Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Begin to Write.
October 28, 2008 12:11am CST
A good point of departure for writing anything is to first ask some questions. Use the time-honored question words, who, why, what, where, when and how. The first thing you need to do is address who. Who is your audience? Who are you attempting to reach? They should greatly influence the style, tone, and vocabulary of what to write. If you're writing a letter to your mother you will certainly approach it differently than you would if you are writing a thesis for your doctorate degree. If you are addressing a worldwide audience you must realize that many of them are not native English speakers. You must adjust your vocabulary so that what you write is understandable. Keep in mind, who you are writing to, address what to write to your target audience. What? What are you going to write about? Try to write about something that you are knowledgeable about. If you are going to keep what you write interesting it should be something that you are interested in. Going back to the “who question” and think about your audience. What are their interests? There is nothing that will lose your audience quicker than writing something that they have absolutely no interest in. Address their passion. Write something that involves and engages them. Why are you writing what you write? What is your purpose? Are you writing to inform or are you writing to explain? Are you writing for impact or are you writing for acceptance? The answers to these questions should set the tone of what you write. Something to you write to instruct should have a much different tone than something that you write to encourage debate. The why of what you write should determine how you write. Where you write is important. You need to be as free of distractions as possible. Writing, by its very nature is a solitary craft best done in solitude. Do not write with the TV or radio on; do not write in your living room with your family around you. If you are serious about your writing you need to give it your full attention. I have gone to the extent of moving my computer. I have always set it up with an open window behind it. I found myself spending more time looking out the window and daydreaming then I spent performing the task I set myself to do. I have moved it so that I now face a blank white wall. It has been a great help in focusing my attention on my writing. When you write is inevitably going to influence what to write. If you write in the morning when you are fresh your product will be much different than something you produce in the evening after a long, hard day's work. Try to write when you are in the mood to write but do not use this as an excuse not to write. Write every day even if you seem to lack inspiration. Writing, like most everything else improves with practice. If one day you say, "Oh, I just do not feel like writing today” you will find it becomes a habit. One day will lead to in other and soon you'll find that everyday you do not feel like writing. When to write? The answer is now. How you write is important. Do you write with pencil and paper, an old typewriter or a modern word-processing program? My personal preference is to use speech processing software. In spite of the fact that I have been fooling with computers for almost thirty years now I am still a two finger, hunt and peck a typist so the miracle of being able to talk to my computer has worked wonders for me. Before, a five hundred word paper was an all day labor. Now five hundred words in one hour are well within my reach. Whatever method you choose to write there is one thing very important to keep in mind. Don't let the process get in the way up the product. When I first started using a computer for word-processing I spent more time fooling with the computer then I spent writing. When I changed over to speech processing the same thing only worse happened again. I spent almost all my time playing with the program and as a result produced almost nothing of value. Remember your objective is to produce a well-written product. It is not about trying to find new and better ways to waste your time. Once you've answered these questions it is time. Sit down and write. The time is now. There will never be a better time.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Oct 08
well those are all very good suggestions...Some of which i need to get back to putting into action in my life (like writing in an area wihtout distractions)...They also, come to think of it, might help out both my kids who are also into writing.... thanks for sharing