I love to write. This is a good thing considering I write a lot, for several different things. However, like a lot of people, I will occasionally find myself writing much more than I originally intended. My topic might relate to other ideas or may possibly have core concepts that can be branched out on even further. This becomes a problem when what I’m writing takes on a life of it’s own and becomes a monster.
Just a few moments ago I was writing an article for Webmaster Notebook entitled “Understanding Shared Web Hosting”. The article is intended to be a generalized view of what to expect out of shared web hosting. I wrote about the same topic a little more conservatively back in 2012 for my web design and development company, so it seemed fitting to revisit the topic here and flesh it out even further for beginning webmasters and site owners.
As I got through a few paragraphs, I found myself writing quite easily. By page 3 (according to Google Docs), I found that I may have ventured further into life of shared web hosting than I wanted to. I started backing up, pulling apart different ideas and separating them into their own articles. It was during that time, somewhere around the part I discuss the true nature of Unlimited storage and bandwidth, that I had the idea for this article.
Make a wireframe for your writing
Back when I was teaching a student from Asheboro High School how to create web site mockups, I explained to her the importance of wireframes. A wireframe in this respect is a very basic idea of what a website will look like. It’s often a sketch of where specific elements will go. This allows the web designer to have a good grasp of what the site will look like before they actually start designing.
When you start writing, it’s a good idea to work from a wireframe. Pull out a list of specific parts of the topic you want to cover. As your list grows, you will inevitably find that there is a lot which can be removed and written independently. Move those ideas to the side and try to stick to a short, concise group of ideas which you can focus on. This will prevent your writing from straying too far into different ideas and leaving your reader bored, overloaded or simply lost.
A wireframe for your writing doesn’t have to be overly complex. Try to keep things simple. Even though my article about shared web hosting is a topic that can be very complex, it doesn’t have to be. After all, the target audience of this site has always been those who just beginning, those who want to learn the basics. Making it too complicated would destroy the reason it exists.
Follow your rules, remove the excess and use it to build more
Your wireframe should be easy to understand, stick to the core concept and allow little room for deviation. If you do this, it will help you stick to a much more clear path.
When you find yourself writing more than you intend to, take that writing and store it somewhere else. Revisit the parts you remove and explore the possibility of turning some of that excess into additional writing, perhaps as a follow up or supportive to the original article.
The more information you can provide, the better. Just remember that you don’t have to put it all in the same article.