Why are you writing?
What’s your goal?
What are you hoping to accomplish with your writing?
There are lots of ‘motivational’ quotes out there from lots of famous, erudite, witty people that say things like, “if you’re not writing because you’d just die if you didn’t then don’t bother.”
You get the gist. Of course you have to have a passion for it, feel a need to get it done, but it doesn’t have to be life or death right?
But… why are you writing?
What is the measure of your own success?
If you have a story to share, or information to share on a topic you are well-versed in, then getting it out there means bringing it to the attention of people that may be interested.
Will you sell it or give it away? Are you using sales as a measure of success?
Writing for its own sake is rewarding. Learning the craft, using language, telling stories, uncovering stories, all can be enjoyed by just you.
Are you the sole audience for your writing?
If you want to share what you write then it comes back to bringing it to the attention of people that may be interested in it.
How do you plan to do that?
The answer ‘social media’ is fine, a bit vague, but fine.
You’ll need to construct a social-media presence that can reach the people you want. That takes time and energy, but is ultimately worth it, even if you decide to try and publish with an agent rather than self-publish.
But aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves, we haven’t even written the thing yet!?
Then you realise that your writing, the ‘thing’, will take on a different shape depending upon why you are writing it, what you are going to do with it.
How are you going to judge whether you have succeeded with your writing? Or is that not important? Is it just about getting the piece written?
If you’re anything like me, you have bouts of insanely manic self-confidence (of course it’s worthwhile, have you not understood what I’ve been saying!?) as well as crushing self-doubt (there are so many other good books out there, why is anyone going to give a shit about mine?), but you’ll probably spend most of the time in the middle – the ‘well, I like the story, so someone else might, and I can write a bit’ territory.
The first measure of success I use is getting the thing written. Getting it to a state that it can be rewritten and then self-edited. The second measure of success for me, is getting it read by people who understand what the piece is about, getting feedback and tidying up. Then more rewriting. Then, as far as I’m concerned, it’s down to the angsty stage… getting it professionally edited.
Then I can really address what I want to do with it and how best to achieve that.
More goal-setting and planning.
But that can only happen once I’ve written it.
Why do I write? I have stories to tell and I believe other people will want to read them.
What’s my goal? To get my stories and ideas in to the hands of people that will be interested in them and not lose money in the process.
What do I hope to accomplish? To get stuff out there to an audience, to broaden what I write and who it appeals to, to explore new topics, to get better at writing as a craft.
Cats or dogs? Cats.
Werewolves or Vampires? Werewolves.
Any more questions? No, I think I’m done…