Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020

When to Become General or Specific When Directing a Writer

Working with a writer can be fun and frustrating sometimes. So how do we direct a writer in a good way while avoiding being too general or too specific? You probably have some expectations, keywords, audience and goals in mind and you want your writer to lay out these ideas as true to your vision. But you’re worried because maybe this will lead to over-specific writing.

Then here comes a time where you’re not sure what you want and just leave the writer to do the rest of the work. But is that actually effective? Will the writer be able to present these random ideas on paper?

In this article, we’re going to explore when to be general to give your writer the freedom to create content and when to be specific to meet your expectations. This happens depending on what kind of work you’re going to through at him/her and what’s important is staying in that happy medium between overwrought and underdeveloped writing.

Starting Specific and Going General

  • Let’s have an example, assuming your brand is trying to sell essential oil candles. And you’ve hired a writer to create blogs, email marketing copy, and social media posts in order to get people to buy your candle on your website. So what do you tell your writer in order to sell your candles? Easy! Tell him/her to include the specifications of the candle to his/her write ups.
  • If you decided to be general and just say “Write so people will buy our candles”, then your writer will be having a hard time to create a post that can entice people to buy your candles. He/she will probably guess the candle’s specifications and end up using flowery words to attract customers.
  • This is why it’s important to make your ideas clear because your writer will never have the same story in their head as you do. There may be times where their idea might end up better than yours. But if you do have specific assumptions and extra details you want to fill in, always direct your writer to avoid revisions.

Starting General and Getting More Specific

  • Some companies may say that they don’t have any hard rules or specific guidelines to follow, but once you submit your work you’ll be surprised that your boss will say “I don’t want that” and then sends you back to your desk to revise it. We sometimes assure that a writer will choose to go their own path and gets annoyed when they don’t. If you do realize that you don’t know what you want until you see the final product, then it’s time to give time to brainstorm and discuss with your writer. In that way, he/she will be able to choose what’s best for both of you without the feeling of being rush or disappointed.
  • It’s common for a person or as a brand to feel undecided of something until you see the final product. You may want to start general and slowly honing on to specifics, or choose to start with extreme attention to detail and start to loosen down once you see your writer is generating his/her own ideas outside of your own vision. In the writing business, there’s no right or wrong. What’s important is that you build a healthy relationship with your writers without paralyzing them in the process.

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