How Do I Write About Data Science On Medium
And ultimately become a Top Writer, unexpectedly…
YES, I’ve got to be frank with you.
Four months ago, I was speechless and baffled upon receiving an email from Medium one fine day, congratulating me on becoming a top writer in education.
I was like, “What the heck did I just see?”
I was speechless because I doubted myself — I didn’t think that I deserved this accolade.
I was baffled because I was still so new in writing that I didn’t even consider myself as a writer with just a little experience.
This recognition came to me unexpectedly that I was so thrilled and motivated to keep believing in myself and continue sharing my experiences in data science to others despite my own self-sabotage.
Fast forward to today. After writing on Medium and other publications for some time, I realize that there are some principles (or methods if you’d like to call it) that I discover and follow religiously whenever I write about data science.
So I’ve distilled and consolidated these methods into the 5 core principles which I believe will be helpful to you in your writing not just about data science, but could also be easily applicable to other topics.
At the end of this article, I hope you’ll find these 5 principles useful to your writing to ultimately attract your readers and convey your ideas to them effectively.
Let’s get started!
5 Core Principles to Write about Data Science, and Beyond
1. Be conversational
Your articles are always read by individual readers — one reader at any given time. What this means is that readers mostly read your articles individually without anyone beside them.
Therefore, to really attract and engage with readers, your writing should be in a conversational tone such that your readers will feel like you’re talking to them personally.
Psychologically speaking, we as a human being often seek attention from others, and there is no difference to readers.
In other words, having conversational writings shows that you’re having one-to-one conversation with readers and they’ll feel being paid attention to on a personal level.
If you’ve been following my writing style, you may have noticed that most (if not all) my articles were written in a conversational tone to convey my ideas across audience from different background.
This is especially true as I believe readers would be possibly bored to death if they read an article with perfect grammar and formal sentences. I’m not saying that having a writing with perfect grammar and formal sentences is not a proper way to write, but to write from the perspective as a reader instead.
Even worse, the readers might not feel understood if the writing sounds too generic as they might think the article does not address their needs and therefore is not of their interest to continue reading anymore.
2. Be straight to the point
Time is precious and humans have an attention span of nine seconds on average.
Stop beating around the bush and go to your points directly.
You may have spent time trying to introduce yourself and establish your credibility before going into your main content. Or you may have given a lengthy background introduction or prelude to your main points.
Just don’t. Remember that we’re in the era of fast paced and ever changing environment and people want to consume content at the shortest time possible.
Don’t waste time with lengthy introductions or updates. Start making points and telling your story immediately to deliver what you’ve got for readers.
BONUS: This principle works well for crafting your headline to make readers feel it is worth their time to read your article by having a self-explanatory and conversational headline. To put it simply, your article headlines play one of the most important factors to let readers decide if they want to click and read your articles.
3. Be real, and tell stories
Be who you are and write what you know through stories — storytelling.
Be real. If you’re just starting out in writing, it’s okay to learn from the writing styles from others and imitate that. This is meant to find your own writing style that suits you after some time and expresses your thoughts and ideas in the way that best demonstrates the real “you” through your unique voice. Write what you know and be authentic. Authenticity always wins.
Tell stories. Everyone likes stories. Our attention is always drawn to stories and we’re curious of the endings and takeaways from the stories. The good news is: Storytelling is a skill and it can be learned (and I’m still learning!).
Take writing technical stuff about data science as an example. I often try my best to explain technical concepts through stories — be it my own story or others.
Be real. Tell stories. And you’re good to go.
4. Be receptive to feedback, including criticism
Be open-minded, always.
Always try to seek feedback from your readers — be it positive or negative — to learn how to improve your writing.
Don’t over-indulge in your articles that may end up overlooking some areas that you can improve. Try to understand readers’ needs and learn from them.
I often seek advice and feedback from publication editors, friends and other readers to see if there is anything that I can do to improve my writings. I’m more than grateful to have such a supportive community to always share and learn from one another!
5. Be consistent
If you’ve done all the 4 steps above diligently, this step will be the last and also the most important step.
Here is why.
Without consistency, your articles will have a hard time gaining traction and getting noticed by readers.
Without consistency, you’ll have less chances to improve on your writings.
That being said, having a writing routine and being consistent with the routine are able to improve your writings tremendously (at least for my case).
Practice makes perfect. A great piece of writing comes from practising the craft of writing consistently through continuous improvement, one step at a time.
Being consistent also means not giving up despite any obstacles. I feel that. It is hard to start writing everytime as you may feel like you have nothing to share.
The only way to break this “I don’t feel like writing” mindset is to start writing. Once you’ve gained the momentum you’ll feel the resistance of writing lesser and more motivated to continue writing instead.
Thank you for reading.
There you have it. These are the 5 core principles that I always follow and apply in my writings.
Nonetheless, I’d not say these principles work for any writing styles or publications as some platforms require certain format of writing styles or have their own ways of writing at least.
Again, I hope that you found something useful here to apply any one of the principles in your writing in future to ultimately attract your readers and convey your ideas to them effectively.
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave your comments below. Till then, see you in the next post!