One of the areas of my work that I enjoy most is when I have the opportunity to write a feature article.
I wrote many hundreds of feature articles for heating and plumbing magazines when I worked for Nu-Heat Underfloor & Renewables in Honiton. If that sounds a dry subject area, well actually no, it really wasn’t. The challenge was always to give life to underfloor heating pipe, heat pumps, solar panels and antifreeze, and I do love a challenge!
Now, however, I can have a bit more fun with what I write about. It’s usually up to me to come up with an idea and then work out the best way of seeing it through. This caught me on the hop when Devon Life commissioned an article on gliding for January’s ‘Try Something New’ spot. From a first person perspective….
I’m known for my dislike of flying although I have flown around the world, to China, Singapore, America and many places in between. However, I generally take Diazepam to keep me from opening the door and jumping out!
So gliding was the last thing my friends thought I’d ever do. And I knew I couldn’t fall back on sedatives as I wanted to remember every detail so I could write about it from a clear perspective. In the end I approached the flight rather like a ride at Disneyland, which I do happen to enjoy, and it turned out to be a great experience. Soaring silently above Broadhembury and waving at my friend’s herd of cows was something new indeed.
I’ve just submitted my next feature to the magazine which this time required my feet to stay firmly on the ground as I wrote about Dartmoor’s myths and legends. A very different commission, with lots of really interesting research to do.
That’s what really floats my boat, I guess. Finding out about another subject, getting my head around more ideas, culture, language – and making it all interesting to read about.
The challenge of the press release is to keep it succinct, web copy usually needs to convey information, a tweet is tiny! The challenge of the feature is to be something that the reader really wants to read to the end. I hope I succeed!