Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Friday, September 04, 2009

If you can't write it, slant it

I have been writing for a long time. I have not been working as a freelance writer for as long as I have been writing, but the freelance writing has been going on for a good many years. During this time, I have picked up tips and tricks on how to compose and construct my articles.

And I thought I had all that down pat until recently, when I was assigned to write about something I had little knowledge of. I didn't even know this kinda thing existed! (That's what I love about this writing gig; I'm always learning new things!)

But I decided to try writing the article. The interest was there to write it, and that interest is the determining factor of whether or not I'll take an assignment. If there's no interest or curiosity, or, yes, even if it conflicts with my beliefs, I won't do it. But the interest was there, so I did it.

And I'm glad I did!

Sure, it was hard at first. And confusing. This kind of thing was so new to me and it was hard to understand it with the many Web sites I visited and articles I read. I also visited message boards and read the comments left there.

But it was still so confusing. I just didn't understand it well enough to be able to write about it.

Still, I hung in there. I just kept reading and reading.

Finally, I'd gathered enough research together for my article. Still, I didn't know how to write this thing. How could I write it without looking like I was taking sides?

I debated over this. Finally, I decided to write about this topic as though I was giving a summary over the debate and what each side is saying. I also put in my own opinion of the whole thing -- it was one a lot of people shared so I thought it would be safe to add that -- and just slanted this article in a way which it would not have to be so in-depth.

The result was completion of the article and I was very pleased with it. I was also excited that I was able to write about something I didn't know much about in a way that it would be a complete and objective article. The last time I was in a situation like this was when I was working on a chapter for the haunted houses book. I found that, by slanting the topic in a way I could easily write about, it was more "haunted house" material and not "entertainment" material. I was also spared the technicalities of explaining an industry I knew very little about!

So I was very happy I was able to conquer my confusion and still write my article. Hooray! Even if I did not understand both sides of this topic completely, I still had enough research to help me slant my article and make it something worth a reader's time.

And that little success right there inspired another article! Stay tuned.



  • At 12:17 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Sounds like an excellent approach.

    Good going, Dawn. And best of luck with it. :)

  • At 8:18 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thanks so much! :)

    The article I had so much trouble with is published now. You can read it here:


    As for the other one, I'm thinking of sending it to Dan Case. But I need to put it together first. :)

  • At 8:17 PM , Blogger Tara McClendon said...

    One of the things I love about freelancing is the opportunity to learn new things.

  • At 9:39 PM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thanks for the comment, Tara. :) It's definitely a plus! Writers are innately curious about many things and this is just one bonus of being a writer -- even a freelance writer.


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