Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Nothing to write about?

I went through a phase about a year ago where I managed to convince myself that I had absolutely nothing to write about. And then, even if by some miracle I did have an idea, I told myself that no-one would want to read it if it was written by me as I didn't have any qualifications in that area and I didn't know a lot about the subject. Then I had a more positive thought: do you really have to be qualified in or know a lot about the subject you are writing about? Well, it can give your writing more credence if you tell the reader all your relevant credentials and experience in the field you're writing about but it won't stop you from getting published if you're not the expert. You can, of course, always get quotes from experts to put into your piece to give it some oomph and give your writing some authority.

Take the example of the the archery article I researched, wrote and got published (twice!)  Did I know a lot about archery before I wrote it? No. Was archery a hobby of mine or did I compete? No. But I knew of people out there who did so I asked them. I also did a lot of reading up on the subject on the Internet and watched programmes on the TV about it. There really is more than one way to skin a cat (hate that expression but you know what I mean.)

So, if you're stuck for writing material or want to expand your repertoire then don't be afraid to try something new. Choose a subject that interests you but you know little about and explore that. You don't have to restrict yourself to a couple of subjects you always write about. In fact, doing that can spell disaster for the writer as publications go bust or you run out of things to say on those subjects - unless you can go at the subjects from  a different angle.  Cast your nets wider and see what you catch.

Happy writing

Julie xx

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for this informative post.
    article

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  2. Thank you,Mubashar. I hope it helps.

    Julie xx

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  3. A great post Julie. I am guilty of only every trying to write about what interests me or what I know about. (That is why I am only writing about chickens and dinosaurs!) It's crazy I really want to try and branch out a bit but I lack confidence when tackling new subjects. Now determined to set myself a goal of writing something out of my comfort zone! Di xx

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  4. You can do it, Di!

    Are you coming to the WW meeting on Saturday? The workshop I'm doing there will get you going!

    Julie xx

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  5. Oh yes Julie, I will be there, I can't wait! xx

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  6. I often try to impress upon my students the importance of this - and also to point out that it can be an *advantage* to try about something you don't know, because you have to come at it with fresh eyes and look at all sides. Someone on the inside - who knows the subject well - can't always see the big picture as an outsider might.

    Alex

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  7. This was an excellent kick up the(mental)bum. Oh dear, that sounds a bit odd...
    You're quite right, and I've also been thinking that my present and ex-careers would make for some good articles too.
    Need to get my Diploma out of the way first though - then it's no mercy, magazines here I come!
    Well done on plunging back into course - and when do we see pics of new writing room? :-)

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  8. I'm looking forward to it too, Di!

    Julie xx

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  9. Hi, Alex,

    Totally agree - we can get too bogged down with a subject we know well but with one we know nothing about it's a new, exciting experience and that should show through in our writing.

    Julie xx

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  10. Hi, Alison,

    Glad to have provided the kick! My writing room photos are on http://jlpwritersquest.blogspot.com.

    Julie xx

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  11. This is great advice. Thank you for sharing, Julie.XX

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  12. Hi, Suzanna

    I hope the information helps!
    Julie xx

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