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Submitted on
October 9, 2013
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Have you ever wanted to write an article but didn't know how to start, what to write about and mainly - why bother? This guide wants to present 6 steps of an article creation.







Step 1. Picking a topic


I have an idea by Gphoto


What do you think is the main purpose of an article like this one? It's written for you - members of our community, to provide information that we feel are either missing or are misunderstood, incorrect or we just want to research them further and discuss them with you to come to better understanding of the problem. We also write it for us, to learn, practice our skills, engage our time in a purposeful activity. All these reasons are clues to picking a suitable topic.

In ideal case, the topic picks YOU. It occurs as you do your regular thing, starts to bug you periodically until you decide it's time to talk about it. Good topic contains something a lot of people can relate to, a wider problem. The more interested and curious you are, the higher is the chance of success. Don't force yourself to write about something you feel no connection to, or about a problem that is not your own as well. There will be an important element missing if you do.





Step 2. Researching the topic


Research by ellaine


Doing a proper research might be the most time-consuming part of the process of writing an article. There is no doubt a successful article is based on a solid "investigation" - you want to read other articles or studies that has already been published and compare them with your experience and thoughts. Your best friend at this phase is called Google, but you can go further than that. Post a poll or open a forum topic, design an experiment at home (depending on the topic). Your goal is to get to know the problem.






Step 3. Getting creative


creativity by gerbenher


Only so many people can fall asleep while reading a chippy overview. Giving birth to an interesting, engaging article is no lesser challenge than creating a stunning artwork, it requires just as much time, dedication and an inventive approach. Ask yourself who will read it and what will they expect from it. Do you want to present the problem from your own perspective, personal experience or rather stay objective as much as possible? Would you rather like to put it with humor and sarcasm, to create a mirror for the reader? How about getting more people involved, use their view on things as a sample of different perspectives, there is rarely only one correct view.





Step 4. Finally, write


SDCC - Year of the Writer by juliedillon


You can start writing, once you already have a plan, thought it through and researched your topic, there will be no staring at the blank page. For now, don't bother with paragraphs or fonts, write down everything you wanted to use, make sure nothing is missing. You can add or edit text later, during this phase you build a skeleton of your article.

It's a good plan to do this days before your deadline (if you have one). That gives you enough time to re-think the used terms, re-consider the length of each sentence and distinguish between necessary facts and those that only distract. Golden rules are sticking to the point at all times and adjusting the length of your text and the amount of detail appropriately to the topic and your reader. Before you decide to add an extra paragraph that contains a seemingly crucial details, consider adding a link to a good resource, instead.





Step 5. Dress it up


Speak Visual by kcgarza


None of these 6 article creation steps gets overlooked as often as this one. If you feel the need to skip it and post your skeleton, go ahead but I warn you, presentation matters and it's not superficial, it shows an extra effort and reveals a professional, perfectionist approach. You've done a great job, came a long way so why not push a little harder at the finish line and properly "sell" it to the audience?

Well-handled visual aspect enables the reader to enjoy reading, gives him space to think about what you wrote, illustrates and ensures that none of the most important words or parts of the text get overlooked. Good article should be well-structured and comprehensive - there should not be any random paragraphs wandering around, confusing readers. Have them properly marked, use headings of the same size for equal parts of the article, insert pictures, emoticons or quotes systematically. Beware of walls of text, only a handful of people like to read through those. Shorten - read your article again and again, getting rid of words or phrases that are not needful. During this step, think on the side of the reader and viewer.





Step 6. Posting your article


drawin' a silhouette penpal by bongobingo



Well done, the article now looks fancy and is ready. Depending on whether you're writing for projecteducate or other official DA group with strict schedule and guidelines or "only" for your watchers, pick a suitable time to post. DeviantArt runs in PST, so it might be a good idea to take that into consideration and avoid posting when everyone's asleep. Did you just hit "post" and ran away from the computer? Even at this phase, there are things you can do to help your article get noticed amongst plenty of others.

Promoting is part of the process, after all you did all this work for people - as many people as it can reach. Share your article to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc. and don't hesitate to submit into groups that promote news and resources. There are also people on DeviantArt who are always willing to spread the word about a helpful guide or article such as yours - this makes community so wonderful. Don't forget to encourage discussion and if time allows, come back to your article to keep in touch with comments. Update your article every now and than.


This article was written as an extension to Kaz-D's wonderful article guide So you want to write an article?.
Check it out as well for more tips on how to make the best of your idea :)





:blahblah: revision Discussion


What are the most common reasons that stop you from writing or finishing an article?

As a reader, what usually prevents you from opening and reading articles or journals?

How do you find articles that interest you on DeviantArt and what makes you pick/open one over another?



Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below :heart:


:frail:






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Motivational article / Guide written for Community Week of %projecteducate.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
A wonderful and very helpful article. :love: Thanks for writing this!
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for taking a look, dear :)
Reply
:iconriemea:
Riemea Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
My pleasure. :hug:
Reply
:iconpurpleink777:
PurpleInk777 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
Some excellent tips there, Jana! :clap: Thanks for sharing! :glomp:
Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for reading :)

:heart:
Reply
:iconpurpleink777:
PurpleInk777 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
You're very welcome, Jana! :hug: Thanks again for sharing such timely advice / tips! :iconi-supportplz:
Reply
:iconsingingflames:
SingingFlames Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer

Excellent tutorial! :clap:

 

A valuable tool for writing articles is Sta.sh. I like to keep it open in another tab, and add to the outline/skeleton of my story as I think of tidbits or find resources. As I flesh it out, it stops being my outline and becomes my article. It also allows me to see how the article will appear when it posts, so I know it'll format like I want it to. Sta.sh is my friend. :)

 

Thanks for sharing this! :D

Reply
:iconjane-beata:
jane-beata Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Sta.sh is definitely ideal option, I love it :)

Thank you for your comment :heart:
Reply
:iconsingingflames:
SingingFlames Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:love:
Reply
:icongingersanps:
Gingersanps Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What are the most common reasons that stop you from writing or finishing an article? 

School. I have a lot of topics that I'd love to talk about (all pertaining to my Biology undergraduate major), but I never have time to start OR I start and the school work gets piled on me. I'd love to finish an article that pertains to the things that I know and would give my time and energy into researching. Who knows? Maybe over the summer? Or winter break!

As a reader, what usually prevents you from opening and reading articles or journals?

I normally open all articles/journals that have an interesting title. But, it depends on the content that I open if I'll open it. Though, I suppose if the title sounds boring, I'll probably won't open it.
 

How do you find articles that interest you on DeviantArt and what makes you pick/open one over another?

I usually end up looking through the journals section. It's a lot of fun. Like I said above, if the title catches my eye, I'll open it. So, that's what makes me pick/open one from another. So, I guess titles are important to me?
 
Reply
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