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How To Make Boring Subjects Fascinating

8170948596_071bc2400cSometimes it can feel like everything that’s exciting has already been written about and even worse, it’s been written about well, by fantastic writers whose abilities far exceed our own.

Often our “niche” or subject can seem downright boring – if this is happening to you it can be terribly difficult to enjoy writing and the quality of your content can easily become just as boring as your “niche” is.

If you are struggling to find excitement in your writing or are starting to think that maybe you’ve chosen a “boring” topic, I have some advice that can help you get back into the groove and on the road to interesting, engaging content, no matter what your subject.

 

1. Ask provocative questions

The first and most important technique for creating exciting content from boring topics is to ask the right questions. There’s no subject in the world that doesn’t have unusual, thought-provoking or challenging questions hidden inside. Examine your topic from multiple perspectives to help you find the interesting questions  you can ask. What would you want to know if you were from another country? What about another planet? Let your imagination run wild when thinking of the unanswered questions your topic brings up.

When you take an average, ordinary topic and extract a deeper, complex or abstract concept to spark discussion, your readers will be impressed, engaged and interested. Have you ever read a book that you weren’t expecting to enjoy? It’s highly likely that the writer drew you in and engaged you with quality writing and interesting questions that allowed you to see past a subject that didn’t grab you right away.

You can do the same thing when creating lenses! Another benefit to asking interesting questions is you will make it easier for readers looking for answers to find your lens.

2. Draw exciting comparisons

Even the most mundane events can be compared to other, more dramatic ones. You can spice up a dull moment in your writing by drawing comparisons to relevant events, people or ideas that have more punch and power. Show your reader the similarities between one thing and another to broaden their perspective and engage their mind. You can find these parallels by contemplating your topic before or after you write, looking for obvious and subtle metaphors that spark your creativity.

An ant farm can be compared to miniaturized industrial agriculture, knitting to membrane architecture, photography seen as hardware memory storage – there are infinite interesting parallels that can be drawn to make your writing more multi-dimensional, interesting and engaging. When you’re making comparisons be sure to weave in your own thoughts and ideas to enrich and strengthen the connections between the subjects, the audience and you as the writer.

3. Call for backup

Do you ever find yourself holding your tongue because you belive that someone else has already said it better? Don’t let that hold you back or inhibit your creative process. Instead, weave the ideas and insights of other writers, thinkers and thought leaders into your work. Add short videos expanding on complex topics to your lens, quotes that illustrate your points or reinforce key ideas. You can even try reaching out to people you know in real life for interviews, quotes and more! Leverage the power of collaboration and citation to enhance and prop up your content in the places you feel yourself lacking in wisdom. Your readers will appreciate your curatorial touch and perceive your content as enlightening and informative.

What do you think? What makes content interesting to you?

Photo Credit: sara marlowe via Compfight cc

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/DeniseMcGill DeniseMcGill

    These are great ideas. It’s the comparison and metaphors I’m no good at. But I’m working on it. Thanks.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/esmonaco esmonaco

    I’m with Denise, I find it difficult to draw comapaisons. I tend to just want to tell the story and not think about comparing. This is something I’m sure going to work on. Thanks for the ideas.

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      Try to let them happen naturally – while you’re writing, allow your mind to wander. Think about your writing in the shower, before you go to bed or anytime you have downtime and I’m sure they will come to you.

  • cercis70

    What an interesting group of ideas to avoid the blahs! Compare and contrast! Use expert analogies! Once you start thinking the opportunities seem endless.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/RenaissanceWoman2010 RenaissanceWoman2010

    What makes content interesting to me? Resonance and relevance, someone’s way with words (word play), a current that sparks between me and the writer, an “aha” moment. This was an exceptional post, Tom. Very thought-provoking.

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      I agree – well styled prose is a joy to read. It can make any subject infinitely more interesting.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/SherwinG SherwinG

    Great suggestions. Thanks

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/graysquidooer graysquidooer

    I’m glad I found this lens of yours; the tips have kindled a
    fire in my brain.
    Defiantly worth reading whether or write lens or blog posts
    Many Thanks

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      Glad to hear it, you’re so welcome!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/Hil Hil

    Besides boredom, one of the biggest put-offs for me is anything poorly written — or well-written but containing obvious, careless mistakes. PLEASE, everyone: carefully re-read what you have written before posting it! When I see carelessly-written lenses (or blogs or articles, etc.), I find it hard to not take this as a sign that the author couldn’t be bothered, didn’t really care whether or not I could understand what was written, and (due to this lack of caring) most likely did not do very thorough research either. If you’re not taking the time to re-read what you wrote, and in doing so to ask yourself whether someone who does not know the subject will understand your points, then your reasons for writing are more likely personal fulfillment and satisfaction than providing reliable content, so you probably should keep a personal journal rather than bore others with your poorly-constructed, personal opinion pieces (… present company excluded). P.S. nice photo of spices. Where was it taken? maybe in Morocco?

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      Yes yes yes! Edit ruthlessly – anything you put your name on should be of the highest quality possible – it’s so easy to miss run on sentences, confusing grammar, spelling mistakes and the like if you only do one pass.

      I use a draft system and still let errors slip by from time to time.

      The photo is from Anjuna flea-market, Anjuna Beach, Goa, India according to the photographer. Great isn’t it?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/BeingStar BeingStar

    This article is a great edge on the normal paradigm!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/grammieo grammieo

    Great ideas, I will attempt to use some of these in further lenses…..

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/adrienejones adrienejones

    Putting your own prospective in it really show the world that many ideas can make up many different ways.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/katiecolette katiecolette

    Great suggestions, Tom. Thank you!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/DebMartin DebMartin

    I would love to see more of #1 on Squidoo. This is one I can sink my teeth into and will do my best to be more provocative. Both asking myself more provocative questions as I build my lens but also ask provocative questions of my readers.

    • http://tommaybrier.com/ Tom Maybrier

      As would I! That sound great, best of luck to you in all you take on!

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/aredey aredey

    good ideal

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