I recently gained a new blog position.
BEFORE WE GET TO THE MEAT OF THIS
Now, before we get into the good stuff, let us first define what a blog is. We all know the answer to such a convoluted question, but the answer is rather simple if you did not already know: it is what fake authors do to advertise a specific medium. Unlike them, I have written books; I have written screenplays; I have been published and I have won awards. This does not mean: “Bring on everything you’ve got,” but it does give me incentive to write about my most recent venture and how it has screwed my head up to the point of no return. This is a post about the blog-writing process of a company that figured any blog writer could dictate a tale of wonder on a topic such as floors. Well, that is what I had to do, anyway: write about floors.
Yes, floors. And I have no idea what a floor consists of.
IT IS A BLOG ABOUT FLOORING TILES
I was asked recently to write a blog about floors. Yes, floors. As in the kind you walk on. Like many of us, I took this with a sense of challenge. What on earth do I know about floors? Nothing, actually. But that is why the Internet is so seasoned with articles like this one: story-telling is the essential art of putting your experiences into a pantograph and playing it round-and-round again. And that is what I was asked to do in essentiality: to write a blog that entertains the visitors of a flooring company, that does nothing else but sell materials for us to walk on. Though not exactly the biggest piece of cake, this is not specifically an article on my own experiences. Rather, it is to show the fun and the challenge of being a professional writer.
WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT FLOORS?
Absolutely nothing. But I tried, like most writers. In fact, I learned that they had a blog writer before they took me on board. Digging deeper, I found they had gone through around ten (yes, ten!) previous authors for their blogging system (fondly held on a WordPress.com website without much customization, i.e. like mine is: all over the place) before they found me. So, I was naturally scared. How could this company find any benefit from me, a simple writer trying to earn a quick buck? Simple: I knew how to research, and that is the fundamental lesson we are learning here today: you can learn anything and everything in the world simply through Google. I spent hours researching the various types of floors, how they are installed, and thankfully the Project Coordinator would provide a list of titles to use. Good, because I know nothing.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM THIS
Aside from the fact that I can write on just about anything, I learned that the challenge is what drove me, like so many others. Not many people have this drive. I have not met many others who take the challenge of going out of their way to learn and to grow. How do I know if this information I am reading and writing is not going to be used later on down the road? How do I know that one day, I will experience a flood in my living room that destroys my linoleum floor? Well, now I know I can simply sand off the floor and glue down this company’s product listings, which consist mostly of easy-to-install flooring tiles. Now I know, But I think what kept their attention was the manner in which I wrote. We are naturally storytellers as human beings, and we need to all learn to be able to incorporate this into daily life. Floors? Try writing about life!
THAT IS WHY WE ARE HERE
They stuck with me because I was able to tell stories. I was able to do what I am doing right here, right now: narratively writing about a non-narrative topic. And it works, too, because on an anthropological level, we are all distant relatives of cavemen who needed to communicate (through stories and through dance) in order to convey threat or a cause for retreat. In essence, storytelling is a powerful aspect of any author’s arsenal, and it is engrained in our heads as an instinct. When we see someone writing a narrative, studies have found that they are engaging in a part of the brain known as “Broca’s area,” or a part of the brain needed to convey meaning and language. They have seen that in comparison to non-fiction writing, fiction often lowers activation. When in the midst of a narrative, however, this area “lights up…”
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF STORIES
Stories tell us tales of wonder, magic and defeat. When we were in middle school, we learned about the Three Act Structure. This consisted of a beginning (setting), a middle (conflict) and an end (resolution). However, they left out one fun fact: continuance. When we see that resolution has been reached, we assume all is well, right? Juliet will go back to her original life (well, not really as she is dead, but moving on…) and the story ends there. Not true. In life, we face more than just resolution. There is a continuance of the story. Back then in Shakespearean times, there were no sequels; this is not “Star Wars.” However, when we examine storytelling, we have to look at all of the aspects of the Three-Act Structure. One part missing, as stated, is continuance. What happens when the story ends? What happens after the curtain closes?
TO CONCLUDE THE CONCLUSION
I wanted to give you a fun read, and I hope I succeeded. Always remember, just because your topic has no meaning to you does not mean it cannot be told as a story. Narrative writers outnumber non-fiction writers 50-to-1, on average, and to truly get your point across (whether a business, a service, a product or a brand) you need to be able to tell stories. This activates the primal sensation that we are reading something from a real person, not a robot. I would like to invite you to contact me if you feel you have a hard topic that needs a storyteller. If you have a project, reach out. I am your guy for great narrative writing. If you happen to inquire about walls, I can then add that to my portfolio of blogs about real estate. Yes, it’s that simple!