How do you pin down the intangible?
Most people find it hard enough to write about themselves and their work but for creatives it can be even more of a challenge. How do you pin down that intangible essence that breathes life into what you do?
Normally, you can rely on showing people what you do, be that through performance or something physical you’ve created. The problem at the moment is that you can’t currently engage with people in your usual ways and so you will need to be telling them about your offering instead.
The crux of any creative endeavour is the underlying passion which lights you up and fuels that work. This is what people respond to when they engage with your output in person and without a sense of it in your written content you won’t have a chance of recreating that experience for your reader. So how do you translate that to the page?
Go behind the scenes
It’s impossible to replicate something like live performance or visual output purely through the written word and so you may need to come from a slightly different angle. One method that is likely to help you access your passion and communicate it through the page is to share your processes.
Start by really breaking it down. Don’t skip any stages or elements of your preparation. A good approach is to talk it through out loud – with someone else or just to yourself. It’s likely that you’ll find yourself noticing moments when you’re either glossing over things or realising you need to work harder to convey something. Those are probably some of the most interesting stages of what you do and are worth focusing on.
Remember, what may seem like a completely natural, almost automatic activity to you, is a complete mystery to most people. Just because you live and breathe your passion, doesn’t mean that your audience will have anywhere near the level of understanding you might expect.
Don’t take anything for granted – assuming knowledge on the part of your reader is a dangerous game to play as it opens up an opportunity for a sense of disconnect if there’s anything they have to work too hard to process. And remember that your mundane is someone else’s miraculous, don’t miss out on the chance to provide insight to something your reader will be fascinated by just because you’ve deemed it unworthy of discussion.
Cultivate the emotional response
Don’t be afraid to tell people how your work makes them feel. That might sound arrogant but what I mean is this: reflect your audience’s response back at them. What language most often comes up when people are talking to you about how your work has made them react? Weave these words and phrases through your copy and they will speak directly to your readers. This is a simple way to conjure specific emotions and give people a sense of the emotional response your work produces.
Get into the flow of things
Finding your flow state will really help you to loosen up enough to infuse your writing with passion and energy. Tommy’s tips for maintaining a creative flow in lockdown are a great reminder of ways to achieve this. If you’re fighting against the writing process, it’s going to be clear to your reader and you’ll miss establishing the connection you’re looking for.
My biggest piece of advice? Just imagine you’re chatting to a friend in the sunshine with a cold drink in hand, the more you relax into the process the more naturally the captivating content will come.
Your passion has to shine through
Your mundane is someone else’s miraculous
Reflect your audience’s response back at them