Do you have to write something “deep and meaningful” again, Martyn?

How I balance what I write.


I was having a conversation the other day with a friend when we got onto the topics that I write about. As the title suggests, I was concerned about writing too many “deep and meaningful” posts and losing the interest of my readers as despite my interest in complex subject matter not everyone shares the same view. So how do I balance it and maintain a more broad appeal?


Well, the “how” comes with the implication that one should balance what they write which is not necessary. Specialisation can increase the breadth and depth of knowledge on a particular topic and you can market yourself around that, but you are putting all your eggs in one basket.


I had to make this choice before starting my writing journey (which last month had its first birthday – hooray!). I sat down and went through the pros and cons of writing on one area of focus only – loosely psychology and philosophy – or was I going to demonstrate a veritable feast of themes including personal areas of interest like basketball, motoring and video gaming. Evidently I chose the latter, though I do find myself itching to write more in-depth/essay-style posts or even a series of posts on a particular topic. Stay tuned on that front!


Balance is not just on the types of topics, but from an authenticity perspective – that is balancing writing what is of interest to you, but also what would be of interest and value to others, ideally aligning the two. I always keep that in mind when I write, “what are people benefiting from reading this?”, and I make sure there is a takeaway message from each piece, although I think it’s quite obvious that I’m not your average person haha!


If you saw my list of writing ideas, I wouldn’t say it is what the average human would be interested in exploring, but I do find ways to relate these topics to the everyday experience and how they can impact or effect people. I also write for the people who are curious about life and who are interested in improving themselves. I aim to articulate knowledge and insight that I have learned as well as continue to ponder and sharpen my understanding so that I may be of service to others in helping them live a good life and lessen their suffering.


There’s that “deep and meaningful” creeping in again haha! I may have some big, lofty ideals, but I also am another human being – with a love of travelling, good wine and scotch, a good book, beautiful cars and bikes, and a dislike of those who fail to use their indicators while driving. I may speak in the abstract from time to time, but I try to ground it in reality first.


My book of random things/ideas - sometimes my genius, it's almost frightening. Photo by Martyn Foster.

I try and balance the tone (of the posts), and sometimes I just have an intuition when things should be written or not or if I have been writing too much of one thing or another. For instance, I followed my rather revealing and emotional sensitive personal story of childhood bullying with a celebration of my writing website turning one year old. I also do the opposite occasionally and link or flow topics, for example, my tribute to former F1 commentator Murray Walker (and discussion about what great commentators do) was trailed by a preview of the upcoming F1 and MotoGP seasons the subsequent week. Horses for courses!


At the end of the day, I write to entertain a wide audience and with a wide audience I need an array of material to keep them interested. I don’t consider myself a “jack of all trades, master of none”, however, I still play to my strengths where my knowledge is sound though I do like exploring into the unknown and sharing new things – like my first poem!


I encourage my readers, though probably not as often as I should, to suggest topics for me to write about – and if you do have any please let me know in the comments.


It’s not an easy task coming up with new and engaging content every week; sometimes ideas don’t fly or lose their momentum or the timing is not right or I wish to commit more time (or it needs it) to do it justice – there are many challenges! And generally, the more “deep and meaningful” the topic the more energy, time and resources it takes to write about it properly.


It’s an ongoing juggling act to remain in equilibrium, always making constant adjustments with careful planning, striving towards a new balance.


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