Recently we took an international guest to Sydney for the weekend. Melbourne is a great place with heaps to do and eat, but I always feel a visit to Australia isn't complete until it has included the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Seeing them is as essential as seeing Big Ben in England or the Eiffel Tower in France.
In any case, I just love any excuse to go to Sydney myself. And when I'm there, what do I love doing most? Seeing the harbour bridge and, especially, the Sydney Opera House. I simply cannot spend long enough looking at that wonderful building. Or photographing it.
I must have taken thousands of pictures of the Opera House over the years. Me and millions of others. But that doesn't stop be taking more. The thing is, the building is so spectacular and in such a great location that there is always another way of seeing it.
I have pictures that are close up crops of parts of the sails, and pictures from a distance framed by the bridge. I have pictures from every angle, including many taken from the Manly ferry. I have pictures taken at dawn, at dusk, under the midday sun and late at night. I have pictures that include people and others taken when there were no other people around. (You have to get up very early to achieve that!)
The point is that even one of the most iconic, over-photographed buildings in the world can always be looked at, and photographed, in a different way.
The same thought pattern can be applied to your writing projects.
I will often be talking to potential book authors or even bloggers who worry that everything that can be said about their area of expertise has already been said. Rest assured ... that is never the case.
Just as in photography there are almost infinite variables available to the writer. Here are just four, each offering various options:
- Audience: you could write the ultimate introduction to your topic for newbies, or develop a very narrow slice for those who already know a lot. Or something in between.
- Style: you could write a chatty, first person narrative, explaining how you got to where you are, or you could write an academic analysis. You could write a story, Ken Blanchard style. Or a combination of these.
- Depth: you could write the exhaustive analysis of your topic, filling hundreds of pages, or you could write a 500-word blog post that captures the essence. Or something in between.
- Content: you could write something explanatory, or you could express your opinion about where others are getting it wrong. Or a bit of both.
Most importantly – and this applies to photography as well as writing – you can put your personal slant on what you create.
Dig deep, write from the heart, and your writing will always be different from what everyone else has written before.
As usual, if you have any questions or comments, please add a comment below or contact me.