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PICKING SUBJECT MATTER TO WRITE ABOUT

March 2, 2022

            Picking, or selecting what to write about should be a given, if you’re a passionate writer, or consider writing a passion. However, not everyone is in that same head space. I’ve seen it time and time again on the forums where someone would ask for ideas of what to write about.

            How many of us came into this passion/interest/hobby already bursting with ideas?

            How many of us just wanted to write, but had no idea what to write?

            Turns out it’s a mixed bag.

TRYING TO RELATE

            Someone grew up with an ability (talent), or an interest in writing.

            Why not take that skill or talent to the next step?

            The thing is that while your imagination worked great for term papers or the occasional one-off short story, when it comes to the big Kahuna, a novel, this person doesn’t have a clue.

            Interests may be diverse. Therefore this person signs up for multiple forums on social media (a big assumption but adapted to today’s world) and tries to mine other writers for ideas.

            The reactions with be mixed. A few may toss out ideas while others will not, with the logic being that this person should come up with their own ideas or why do this at all?

            There’s the predicament. This person wants to write but has no or little creativity.

HOW ABOUT SOMEONE WITH LOTS OF CREATIVITY?

            Getting into this deal for the right reasons, one writer may be chock full of ideas. The issue here is what to go for. If the person is (to use a well-worn and probably politically incorrect phrase) scatterbrained, they may have too many ideas and can’t choose between them. They go nuts (figuratively) trying to decide which of them to go for and end up stalled and getting nowhere.

            Sound familiar?

            Therefore, this person gets online (once again, playing to the norms of today) and starts asking around or giving lists of what people think they should write about.

THE SOMEWHAT OR MAYBE NORMAL PASSIONATE WRITER

            When it comes to a novel-sized project, it takes a certain commitment. That takes away substantial time from all the other projects in one’s head bursting to get out.

            For most of us, when we get into this, we already have a project in mind to start with and go for it.

            In my case, in a grand experiment to see if I could do it, I chose science fiction and made up a story, A and B on the spot. I came up with a method right out the gate. Then I sat down at the computer and went for it. If I was able to complete the entire thing, I knew I had something going for me.

            I did, and from there, I went on to the next genre and then the next.

            I had plenty of ideas, my mind bursting with them. However, one thing I also had in abundance.

            Patience.

            I think maybe that’s something lacking, to some degree, with many writers and authors nowadays. No, I take that back. Many writers. Authors have obviously got something to print, so they’ve succeeded at least to a point. From there, who knows?

WHAT ABOUT THE UNDECIDED?

            For the person who can’t decide what to write about, don’t expect miracles from social media. In fact, expect plenty of flack from those that don’t think you even have any business asking.

            On the other hand, what made you want to be a writer in the first place? Something prodded you in that direction? Was it a book, a movie, an incident?

            If you think you’re into writing, are you a reader? If you’re not, you probably need to rethink what you’re doing. If so, what are your favorite books, genres, subject matters?

            To me, it’s always best to write about something you are truly passionate about, let alone interested in. Don’t be one of these tortured artiste types that writes what they hate just because. That is a load of crap.

            Write what you know, what you love, and what you’re interested in. It shows!

            That, my friends, is one reason you get a lot of flack on social media if you start asking for what to write about.

            You should already know what you want to do. Nobody else should be telling you that. Then it’s not coming from you, it’s coming from them.

            Many things can inspire many people. If you go for months, years without coming up with anything to write about, maybe you should either find another passion/hobby or use writing in some other capacity.

            Creativity requires inspiration and originality. By originality, I mean your own take on something, coming from your headspace. Very little if anything is truly original so don’t even fret over that one.

SUMMARY

            What do any of us write about?

            Something we’re passionate about and/or something we’re interested in.

            That isn’t something that lends well to others dictating to us.

            When someone else gives us the idea, fine. Many have received an idea that way, though not usually directly solicited. Nothing really wrong with that. In that way, social media and polling other writers can work. However, don’t expect stellar results or responses.

            For the rest of us, it’s a matter of picking and choosing, unless the whole deal is just for that one great idea. One-and-done. There are those out there.

            Some thoughts to ponder.

            Happy writing!

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