It can be hard to make the switch from essay to article writing.
As writers, we often cut our teeth in the classroom. Whether in school, or higher education, our writing is molded into a style suited to the academic world. It can be tough to adjust when switching to article writing and modern content creation.
Sometimes, in those unspeakable hours of self-doubt, where not enough coffee is coursing through our veins, we begin to question ourselves. Is the world of modern content creation for us? Should we skulk off back to our academic confines?
Absolutely not! Being intelligent is often linked to self-doubt. The important thing is to drown that doubting voice in a sea of flat whites, and get to work!
If you’re looking for tips on switching from essay to article writing, we’ve got you covered.
Immerse Yourself In Appropriate Content
As writers, we often take influence from the content we consume.
Have you ever been reading a particular author, and then noticed their style rubs off a little on your own?
It’s exactly the same thing for a lot of musicians. The influences they expose themselves to end up being reflected in their new work.
Thankfully, this concept can work to your advantage. So how do you give yourself the right content influences to help with your article writing output?
- Immersion. If you’ve spent years reading academic papers, and listening to professors and lecturers, it’s not enough to simply read a few blog posts. The more we expose ourselves to something, the more impact it has on us. If you want to get really good at writing articles of a particular style, you need to go for immersion. Read the best examples of that style, day in and day out. It will eventually rub off on you, we promise.
- Multimedia. You don’t need to limit yourself to just reading content in the style you want to become proficient at. Why not listen to some audiobooks of a similar style? Or listen to podcasts from authors who write in that way? For a lot of article writers, being able to access audio examples of a style of content is incredibly useful. Being able to ‘hear’ the voice you want to write in can make it a lot easier to do so.
- Seek Out The Best. It’s easy to let research become procrastination. Thanks to the internet’s neverending glut of content, you can end up getting stuck in a black hole of time-consuming reading, all in the name of research. Avoid this! Limit yourself to reading the best articles from the best writers in the style you want to get good at.
If you’ve spent years reading and writing academic content, you need to make a switch. Immerse yourself in the finest examples of your intended article style, and allow it to rub off on you.
Use Tools To Transition Your Writing Style From Essay To Article
Back in the ‘good’ old days, it was a lot more difficult to switch writing styles.
Doing so involved trying your best to learn a new style of content, through the medium of print, and then attempting to imitate it. Any feedback was restricted to the people you personally knew, and those you were able to reach by postal mail!
Nowadays, things are a little easier. We have endless examples of any article style imaginable, instantly accessible through our phones. We can get feedback from people from round the world, 24/7. And we can use tools and apps to make our style switch even easier. There’s arguably never been a better time to switch from essay to article writing.
So how do you put these modern opportunities into practice?
- Online Feedback. It’s easy to get stuck in our own heads. Often, we write alone, and this can lead to rumination and self-doubt. If you’re already feeling unsuited to a certain style of writing, self-criticism can be very unhelpful. It’s better to find supportive feedback online. Writer groups and forums can be great for this.
- Formulas. It’s a little clinical and off-putting to a lot of writers, but formulas can act as really good training wheels when learning a new style. Certain headline structures, article formats, and other replicable aspects can ease you into a new style, allowing you to focus on your ideas. After a while, you won’t need to consciously recall the formulas, as they are likely to have been absorbed into your writer muscle memory.
- Writing Apps. A lot of writing software is really gimmicky and unhelpful. There are a few gems out there that can really make a difference though! Using a tool like Hemingway or ProWritingAid can give you a quantified breakdown of a particular article or style. You can then try and imitate that style, and see how your numbers compare. This removes the guesswork as to whether your own writing is similar enough!
Have The Right State Of Mind – Essay VS Article
We live in the era of huge claims, often delivering a lot more sizzle than steak.
Hyped up headlines, written according to the sales copy playbook, raise the expectations of many writers about what’s possible. This can lead to a lot of frustration if you don’t see the results you want pretty quickly. This is especially true when moving from the measured world of academic essay writing to the louder realm of article writing.
So far, we’ve explored ways to immerse yourself in the new style of article you want to write, and tools to help with this process. We’ll end with a few mindset tips to act as icing on the content cake.
- Remember Aesop. Slow and steady wins the race. It’s really common to see writers get excited about trying out a new style, go all out at learning and practicing that style early on, fail to see the results they want quickly, and then give up in a dark cloud of self-doubt and disappointment. In fact, the really great writers throughout history accepted the process of rejection, growth, and sucking just a little less each day. If you make peace with the process, you will get way better results in the long run.
- You are not your writing. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what we do, and make it our identity. This can work against us. Say, for example, you want to make the switch from academic essays to comedy content writing. If you now identify as a comedy writer, you are setting yourself up for pain. Unless you are a 0.1% outlier prodigy, you are going to be pretty bad at first. So don’t make your new style of article writing your identity. Just see yourself as ‘someone who is learning comedy writing’. By giving yourself permission to grow, you give yourself a better chance of success.
- To try is half the battle. Writing isn’t easy or painless. To quote Hemingway, “all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed”. Give yourself some credit for not only being a writer, but for being bold enough to experiment with a different style. There are millions of people out there not even brave enough to take the first step.
Essay VS Article Writing – You Can Do It!
This might be a controversial conclusion, but article writing is a heck of a lot easier than essay writing for a ton of writers.
You know the modern trend for epic content? If you have anything resembling an academic background, you have been producing epic content for years! The only difference is you probably used the Harvard referencing system and had a team of experts ready to tear you to shreds. The comment section isn’t nearly as intimidating – we promise!
Over all, if you want to make the switch from writing essays to writing articles, you absolutely can. Immerse yourself in the new style, make use of the best resources out there, and maintain the right mentality.
At the risk of this becoming a boring essay, we’ll leave it there for now!