“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
If you think you have something that you should write about, chances are you probably should. Really, there is plenty worth writing about that hasn’t been written yet. What you learn as a writer is that the success of a written piece is all about how you frame something. If you write it in a way that people can find it, and make it accessible and relatable, chances are that you’ll find some success.
So, how do you successfully frame something to be worth reading? Well, there isn’t one right answer to that. But, I will say something that I’m sure you’ve heard before.
Write what you know.
That’s like the first rule of writing or something. It sounds obvious, but you may be surprised how many people intentionally write what they don’t know. Now, some people write what they want to know. This is where you can get in trouble. I should know because I’ve tried to do just that.
Truth is, you actually know more than you think. But, you probably don’t realize it. The trick is knowing how to learn about what you don’t know so that you can actually write what you know. So, yes, you can write about what you don’t know as long as you say you don’t know. But, people don’t want to hear that. They also don’t want you to bullshit them. People are smarter than you know, by the way.
Every human being has more ideas than one can possibly explore. Most of them aren’t going to be good. But all it takes one good idea properly explored to make a difference in the world. It’s all about execution. So, the best way to go is to write based on what you already do know. Otherwise, it just won’t sound right.
Let’s just say all you know is something other people already write about all the time. I guarantee you there’s always some way to write about even the most popular topics in a new way. You just have to use your imagination. Also, doing some keyword research and seeing how you could use actual search terms to create something even more useful to people.
If you want to read something and you can’t find it, then that’s a start. I used to do that exercise when I was in school. I’d write down books I wish actually existed. I don’t have all those lists anymore. But, for the ones I still have written down, they turned into essays, poems, or some long ramble that had ambitions of being a full blown novel.
Again, execution is critical in writing. You can have the greatest ideas. But if people can’t get them out of what you’re doing, then you’re doing it wrong. So just because you may be rambling on and finding yourself arguing in circles, it doesn’t actually mean you’ve gone nowhere.
You just have to go where your words take you first. It’s then knowing what to do with those words that separates the great writers from the also-rans. Sure, some get lucky and get amazing editors that do that hard work for them. But, most writers need to learn on their own what works for them. It’s up to the individual writer to learn how to get the most out of what looks like an unmitigated mess of words.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already have something well worth writing. Now, you just have to find your own unique way to make it worth reading.
~ Amelia <3