Jump Start Your Writing By Following These Simple Guidelines

You’ve just completed a​ writing course. Perhaps recently graduated from college. Maybe your career has finally ended,​ and now that you’ve reached retirement you’re free to​ pursue your long-awaited dream of​ writing a​ book. You can’t wait to​ rush to​ the​ computer and finally get started on​ this long-held dream.

Slow down or​ you’ll find yourself in​ the​ clutches of​ that dread disease,​ Writer’s Block.

You don’t want to​ join the​ many hopefuls who sit and stare,​ their typing fingers paralyzed as​ they face a​ blank computer screen…their grand ideas shattered by the​ forbidding glower of​ that empty screen.

To avoid placing yourself in​ that position,​ you have some major decisions to​ make: What is​ it​ you want to​ write? How do you want to​ present your thoughts? Will fiction or​ nonfiction work best? All of​ that sounds rather elementary,​ doesn’t it?

It is,​ but these are essential exercises if​ you want to​ become a​ proficient writer and avoid an​ author's greatest nemesis - writer's block. as​ I state in​ my latest book the​ Writer Within You,​ careful planning is​ the​ best “medication” to​ help you avoid that frightening disease.

Fiction or​ Nonfiction?

As you begin developing your idea,​ a​ key consideration is​ whether you choose to​ write fiction or​ nonfiction. You have something you hope to​ pass on​ to​ your readers,​ probably something very specific taken from the​ deep well of​ your life experience,​ family history or​ career. the​ latter is​ very popular among retired writers who are reluctant to​ sever all connections with their former careers.

Among the​ questions you must ask yourself is​ whether your writing tends to​ be more journalistic or​ more fanciful in​ style. Can it​ best be presented in​ a​ strictly factual context or​ will a​ fictitious setting better serve what you choose to​ write?

If you are leaning toward fiction,​ can you flesh out a​ first-rate plot? Do you have the​ sensitivity and the​ insight to​ fine tune characters and settings? Are you able to​ create dialogue that reflects the​ nature of​ your characters and their relationships to​ others in​ the​ book? if​ the​ answers are both honest and positive,​ then you can decide among the​ many subgenres of​ fiction. Will you write a​ novel,​ a​ mystery,​ a​ series of​ short stories?

When you embark on​ the​ nonfiction route,​ the​ decisions you face differ somewhat. it​ is​ important to​ determine whether the​ topic you choose is​ timely and whether there is​ a​ substantial audience interested in​ that topic. Make sure your knowledge of​ the​ subject is​ fully up to​ date. Many retirees,​ for example,​ don't stop to​ think that the​ world they knew in​ their working years has progressed to​ new levels.

Head to​ the​ library or​ to​ the​ Web. Do your research carefully. Make no assumptions that you are fully knowledgeable on​ a​ specific topic. Always remember that the​ key to​ writing successful nonfiction is​ content. to​ a​ publisher or​ to​ a​ reader looking for information,​ your understanding of​ the​ subject and your ability to​ explain it​ is​ of​ far greater consequence than the​ style in​ which you write.

Searching for Ideas

Many people have only a​ general idea of​ what they want to​ write about. Some are more fortunate and are eager to​ tackle a​ specific subject or​ issue. Possibilities abound everywhere. Start by looking right within your own home or​ within your circle of​ friends and acquaintances.

Perhaps you have a​ unique sibling…or even a​ unique relationship with a​ sibling. That can be the​ nucleus of​ a​ fascinating book or​ article. You may have some special ideas about parenting,​ developed during your years of​ raising a​ family. Have you experienced the​ trauma of​ a​ serious illness in​ the​ family? How did you and the​ other members cope? Your home and your family can generate a​ number of​ different ideas. Look carefully,​ and you will discover them.

Similarly,​ the​ workplace can offer endless possibilities. Trade journals are hungry for informative content. From the​ technical side of​ your job to​ interactions with fellow workers,​ from ethical workplace issues to​ managerial skills,​ all of​ these and more are grist for your writing mill.

Hobbies,​ sports and other pastimes are excellent subjects to​ consider if​ you are particularly knowledgeable about one of​ them.. You can place articles in​ the​ many magazines that are devoted exclusively to​ these subjects if​ you choose not to​ write a​ complete book.

Whether you are twenty-some,​ a​ baby boomer or​ a​ senior,​ your life has been filled with endless numbers of​ interesting events and contacts that can provide excellent starting points for writing either fiction or​ nonfiction. You've visited unique locations,​ met unusual characters,​ attended fascinating events…all of​ these are there for the​ calling. Summon up those memories,​ and get your computer's keyboard chattering away.

Idea Resources

There are many helpful resources to​ stimulate your mind,​ and assist you to​ zero in​ on​ the​ best choice. Considered the​ freelancer's bible by many,​ Writer's Digest is​ an​ 1175-page compendium,​ revised annually,​ that lists 50 categories of​ consumer magazines and 60 types of​ trade journals. Whether you are planning an​ article or​ a​ book,​ it​ is​ an​ invaluable tool to​ trigger ideas as​ you range through subjects from Animal Lovers to​ Women's Periodicals in​ the​ consumer section and from Advertising,​ Marketing and Public Relations to​ Veterinary Medicine in​ the​ trades.

A number of​ other helpful directories are available in​ your library’s reference room,​ and of​ course,​ browsing subjects on​ the​ Internet's major search engines offers you an​ overwhelming selection of​ ideas. if​ that’s not enough to​ get you started,​ personalized coaching for your writing is​ available. You can find some of​ my fellow book coaches by searching the​ Web.

So toss aside the​ excuses and roll up your sleeves for several hours of​ concentrated research. Be sure to​ file away every idea that interests you for use now or​ in​ the​ future. the​ majority of​ my former students find it​ impossible to​ stop once they publish what they write. There's a​ very strong likelihood that after your initial exposure to​ the​ wonderful world of​ writing,​ you'll be hooked,​ and want to​ do it​ again and again.

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