Content with Content

[*This is a draft from a year ago. I redacted the details.]

I’m writing my first article in three years, and I’m struggling to get where I want to be. I have the basic angle the editor asked for, my own interest in the topic, and a buttload of quotes from relevant people. However, the article is not quite doing what I want it to do. I want it to be funny and fresh, not boring and overdone. I’m not covering breaking news, and I need to be able to impose my own worldview on this piece.

And lately I’ve been panicking that I have no worldview, that I don’t know where I stand on [redacted] and therefore I must be a cardboard cutout of a human being. Especially since we’re looking at starting our own chapter, I wonder what we could be doing differently, or if I’m just trying to reinvent the wheel. We had [redacted], and not enough people signed up. We don’t need to be doing more stuff; we need to do the stuff we’re doing better.

And then I’m looking at how I need to be a content writer, not just a writer, how I need to package myself and my writing. And this is all really interesting to me but now that I have a chance to put it into action I’m balking. Because I ALWAYS have this problem and I’m a terrible human being and I will never succeed at anything. This is exhausting, and it’s getting a little old.

So let’s try something new and believe in ourself/ves? Believe in elves.

The first thing I need is a title. It will probably be changed, but it’s basic that I should craft one anyway. Maybe I need an outline as well.

  1. Children
  2. [redacted]
  3. Nonprofit Organization

You’re stalling. Scared to make a call. Looking for permission, or call it research if you must.

What do people need to know?

I wrote some more last night, reading the research by the pool. I’ll put that into my document after I’ve retrieved it from the car, but I don’t think this is very good. I’m not happy with it.

What I want to say is that [redacted] are people who don’t actually use the [redacted], just want to support its continued existence. But I have to say that in a way that 1) considers that some of them will insist they actually do use the [redacted] and 2) doesn’t raise class division issues and 3) is funny.

You’re balancing:

  1. What your editor wants.
  2. What the reader wants.
  3. What you want to write.
  4. The information you have.
  5. What the subject would like to see written.
  6. What is good for the world.

People nowadays prefer listicles.


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