers ranging all the way from copywriting and ghostwriting to technical writing and scriptwriting – and many more specializations.
- To do well in any content writing role, once again, you have to have your writing basics, such as punctuation, figures of speech, diction, etc., well polished and have a stronghold on the type of writing you are doing.
Each field has its own nuances which take time and patience to master.
- Apart from having strong writing skills (duh), to write quality content, you have to learn how to research well (not just 5 minutes of looking up!), be original, edit well (giving attention to details is not easy), stay relevant, employ SEO and social media tactics, among other skills.
DRIVE LINK FOR PPT: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1i2Kxl2UnnKrMXVCBSduK1kDJNDsVA2Ci
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Luqman Farooqui is a writer at “MAG.COM”, VNIT’s official literary club. He is also doing an internship at Delphi Analytics where a part of his work involves content creation and marketing.
Email address: [email protected]
DRIVE LINK for REFERENCES: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1i2Kxl2UnnKrMXVCBSduK1kDJNDsVA2Ci
LinkedIn Profile URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/luqman-farooqui-61484418a