I like to use idioms and puns in my writing to add interest to my column. I enjoy surprising the reader or making them wonder if a pun was intended or not.
The Free Dictionary is an online tool I use for looking up idioms. Sometimes I look an idiom up to see if the meaning is what I think it is. Other times I type in key words and search for idioms containing a word I want to use to punch up my column content.
Using idioms and puns, and unexpected twists in my writing is how I try to hook my reader at the beginning of my column or keep them reading. I figure if I provide one surprise they might read on to see what else my writing contains.
Deliberately leading my reader in one direction and surprising them with an unexpected twist is one of my favorite aspects of column writing. The columnists that I follow do the same. I figure if it works on me and appeals to me, it probably works on most readers.
Making an effort to include these little extras is probably why I feel it takes me so long to draft and polish my column. Incorporating this kind of writing takes time to develop sentences where I feel satisfied with my work. I think a play on words and idioms add quality and interest to my column, which contributes to my goal of gaining readers who anticipate my column and snagging the attention new readers. I also use both to set my column apart from others.
It may take more time for me to write my columns but I do it for the readers. It’s worth it when readers take note and share their reaction with me.