I do not know about you but at times when I think about the craft of writing I can get a little confused. It’s not exactly the craft of writing that confuses me, but the subject matter.
For the novice or new writer, this can be an overwhelming area. Think about it for moment; you can write about almost anything, furthermore, there will be some magazine that would be willing to publish it (if you are very lucky). So if like me you have got several interests in life, like for example: writing (obviously), complementary medicine, walking, reading, then narrowing it down can prove to be a bit difficult. But do not restrict yourself to writing about subjects that you personally know about, what about things your friends are going through, good or bad, what about that snippet of conversation you heard on the tube or train?
What about the last time your washing machine broke down and you had to trot off to the launderette for at least half an hour. There are bound to be lots of overheard conversations, little things you see that if you are anything like me will make you laugh! All of a sudden that newspaper that you brought with you can wait till later. But make sure you do read it though, as I don’t need to remind you of the great source of ideas that newspapers and magazines can provide! It pays to keep an eye on current affairs as a wannabe writer. Personally, I prefer personal interest stories over political affairs, but discard nothing.
So while we are loosely on the subject of things happening out of the ordinary like a washing machine breaking down, have you noticed that when you change your routine in life you notice different things? Like catching a later train, or taking a day off. New ideas are bound to spiral out of this.
This is where it can get confusing. However, the solution is quite straightforward. Find one or two things you know something about, maybe even some lessor known facts that no one else would know much about and write about these. Writing about what you know is an old adage that is certainly true here. If you write about say golf, knowing about it and perhaps playing and enjoying it will add strength and authority to your article or feature. And if you know something exclusive, of course remaining in the realms of decency, privacy etc., then you can probably write an article that you may be able to sell.
However, for those of you out there who know a lot of things about a lot of things, there is certainly a place for you! How about writing fillers. These are snippets of writing, that are required in all sorts of magazines for the purpose of filling blank spaces. Okay, so payment from a filler is not going to make you rich, but it is something that should not take too much time or effort to write, certainly not compared to wading through a 100,000 word novel! Give it a go.
There you have it. You have gone from scratching your head with so many things to write about to being able to write well about something you know about or can find out about. Don’t let it be said I don’t have my uses!
Until next time, happy writing, S