Writing v. Content Creation

In my previous post, I guess I kind of slammed Jason Fladlien’s How to Write an Article in 7 Minutes program. I want to clarify. (And no, he hasn’t asked me to. I don’t think he’s even read the review yet.)

The program is probably very effective for many people to make decent income. For beginning writers, it offered some very useful tips on how to get started. And, believe it or not, I used some of his tips to write outlines for larger articles I completed this week, and it did shave an hour or so off my work. With an outline in place, I had to think *less* about where my article was going, and was able to better focus on how to get there.

But, if I understand him correctly, he advocates "not stopping to think" when you write an article. Here’s where I take issue.

Writing is an art. Even with all the “content creation” on the Web today, article mills, etc., I am still naïve enough to believe that there is still a little bit of art and craft left to any type of writing. His program takes all the art out of the process to create sparse, keyword-friendly “content.”

I guess for people who want to consider themselves content providers, that’s fine. But why not strive for something more? Why not strive to be a writer?

Has the field changed so much that the adage “90 percent of writing is re-writing” is no longer true? Am I a dinosaur because I seek the best—not necessarily the quickest—ways to convey my points? Fladlien’s tight, sparse writing is definitely something I strive for, but I don’t get there on the first try. Resources like Ken Rand’s 10 Percent Solution help me write the tightest, most specific article—but rarely on the first try. And the end result is there’s also a little bit of style left when I’m done.

That’s part of the reason some of my blog posts are rambling… I don’t spend the time re-writing here. That’s also the reason I may use the techniques in the program to churn out some useful content for this space, articles with no “bells and whistles,” just fast facts for freelancers and WAHMs.

I’m not sure where I mean to go with this post. (If I had an outline, that wouldn’t be a problem.) So now I am stopping to think…

It’s cliché to rant about the writers who accept ridiculously low rates and as far as I’m concerned, there’s not much of a debate. As long as there are people willing to write for those rates, companies will be happy to take advantage. And I support that, capitalist that I am. Too many people don’t understand the value—and the art—of good writing. When we have writers, themselves, who don’t recognize the value of carefully crafted non-fiction, there’s no hope of ever obliterating the article mills.

But there are also people out there who recognize and appreciate quality writing as opposed to content creation—fortunately, enough to employ the rest of us, who need to spend more than seven minutes on an article.