Do you love to write? I'm guessing you might!
That’s why you want to learn more about it. Writing is almost as old as human civilization - it has become a part of who we are. But with digital writing, it seems to have changed a bit. It is no longer about expression - it’s more about creating an impression. You might be thinking: how can I write well enough to engage the audience? After all, this is the Internet Age. You can no longer write in a convoluted, David-Foster-Wallace way. It has to be specific, it has to be interesting. Writing in the digital age is different - and for us writers, we must fall in with the change!
As a writer, we should start by learning how writing has evolved till now.
We must first ask, what is the purpose of writing? To communicate - to express? Or is it both? For some of us, it can be cathartic. Since the invention of the clay tablet, people have written something. At first, it may have been ‘laws’ that were written but later on, the creative works started flowing. Let’s look at the English literature evolution. We have come from Beowulf to the Canterbury Tales and eventually to Shakespeare. And from then on, English literature continued to flourish, entering the Victorian Period with Dickens and George Eliot and then on to the Modern Age of Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot. Writing never stopped evolving - it just kept changing.
How you ask? If you read Shakespeare, you will not find it similar to how Charles Dickens wrote. Similarly, Orwell wrote in a much simpler manner than George Eliot. After the wars, Hemingway revolutionized writing with his 'minimalism'. Many critics thought that he was writing like a seven-year-old with a 30-year-old brain. Well, he got the Nobel Prize!
The thing is - writing evolves. Even digital writing. It has to evolve. People are not constant - they change as per the world around them changes. We are no longer living in a Dickensian-world where people are trying to be gentlemanly and so, changing their speech or accent to match the aristocrats. Neither are we in the post-war state America was in - which necessitated the use of Hemingway’s minimalism. The world is always changing and we, likewise, change our ‘ways of expression’ with it.
This brings us to the digital age. There are thousands of pieces of content out there and many people have become digital writers. It’s so easy to start a new blog and begin your writing experience online. We are all trying to draw the attention of our audience. The thing is: so much content has resulted in the change of attention span. People do not want to read long or dense works. They want something interactive.
I dare venture a guess and say even you love that kind of writing, don’t you? Something that pulls you right into the subject matter without beating around the bush. But did you realize how long the intro of this particular article is? We're still not actually talking about the topic. Did you notice?
Well, that's the kind of tricks a good writer ought to have up their sleeves. Especially when it comes to digital writing!
You won't be privy to all those secrets just yet but here are a few pointers for the uninitiated. Would you want to read something that is dense and does not speak to you? Short sentences, impactful sentences - these are some of the basics of digital writing.
All this might make you wonder - will you reach the status of another Hemingway or Dickens? Or will you just be another person whose blogs get lost among the millions of existing blogs?
And then, you look at your competition - video content - something that grabs the attention immediately and keeps it. How can you survive in this competition?
Well, making a mark in people’s hearts has always been difficult. For every actor, there must be a thousand struggling ones who are never seen on screen or film magazines. The same goes for writers. But then, if you love writing, you don’t do it for money. You do it because you love it. Eventually, your passion might get you to become famous in your eyes. One thing about the internet is: it rewards passion and hard work.
And there are many other benefits of being a digital writer:
Be In Demand
When you are a digital writer, you will be in demand, if you have the right skills. You have to learn to be better at writing and expand your skills. Since video content is so popular, you have to understand that videos cannot be attractive without a SCRIPT. So, develop screenplay writing skills. Work on SEO and marketing, and you might even find a job! Content is the king on the internet and writing is the foundation of it.
As the years go by, AI will start taking over some of the major jobs. For example, many administrative jobs in banks have been automated making the employees in that specialty redundant. It’s a fact of technology - it will make many people ‘valueless’ for corporate culture. However, writing will always remain relevant. As mentioned earlier, writing is intrinsic to human beings. However, it is impossible for AI to grasp the nuances of writing - the emotions, the expressions, the unique style. Writing is a human act. You will not be replaced as a writer as long as you are authentic in your work.
One of the great things about writing is flexibility. You can work from anywhere you want - a cafe, your bedroom, even while travelling. Just pull out your laptop or tablet and start writing. You don’t have to take up the traditional boring job of sitting in an office from 9-5 and getting burnt out at the end of the day.
Writing means growth - you will not only be better as a writer with each article you write but you will also learn something new. So, always explore new avenues, in social media, advertising, digital marketing, etc. Writing should not be just about expression. It should have a purpose. Find where you can fit the best and settle there. Improve on that. Don’t ever stop learning and growing.
Digital writing may be saturated, but there is always a demand for uniqueness. The thing is, we are still not up-to-date with digital writing. Our school systems have not evolved even though our writing has. So, it’s time to create history. If you are able to make a mark in the digital marketing and digital writing area, you will be part of history. Be proud that you are moving a tradition forward - that you are part of the new. You are part of a change. History is in the making.
Live writing as if it's in your blood. As if it’s what you were born to do. Don’t go for the money - go for the catharsis. That will be worth it.
Are you struggling with digital writing? You can join our academy and my friends Garrett, Marc and Jara will help you to become an effective storyteller. With their courses and their videos, they will help you make a mark in the digital writing world.
You can also learn more about digital writing and storytelling by watching this video.