Art of Writing Part III: What To Write
Over the last two weeks we have covered why writing is important as well as a few tips for writing effectively. This week we will be sharing some thoughts that may help you choose your subject matter. Of course, a portion of this may be obvious, but hopefully you will find some insight or inspiration here.
When you finally take the initiative to begin writing, it can be very difficult to decide what to write about. I often will sit down to write and my mind has absolutely nothing interesting for me to share. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, and with a little help, anyone can overcome this problem. You simply need to recognize what it is that you know, what you are passionate about, and what people want to read.
Although I am an aspiring writer, I am also an aspiring economist. Due to my interest in economics, I read a lot about it, and, consequently, I know a lot about it. However, I often find it difficult to write about economics. It seems too dry, overdone, and unneeded. Forcing myself to write about economics can be gruesome, sometimes I just really don’t have the inspiration to sit down and do it.
One would think that it would be quite easy for an economics fan to write about it, but that is not the case. When I lack the inspiration to write, I simply cannot do it. This goes for more than just economics, I do this with a myriad of topics.
On the other hand, I love politics and current events. If I want to easily get inspired to write something, I need not look past the comments on CNN, they are very invigorating, and somewhat infuriating as well. I can write about politics and current events all day long, it is not difficult at all. I love these topics, even though I know more about economics than politics or current events.
As I have previously mentioned, I love writing, and it can be incredibly frustrating when I cannot find inspiration to write about something that I know a lot about. So what do I do? I simply clump and dump. I take some political happenings which I am really interested in and I then run an economic analysis upon them. I take something that I am passionate about and I combine it with something that I know a lot about. The result of this kind of hybrid writing is, of course, a passionate and well-informed article.
I do this with other topics as well. For example, I know a lot about American culture even though it isn’t something particularly interesting to me per se, and I am passionate about philosophy even though I only know I tiny bit about it. In order to combine my strengths, I often write about the underlying philosophies behind current American cultural beliefs. Through doing this, I am able to combine my knowledge and my passion, which makes writing much easier.
Sadly, most people do not have the free time to write as much as they would like, and they find it hard to keep a large audience because they are unable to produce new material. To counteract this, you simply need be aware of what currently holds the public’s interest. If you want to have the maximum audience possible while writing as little as you can, you must be aware of what it is that people are curious about.
If you can find a topic that people are curious about, and if you can cross-apply your knowledge and passion for some other topics to that topic, you will have at least some audience. By knowing what you know, what you are passionate about, and what other people want to know, you can become a competent writer. You will also no longer have to wrack your brain for a topic to write about.
Simply check around to see what other people are talking about. Watch the news, turn on the radio, or get on the internet, and then cross apply what you know and what you are passionate about to the topics that you come across.
Although these tips may be somewhat obvious, they have helped me, and I sincerely hope that they can help you too. Writing can be tedious, but we can change that. Knowledge plus passion equals excellent writing.