Questions to ponder before you write

Sometimes we have the enthusiasm for a new writing project, but we just have trouble focusing enough to get it started.  Here’s an easy starter exercise to get you going.

Ask yourself these four questions and answer them in as much detail as you can muster:

What is  your topic? When answering this question, don’t just list the title of your article, chapter or book. Go into enough detail to see if your topic is worth addressing. Sometimes we think we have a topic that we will be able to deliver in  book-length format, but it just doesn’t hold up. So, look at not only the topic but all the sub-topics as well to see if you have a book or perhaps just an article. Once you figure that out, ask…

Who will be interested in reading this? List specific categories of readers. Be comprehensive with this. If the answer ends up being your mother and your aunt, you might want another topic. But if you find that you have a substantial number of potential readers move on. Once you determine your readers, ask…

Why will they be interested in this? List the reasons those readers will be interested in your topic. These reasons are very important. They will dictate the direction of your article or book. To satisfy your readers, it is important that you cover the reasons they are interested in the topic. Cover the material in enough detail to make your readers want to watch for future articles or books by you. After you have answered why, ask…

When is this information timely? Once you start a project, see it through to the end and get it out there. Most of what we write has a certain shelf life. If the topic is a timely one, get it out there so you won’t have to completely revamp it to make it credible. A friend of mine had written a couple of novels a few years back and pulled them out the other day to polish them up and publish them.  Technology has changed so much that he has to spend a good deal of time going through them to update the computer language, to take out the phone booths and incorporate cell phones, etc. Although we all love to procrastinate, it’s best to plow on through a project, finish it, and then move on to the next.

Once you’ve answers these four questions in detail, you should have a better picture where you’re going with your project.  Let me know any questions you would add to the list.

About loubelcher

I'm a freelance artist and writer. I enjoy anything whimsical and my art and writing generally concentrate on the lighter side of life.
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2 Responses to Questions to ponder before you write

  1. Very good list. I appreciate this planning stage. I don’t always like to do it, but it pays off in the end. I’m not so much a writer, but an artist, and the list works well for what I do also! Thanks!

  2. Great post thanks. I really enjoyed it very much. You have excellent content on your blog.

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