Master the fundamentals, and fall in love with the fundamentals to become the master. ~ Unknown
It’s your favorite material science and nanotechnology enthusiast/researcher! Are you here because you have a final essay due this afternoon and you clicked this article because it said “Writing Tips”?
Say no more, as this article guarantees that you fail anything you’re supposed to be writing this instant! 😂
Actually, it’s my reflections from writing “100 Nano-Stories: Bookmarked!”. It covers my tips, tricks, and fails!
Trust me, I will make this short and sweet! I’ll give you what you need to know, not all the bullsh*t that other writers would do, because. . .
Tricks, Tips, Fails.
Expectation vs. Reality! 💭
- Your writing will not come out good the first time. Or the second, or the third. It takes time, but you have to be willing to seek discomfort to keep trying to master your craft.
- If you feel like you’re writing, then it’s not writing people want to see or read. You should feel like you’re sharing a story with people.
- Make sure your writing makes you want to write more/pleases you. If it does, then other people will want to continue reading your content as well.
- Have a direction in your article, and the destination will follow/reveal itself. What is the topic/question you want to answer in the article? Did you answer it? If you did, then the destination is clear.
- To become a good writer, master the fundamentals of your topic (ex. I want to talk about nanomaterials, cryptocurrencies, business, etc.) To become a great writer, you fall in love with the fundamentals (and mastering the fundamentals becomes easier & faster). ❤️
Writing + Content! 🔑
- The first sentences in your article determine if you caught the reader's attention or you lost the reader. Why the first sentences? Because that is where you explain what you want to talk about. But if you don’t introduce it as a story, they’re bored. Humans love stories. 😉
- No enthusiasm, your article is crap. Throw in some jokes or humor in the article. How? Use memes, funny quotes, or the GIF I used above.
- Get to know the audience you want to target. Ask questions to them (ex: Length of articles, do they like a story, or just the information).
- Specifically for me: Don’t make the article over 8 minutes because nobody got time for that 😂. Make sure the article is 3–8 minutes long to hold the writer’s engagement, so he doesn’t get lost with all the information.
- Use images for visual reinforcement. Since the reader can’t hear you or see you, the least you (aka the writer) can do is use images to explain to him something in a visual format. (Ex: Benzene → A hexagonal-shaped ring made of pure carbon atoms with a hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom.)
- Write in public (or where people can access your writing publicly). People can give you feedback, praise you, and watch your progress instantaneously. In fact, try and build in public as often as you can.
- There are more average Joe-blow’s in the world than there are businessmen, scientists, etc. So try and explain as much as you can in simple terms. If you can’t explain it in simple terms, you don’t understand it well enough.
- Write in the first person. If you don’t, someone else is technically the writer, and you’re just copying someone else’s writing. Be authentic.
- Eliminate dead sentences/paragraphs. Did you leave that sentence just so the article works, or are the sentences also the artistic medium? Make it flow & be concise.
- Don’t prepare the readers for what you want to talk about. Just dive in! Nobody has time for that (and it's complicated).
- Drive > Motivation. Follow-up from the previous tip, I actually WANTED to write a digital book on aerogels and graphene. So I was driven to see this all the way through; I didn’t need the motivation, I would do it. Don’t do things if you need motivation for the long run.
- For reading research papers, I read the abstract first. The abstract gives you an overview of what the paper talks about. If the research paper aligns with what I’m looking for, I continue reading. If not, I discard the research paper.
- It’s okay to cheat. What do I mean? I use cites to get into research papers that the average person can’t get access to. My favorite is called Sci-Hub (I’ll link it at the end of the article).
- Know what you want to specifically research/look for. I know, that sounds stupid, but it’s true. For example, you could google “aerogel”, and a million links come up. But what are you exactly looking for?
- I focus on “100 Nano-Stories” for 2–3 days of the week. Research is 1 day, writing is 2 days.
- In those 3 days, I minimize task switching so I can completely focus my attention on writing the Nano-Stories at a consistent pace. In those 3 days, I can publish 2–3 articles because it was the only thing I focused on. (Now you know how I write fast XDD)
- Put yourself in the shoes of the readers. If you’re left confused by your own work, then you don’t understand it, and neither will your readers.
- The best writing/writer always answers the reader's questions after reading a paragraph/sentence. For me, I had to read my own writing and ask myself: “As the reader, this is the question that comes up in my mind. Am I answering the question in the next paragraph?”
- Be concise. Concise is better. Nobody got time to hear everything, just give them what they need to know!
- When it comes to content creation, if you want to be the best, focus on only one way to create content. That way, you can perfect your craft. Once you mastered the art of expressing information in that form, pick another option, and repeat the process.
- Don’t use the same tricks/format consistently. Give them a surprise in terms of format, and this will initiate a spark of interest and curiosity in the reader to come back for more.
- The best knowledge/tips/wisdom is only one sentence.
- The best articles leave the reader with a smile or insights.
This article isn’t an exception. 😛
Closing Thoughts! 💭
Did you fail your final exam already? I told you this would guarantee you an F (and the belt from your dad). 🤷🏽♂️
Anyways, hope that helped answer some of the questions you were waiting for me to answer about the digital book. I will publish another section called “Acknowledgements + Resources” soon. It’ll discuss the people who supported me along this journey of writing the digital book and the sources I used to create the book.
See you soon for the release of the final two episodes of “100 Nano-Stories: Bookmarked!” 🌠
100 Nano-Stories: Intentions! ✏️
Previous “100 Nano-Stories!” 🔖
© 2021 by Carlos Manuel Jarquin Sanchez. All Rights Reserved.