Saturday, June 28, 2014
The Three W's of Writing
Why do you want to write? Before all else you must have a reason for writing—a purpose. If you want to become a successful writer, you’ve got to decide what drives you to write. There are loads of other professions to which you can devote your time and energy, so why chose writing?
Perhaps you love words—the sound of them, they way they’re used in sentences, the idea of creating images with them. Your love affair with words may have developed out of a love of reading. However this came about, it will be the driving force behind your writing.
Or perhaps you feel a compelling need to communicate with others. You may have strong feelings on a particular subject and wish to relay them to others. For instance, you may feel strongly about climate change or spousal abuse or any number of other trendy topics.
But why choose writing? Why not take up photography or videography? Each is a powerful communication medium in its own right. And that brings us to the next “W”—what.
What do you want to write? Whatever you decide to write begins with you. This is the subject matter not the format. If you ask yourself if you should write non-fiction books or novels, articles or short stories, plays or film scripts, you may find it hard to choose. But once you know which subject you’ll be writing about, the best format will become apparent.
What you write about depends a lot on your personal interests. Perhaps you’ve been interested in animals since your first trip to the zoo at a very early age. You may feel strongly about the plight of some creatures on the endangered list and write about them to make your readers more aware of their dire situations. Or maybe you feel in love with traveling after your first flight and want to share with your readers the wonders of the world.
Maybe you like to present challenges and puzzles to your readers through mysteries or adventure stories. Whatever you choose to write about should begin with you. And that takes us to the third and final “W”—where.
Where does writing fit into your life? Most people aren’t born to be writers. They become writers over time through a variety of circumstances.
Some realize early on that they love to write while still in elementary school. But for countless others, the need and passion to write doesn’t appear until much later in life. Perhaps it comes from the encouragement of a teacher along the way or the inspiration brought about my reading the works of a famous writer. However, if the urge to write seizes you later in life, you’ve most likely been pursuing another career path—one to which you feel equally passionate and attached.
The good thing about writing is that it can be done while you’re engaged in another career. For many, it begins as a pastime. But then the urge becomes so strong that they feel the need to break away and devote the rest of their lives to writing. Which is it going to be for you?