In my near-decade career of coaching writers, there has been one question I’ve been asked over and over again. In fact, this is something I often ask myself: What should I write about? The problem is that’s the wrong question.
When you get stuck thinking about what you should write about, your focus is on the wrong place. You begin to fixate on things like subject and genre, even niche. And all these are not essential to developing your calling as a writer.
The words you say are the paint on the house. The foundation is the belief behind them. Which is something most writers miss.
Where we must begin, if we want people to take us seriously, is not with what we say, but how we say it. As I’ve said before, people care more about the why than the what. In other words:
Voice trumps subject.
Of course, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a subject for your blog or book. You should. It just means that’s not enough. Good writers, the ones we remember after they’re gone, are the ones who have developed a worldview and articulate it in a definitive voice.
And you should do the same.
So how do we do this? You can tackle this by asking yourself three important questions:
- What’s wrong with the world? Your answer to this in some way reveals your worldview, your particular perspective that makes you special. List out some possible ideas for this as clues to what makes your voice so unique.
- What’s one experience I have had that’s unique to me? Everyone has a story, and the easiest way to find your voice is to start telling yours. People connect to other people’s experiences, especially when it’s painful or embarrassing. When you share yours, you’re inviting others into a place where they can feel heard. Write one true, vulnerable story, and see how people connect.
- What’s something that’s easy to me that’s hard to other people? You are more of an expert than you realize. Right now, someone is looking to you for your expertise on something. A great way to figure that out is to reach out to a handful of friends and ask them what you’re an expert at. See what they say, and don’t discount how easy it is to you. This, too, is a clue to what you should be writing.
This is the secret to how you never run out of an idea on what to write. And this, after years of frustration, is what I finally decided to do. Don’t chase trends. Write with a worldview. And trust that the topics will follow. It works. (Click the image below to learn more.)
Bonus: Check out my free video that tells you how to decide what you should write about. It’s part of a three-part series I’m offering this week. Check it out.
What do you write about? Share in the comments.