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Write about what?

But how?

Recently I got a response from a reader with an intriguing question.

I’m not gonna lie. It’s tough.

“How do you decide what to write about?”

As I’m clicking respond I’m searching for the last time I’ve written about this for reference. Wait, I haven’t?

How come I haven’t addressed this issue before?

Now I know what you’re thinking. Ok I don’t. I know what I’m thinking.

Writing about what to write about? Isn’t that redundant?

That’s exactly what I thought the last time someone asked me that question. No one wants to read that.

It turns out, someone does. More than that, it’s good practice and fun. Look, we have our first what to write about.

Not so fast.

First, we need to address this other thing.

Topics are everywhere. Prompts are plenty.

Yet to decide on the form your creations, the path to take on your exhausting and glamorous road to creative expression, we must address the bigger question. We must get down to the philosophy. We must dissect the nature of consciousness and dig deep to explore the meaning of the human experience.

Or we can just try to figure out why we write. Get clear on our own motivations. Then the topics should present themselves.

Reason №1: Write for fun and practice

My favorite.

Explore your curiosity and exercise creativity, structure, language, and storytelling.

I wrote this for fun recently. It’s got 2 000 views in a day, the most views on a post I got. I don’t know why. Don’t care.

What I know is that it was fun and that I will do it again.

Reason №2: Write for work and practice

Do you want to get more work with your writing? Or do you write at your job?

Reason №3: Write for a book and practice

Do you dream of publishing a book?

Good.

What then? You wrote the book. Published it. Let’s say it was a success appropriate to the circumstances.

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.
— Who cares? Ideas are borrowed. This one was borrowed by Ernest Hemigway.

What do you do now?

Do you write another?

You’re getting it. But maybe you’re not. So here it goes.

If you’re not sure what to write about, write more.

The point is this.

Write anything. If you’re a writer, and I know you are, just do it.

No, that’s not right. Merely do it. Put in your good days work, your honest, devoted attention, and ship it.

Do it again.

Expect nothing in return and your efforts will not go wasted. Everything will fall into place.

You behind the keyboard. Close enough for your fingers to reach the keys.

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Writing, CreativityMartin Uhnak