So far, I’ve discussed whether anyone can “just start writing,” what the consistency of your writing should look like, and what kind of audience your writing will be for. This time around, we’ll be talking about what you’re actually writing about.
What do you like to write? Is it fiction or non-fiction? Do you like to base your writing off of events that actually happened, or people who really did/do exist, or are you more into making up your own world, characters, language, etc? These are just some of the basic questions to ask if you’re just beginning to write. Once you figure these things out, you can move forward in your writing process.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t move forward unless you have exactly the type of content you need to write. It’s okay to test out different types of writing to see what feels more like home to you.
Some of you have been writing for a while though, and you’ve already pretty much gotten an idea of exactly what you’re comfortable writing, and what you’re good at writing, and that’s sweet! If that’s the case, I recommend a couple of major things:
Stick to It!
It’s not bad to try different genres of writing, or different methods. But if you have a specific way of writing that just feels right to you, don’t abandon it too quickly! Stick with it for a while, and ask yourself what exactly about that particular type of writing intrigues you. What is it about what you’re writing about that allows you to keep going back to it?
When you can answer those questions, stick with your content, and practice, practice, practice. Get comfortable with it on your own, and then venture out into sharing your writing with others to see what they think.
It is super tempting to change what you’re writing if you see that other types of writing are getting more attention than your words are. Don’t get discouraged! Keep pushing towards bettering your own writing. Authors of novels are able to stick with their plot, characters, setting for an entire book. Essayists grow into the particular way in which they discuss a topic. So, be okay with sticking to your specific type of writing for a good minute, and focus on growing within it!
But What If…?
Now, if your writing isn’t generating any sort of reader growth or interest after a while, maybe then you’ll have to reconsider changing up the way you write. But I honestly believe that if you stick to your specific style, and learn to grow with it and through it, you won’t have to drastically change the way you write.
If you yourself start to get tired of your own writing, however, that is also another sign to maybe switch up what you’re doing. It’s okay to try different styles when writing to an audience; being consistent is great, but sometimes your audience may appreciate you presenting a variety of your writing styles. This doesn’t mean you have to go back to the “writing for yourself” phase (see the “#JSW – Audience” advice I gave), and master every style so that it’s perfect before you present it to others. Just start writing (see what I did there?) in a new way, and see where it takes you. See how your audience reacts. See how it makes you feel after reading it for yourself.
Passion and Connection are Key
Whatever your writing content is I HIGHLY suggest that you are extremely passionate about it, and connect with it in some way. Passion and connection will allow you to not burn out on your content so easily, and it will cause your writing to be more authentic and meaningful to yourself and to your audience.
There’s no better feeling than to connect with your audience through your writing. To have a reader read your words and say, “I really resonated with that. Thank you for writing this,” or “I truly could envision what you were writing about here.” Your connection and passion in your writing is reflected to your audience.
Your content is the biggest part of your writing; I mean, it is your writing. So be sure to spend as much time as you need practicing, growing, stretching yourself with this portion of your words. Don’t be afraid to stick with it when it feels right, but also don’t be afraid to switch it up if you need to. Claim it as your own; make it fully yours by connecting with your content, and being passionate about it. Let your content connect with your audience. Just start writing, just keep writing.