Content Creation vs. Content Curation
When it comes to writing, it helps to draw inspiration from others. By curating interesting content, you can add your own voice, leading to truly original works.
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Creating is often the hardest part of writing.
It can take a lot of time and energy to create content that is new, especially if you publish a lot. I often get stuck or struggle to try to find a topic that feels original. On too many occasions, I have stopped writing completely while trying to find an original thought. While there is a time to process your thoughts, sometimes you just need to write. On DZone, like many websites, tons of content is published every day. But it’s helpful to think that most aren’t publishing something entirely new, but adding their voice to a conversation. In a way, this has become known as content curation.
Content curation is about streamlining one’s own social network with continuous (interesting) content. Think of it like a museum curator who takes the time to find the best pieces for their galleries.
Content Curation Plus Commentary
But many have also used content curation as a process of gathering information from relevant sources and adding their thoughts on it. It’s content curation plus commentary. You can share a concept and add your own interesting thoughts to it. It's a great way to tackle a blank page as well. When there is plenty of information available, you already have half your job finished. Just add your voice and important information to the conversation.
In a way, content curation leads to an original thought. If you’re trying to force insight, it’s not going to happen easily. For many writers, they must write before they find their interesting ideas.
Obviously, content creation feels more satisfying. And you don’t want to rely on content curation alone. But it can be a great place to start writing, and be a stepping stone to a much larger idea.
Writing is a process that requires learning when to create and when to edit. If you're focused on editing your ideas before they hit the page, then you’ll never create. DZone is a great place for content curation because many are just sharing their own ideas/thoughts/revelations about tech. Content curation plus commentary gives an article a more conversational tone as well. This may promote others to join and write their own take on it.
A Starting Point
Even content creation includes researching and sharing information. You may be asking yourself, "What's the difference?" I share this concept of content curation plus commentary as a means to make writing easier if you always feel the need to be original. Or if you just have trouble tackling that blank page. Originality doesn't always mean starting from scratch. You always need a starting point.
On a Networking Note
Simply publishing content gets your name out there and helps build relationships. Content curation plus commentary can help you break into an industry. It's a nice way to wrap your head around a subject and show you are knowledgeable about what goes on in that field. Just the act of writing and publishing content has opened many doors for me that wouldn’t have occurred before. An article I wrote about feature flags (which is on DZone) helped me get into my current master’s program.
Of course, you should always write because you want to. Don’t make it a chore. And you do that by writing what is enjoyable to you and not overthinking it.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.