Have you ever been tasked with writing something that was so mundane you caught yourself drifting off to sleep while writing? Looming deadlines or not, boring topics can be difficult to write about and can be very tedious. Truly, how interesting can you really make a white paper on things like office supplies or manufacturing equipment?
Well, with the right mindset, you can make any topic interesting. That’s right—any topic. The real trick when writing about a seemingly boring topic is to look at the topic as an opportunity to let your mind wander, do some digging, and uncover something unique about something that is typically mundane.
Truth be told, if you have the right mindset, no topic will be boring. In other words, there are no boring topics, there are just bored writers. For instance, while you may find writing about the history of concrete boring, an architect or someone who builds houses may not.
Here are some things you can do to change your mindset about what you’re writing, so that you can get yourself interested in what you’re writing about every time, regardless of the topic.
Summarize Your Viewpoint on the Topic and Actively Reframe Your Mindset
Let’s say your boss tasks you with writing about something that you think is dreadfully boring. Before working on the piece, summarize it in your own words. First, explain why you think it’s boring. Then summarize what you think you already know about the topic.
Next, write a paragraph or two about why this piece is important for you to write and how it will be useful to your intended audience. Even if the topic isn’t beneficial or interesting to you personally, it will be to someone, and that someone is the person you need to focus on. As you’re working on the piece, actively question everything you think you know about the topic. Seek information that refutes your initial stance on the topic, while reframing it for your intended audience. Instead of being bored, you’ll end up playing an amusing game as the “devil’s advocate.”
For Five or Ten Minutes Without Stopping, Brainstorm a List of Questions About Your Topic
When you’re faced with a boring topic to write about, ask yourself questions that will eventually spur you into action and pique your interest. Do this for five to ten minutes, without relenting. Ask things like:
- Why is this important?
- Who uses this?
- What would make someone interested in this?
Be as merciless and specific as possible. While it may seem like a pointless rant at first, it’s not.
Next, you’ll want to research answers to your questions, regardless of how silly they may seem. You’ll inevitably discover who needs to know about your topic, as well as additional information that will help you write about it. Use these questions to help you uncover uncommon details about your topic. Reframe your mindset around your intended audience and why they want information about your topic.
Use a Random Word Generator
If you’re struggling to write about something you find uninteresting, using a random word generator can help you think outside the box. As you see new random words, you’ll associate different thoughts with the words you’re currently using to describe your topic.
Not convinced? See for yourself by completing the following steps:
- Pretend you have to write an informative article about the history of concrete.
- Envision a concrete sidewalk.
- Now visit this random word generator and see what ideas, descriptions, and subtopics for the history of concrete come to mind as you click through the different words.
Follow and Interact with Your Intended Audience Online
While a topic may be boring to you initially, there is someone out there who doesn’t think it’s boring. Seek them out to gain insight. And luckily, in the age of the Internet, you can easily find them online. For instance, if you need to write about how concrete is used in the construction industry, go online to find someone who cares about this topic to see what types of comments and posts they’re sharing.
You’ll gain valuable insight into why they think this topic is worth talking about and why they find it interesting. It will give you ideas for how you can write about it in an interesting way. Follow them on social media, bookmark their websites, and sign up for their newsletters and blogs too.
Use Compelling Case Studies and Interview Interesting People
Sharing research and compelling evidence is one of the best ways to make your writing interesting. For example, if you’re in the pharmaceutical industry and you’re working on a white paper for a new drug that received FDA approval, you won’t want to just list off the facts about the drug and how it was manufactured. You’ll also want to include case studies about patients who used the drug and the results they saw. You’re going to want to use those case studies to tell stories about real people that help other real people understand how the drug works and why it’s important.
You can also find someone to interview who can shed light on the topic in an interesting way. Not only will you become more interested in the topic, you can include the interview in your writing to enhance its credibility.
Think of it this way—Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity may be boring if you read about it in a text book and aren’t a science aficionado. But if you were given the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with him about it, you’d probably be completely enraptured by the subject and want to explore the theory more yourself.
Explain Industry Jargon in Everyday Terms
A lot of writing, especially business writing, can be boring to write about because it’s overloaded with industry jargon and acronyms. Oftentimes readers become bored with a topic they don’t understand because it’s written in a confusing and convoluted way. But if you break industry jargon down into everyday terms, you make it more relatable and easier to understand.
For example, if you think writing about marketing software products is boring, it’s probably because a lot of people are talking about SEO, CRMs, ROI, scalability, integrations, etc., instead of talking about how to make content easier to find in search engines and how to link all your marketing tools so they can work together, using plain language. When it’s useful, use analogies and metaphors to explain certain terms or acronyms too, to put them in the context of your audience’s everyday lives.
At the end of the day, the trick to making a boring topic interesting is to trick yourself into thinking it’s interesting. Trick yourself into thinking like your intended audience if the topic doesn’t appeal to you at first. And the best ways to do this involve asking a lot of questions and doing things that reframe your mindset about what you’re writing.