Everytime I have this energy to write a blog post, I would immediately open a writing application and end up staring at a blank screen with an intimidating flickering vertical line. I have written various articles pertaining to this recurring problem in two of my other websites and the constant reason I have found out is that I tend to overthink things – how I structure my paragraph, how my readers would respond, and how the site would typically look.
Overthinking leads to crappy articles.
Today, while browsing through the internet, I have come across websites of different purposes and checked out their blogs. I need to know what is missing in my quest to write a decent entry. Ultimately, for me, it’s not just about churning paragraphs that support a main idea. It’s more than that.
In this mind, it shows me other elements that needs to be considered and one of which is presentation. Apart from the meat of the content, how I present my idea matters to me more. It’s the first thing people would see when they first enter my site.
So, visiting news websites, travel bloggers’ sites, DIY sites, commercial sites, anything in any category you can think of, I read their blogs.
You know what I found out?
I found out that these blogs, well, a majority of these blogs have the same layout, same look and feel, same structure. It’s like seeing a 1,580-paged scientific paper. It’s boring. No wonder I have grown out of love in blogging or in writing per se. I haven’t written any good article since the end of 2015 and what a depressing time has flown by not being able to communicate through words.
Maybe words are not enough to express. Maybe it involves everything beyond words? That is probably where visuals come in to take a stand.
Today, I have realized that invisible “design rules” have stunted my capacity to grow as a writer. It’s not really a flaming passion of mine compared to painting, but I like to write typically for self-expression.
With that being said, design rules, defined by my own CSS and HTML coding, particularly the structure of a blog post, constricts me to showcase my writings in a uniform, boxed, and boring place. I am talking about the usual – blog content occupying two-thirds of the site’s width and the side bars on either left or right. This needs to change. I must admit, it did not occur to me until now.
The closest example that I can think of is the comparison of a research paper and a scientific magazine.
I took three units of Scientific and Technical writing a few months ago and I find it funny to reference it to my new insight.
Think of the usual blog post as a research paper – uniformly formatted: 12pt Times New Roman, single-spaced, 1.25in margin on the left and 1in on the rest of the sides. A scientific magazine has different number of columns on each page where it is dependent on the content. It is colorful, uses appropriate graphics, pull quotes, captions, footnotes, and its design shows the story’s general theme.
Who would even consider reading a research paper for leisure?
It’s a no-brainer that people would eventually choose the better option where they can be entertained through different visual elements.
My goal now is to create engaging articles. It’s easier for me because that blank space would be filled entirely with layers of design and content.
Before, I love simple long-form writing with classic texts and drop caps. It’s still useful today but in recent statistics, “internet citizens” tend to lack patience in terms of surfing the web.
Yes. Less reading, more graphics.