I am an artist. Since the first day I picked up a crayon, I’ve known that art is something that would have a presence in my life until the day I die. My main focus is music photography because music is one of the most prevalent sources of media. It has a unique way of getting messages across, especially through young people, who are the future of our world. I tell stories through shapes, through colors, through light and darkness, and through compositions. Through visual images.
The further I get into my career, the more I notice that I need to have the ability to write. People are drawn to images, but they want to read more about the,. As much as I love telling stories, I struggle at telling them through words, and I’m sure lots of other artists feel the same way.
But in order to get the most precise message across, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I need to use words in addition to images. Yikes. Lucky for you, I’ve started to learn some useful tricks.
Challenge #1: Read and edit.
Many people who don’t enjoy writing are impatient. If you can relate to this, I promise you’re not alone. It’s tempting to write the bare minimum amount of words and then call it a day, but if you want to put your best work out there, you have to read through your work.
After you let all your thoughts out, read them. Do you think anyone with success in writing doesn’t reread their work? As Ernest Hemingway once said, “The first draft of anything is s**t.”
Challenge #2: Clarify.
How often do you explain something to your friend and then have to clarify because you’re in your own stream of consciousness? Take the time to make your point more clear.
Read your writing out loud to your roommate. Would someone who isn’t familiar with your topic be able to understand?
Read it out loud again to someone with a familiar background on your topic. Are they interested enough to listen?
Look at individual sentences. Are there any words that aren’t necessary? Try cutting them out and then rereading.
Don’t be afraid to cut paragraphs and sentences in half. Especially if your content is mainly visual, people won’t want to read a novel.
Challenge #3: Step outside your own shoes.
Let’s say you’re making a blog post about a photo series you’ve created. Pretend that the post is something you’ve somehow stumbled across and you’re part of the audience this post is geared at.
Consider how you might have stumbled across it. Did someone share it on Facebook? Did you find it through a hyperlink? Did you use a search engine? Whatever way it was, you probably found it on your phone and you probably won’t want to take your time to digest it because someone you don’t know or care about has written this.
That’s why presentation is key, because people will want to skim it to get the point. Chunk up your words, maybe even use bullet points. Use headlines for points that you want to stand out. You probably noticed my headlines first, didn’t you?
Challenge #4: Use visuals.
This point is the most obvious one if you’re an artist. But don’t put all your words at the beginning and stick visuals at the end. See how I put images throughout my post? Did they catch your eye?
By using some of these tricks, you can learn to become more successful at getting your point across, even if you aren’t a writer. You may only identify as a visual artist right now, but with work, you can create art with words.