Guest Post – Our host is Harry Heijligers, Harry makes an interesting comparison between how the legends of classical music composed their masterpieces and how you write your blog posts (Also Masterpieces !).See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
Writing articles or Blog Posts is often tough work.. For everyone. And the funny thing is: the more simple an article looks, the more hard work it was for the writer ! As for most creative work there are most of the time two ways to approach this kind of work.
As a kid I had six years long classical piano lessons. Besides learning to play the piano I also was interested in learning about all kinds of music related stuff such as the classical composers. It was then that I learned about guys like Beethoven and Mozart and that their approach of composing their music and symphonies was totally different.
Ludwig von Beethoven was a German composer who lived from 1770 till 1827 and he is seen as one of the most important and influential composers who shaped the music culture of the 19th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer who lived from 1756 till 1791. He invented a whole new musical concept in his time and had great influence on later composers such as Beethoven.
Beethoven -V- Mozart Creative Styles
When Beethoven had an assignment to compose a new symphony he most of the time walked around with the general idea in his head, played with several ideas in his head but did not write anything down. Then the evening before he had his deadline for delivering his new symphony, he went out to dinner and when he came home, he wrote the whole symphony in one go.
When Mozart on the other hand got an assignment for writing a new symphony, he had an opposite way of working. He sat down, wrote something, tried it out for himself on the clavecimbel and then threw it away. After which he wrote something the whole thing again on a new way, tried it out and again threw it away. After doing this process for a couple of days, the whole room was full of pieces of paper which were crumbled and thrown away. This was of course the time when there were no computers with composer software. And then finally when he had written down version xx of the symphony, Mozart was finally satisfied and delivered his masterpiece.
You can draw a parallel with system development methodologies. Traditionally you had the “waterfall approach” where each phase in system development followed its predecessor like water falling down a waterfall, so that you can never go back to the previous phase. This is more a Beethoven approach. Later we got more short cycled system development methodologies like Rapid Application Development or Scrum, where you can easily go back to previous phases by cycling through them. This is more like a Mozart approach.
Opposite ways of working
The same approach you see with writers also and of course also with writers of articles and blog posts. You have writers who are more like Beethoven. They have a very structured way of working. After the first Idea, they do the necessary Research, Structure the whole story, Write the story, Design the layout of the story and finally Publish the story or article.
Mozart type of writers on the other hand are doing research, structuring and writing in a more iterative way of working. Between the Idea-phase and the Publish-phase they iterate the Research-Structure-Write-Design phase a couple of times. Each iteration delivers a more refined article. They proceed iterating until they are satisfied with their article.
Personally I’m more a Mozart kind of guy, although I admire Beethoven types, because of their structuredness. It’s all a matter of personality of course. There is no good or bad way; there is only a way which suits you best! Therefore it is good to understand what kind of person you are, so you can adopt the best way of working for you and know at the same time what the pitfalls are.
I have not done research in this field, but my estimation is that most people have a Mozart-like way of working. While I’m very interested in this, I have a question later on for you!
Advantages and pitfalls
For a Mozart kind of Blogger there is the advantage of incorporating new insights during the process into the Research, Structure and Writing phase, because with each new iteration you not only know more on the subject, but also know what examples suits best. Pitfall for this kind of working is to start writing too soon, while the preparation and thinking-through is not yet properly done. Advise for when you’re a Mozart-type of Blogger: try to postpone the writing phase and put more time in the thinking phase.
For Beethoven kind of Bloggers there is the advantage of having a more clear structure and having a more efficient way of working and planning. They most of the time also know that they will deliver before deadline without any stress. The pitfall is that there is no room for spontaneity throwing in new insights, examples or side paths.
Is there a combination of Mozart-type and Beethoven-type of Blogging possible? Of course! But this will take self-discipline to push yourself outside your current way of working and also a helicopter view on your writing process that you know at all times where you are and why you are doing what you are doing.
What type of Blogger are you?
I’m very curious if my estimation that most of us are working on a Mozart kind of way, is correct, so let me know what kind of Blogger you are and if you are satisfied with it!