As a part of the Writing Studio, consultants participate in various initiatives which may force them to step outside their comfort zones. One initiative that can be difficult to approach is the very space we’re on now: the blog. Consultants often have experience writing in academic settings, where papers tend to be much more expansive. So how can we find topics that are appropriate given the constraints, and how can we approach the actual writing of it? Here’s what I’ve found works for me.
- Start small. In 300-500 words, you probably won’t be able to cover every detail of dissertation writing. But you could describe how to write effective topic sentences (for the writer-facing blog) or how to manage the last five minutes of sessions (for the consultant-facing blog). During consultations, are there issues you found your writers facing again and again? Do you find yourself repeating certain advice? These can be valuable topics for discussion here.
- Structure. As with traditional writing, an introduction can help hook readers while also previewing the content of the work. After a brief intro, jump right into the body of your work, conveying information as quickly as possible. Consider breaking up your main ideas into three paragraphs, or perhaps a numbered list!
- A balanced tone. The tone of a blog (especially here) can be both professional and personable. It’s not a research paper, so you don’t need to impress professors by using obtuse, esoteric language that is superfluous or redundant. I like to use a conversational tone, but you can dress it up or dress it down a bit—as long as it’s concise.
- The ending. In your ending, you’ll want to leave readers with a clear takeaway. Perhaps summarize your main points. As these blogs are meant to be helpful to both writers and consultants, I try to end on an encouraging note.
Now you’re completely ready to blog! You’re gonna do great.