March 13, 2009, Newsletter Issue #16: What To Write?

Tip of the Week

Being a writer brings forth all sorts of conflicts.  First, one has to consider what to write and that in itself can be all consuming.  Why I must have at least a hundred ideas of topics to write about. How do I narrow it down and actually choose or focus on one topic at a time?

If I follow the trends in what is selling today, I should write my memoir, become a financial strategist, invent a new form of social media, tell how to be a super working mom, and write about how my dogs are beyond "best friends" to me.  Well, it's good to know there's no shortage of hot topics to consider, but which one suits me, right now? And that is the question to ask yourself.

To begin with, the old adage of Write what you know, can actually help eliminate some topics that may be on your idea list.  So, start with where you are, right now, today and what you are passionate about.  Maybe you’ve already begun writing something, but have run out of what to write further. Wherever you are in the writing process, it’s really about the following:
·         Write everyday, without fail.
·         Write wherever you are, don’t allow any excuses as to why you can’t write.
·         When you reach a point and can’t go further, take a break.  Go for a walk outside, being outdoors is one of the best ways to refresh your mind and to release tension.
·         When you are at your computer or with your notebook, pen in hand, ask your muse for help.  I mean communicate with yourself. Ask questions about the next step in the piece you are working on.  If you listen carefully, you will get answers. 
·         Do you have a designated time and place to write?
o   Writing first thing in the morning suits me the best.
o   I have a studio where I can shut the door and lose myself in my writing. I also have a ritual of lighting candles and calling forth my muse.  It helps to put my mind in the present and center me for sitting down at my computer.
·         I recommend not sharing what you’re working on unless you have a trusted friend that will contribute constructive criticism or wave you on to victory. Let the editing come from your inner critic.
·         When your piece is completed or at a point where you can submit it, get it out.  No writing in the world will be seen if you continue to keep it locked up in your computer or under your bed.
·         Submitting your work will help you to do more and to refine your process.
·         It may help to follow the steps of your favorite writer and know that he/she started exactly the same as you, at the beginning.

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