The first decision an author makes

For some people the hardest thing to do is to settle down and plan a writing project.

Why does this happen?

  • One aspect is having to make the first decision – what to write about.

Most writers have at least half a dozen half-baked topics floating around in their minds.

Why do I call them half-baked ideas? Because they are the beginning of a topic.

  • Perhaps a couple of lines lingering from a favorite song or a poem
  • Perhaps a question they used with a client that triggered a breakthrough
  • Perhaps a topic they are curious about but haven’t researched yet

At the beginning of a project, the writer knows the article or the book will need some focused time to complete. They can’t just sit at the computer keyboard and expect to be done in a few minutes.

Saying yes to one topic means saying no to all the other tantalizing topics that are floating around the edge of the writer’s mind.

Let’s assume you are the writer for the rest of this article.

Once you get over that first obstacle, it is time to give some more thought to the topic you said yes to.

  • What are the most important points you want to share?
  • Is there a natural flow to the order in which you would share them?
  • What is the purpose behind writing about this topic – to inform? – to entertain? – or to persuade the reader to take a particular action?

The answers to these questions will influence

  • The vocabulary you use – formal or informal
  • Whether or not you write in first, second, or third person – I did it, you need to do it, he needs to do it
  • How urgent your deadline is – if your writing needs to be persuasive, is there a specific end date for taking action?

You can see how many additional decisions flow from making that first one – what will I write about. And this is just the beginning.

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Does this all feel overwhelming to you? It doesn’t have to be if you work with someone who can guide you on your journey.

Try working with a strategist and editor who knows what decisions need to be made, and will ask the right questions at the right time. Let that person help you keep moving forward along the right track.

Helping identify your topic, and seeing an effective pattern for sharing it, are some of my gifts. I’d love to talk with you about your ideas. Give me a call and let’s talk. Schedule your Enchanted Book Session here.

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