How Do I Choose Where To Focus My Writing Efforts?

By Edie Melson

A lot of newer writers, and even those at a crossroad, find themselves overwhelmed with the myriad of options in the field of writing. They struggle, trying to decide between writing articles, devotions, fiction, non-fiction, etc.

Writing is a big field, and if you didn’t study some aspect of it in college, the choices can be daunting.

My suggestion—take a deep breath—you don’t have to start out with a specialty. As a matter of fact, until you’ve tried several different genres—and sometimes even then—you probably shouldn’t limit yourself too much. Even those of us with formal training find ourselves morphing into a different kind of writer than we envisioned at the start of our career.

Give yourself time to flex your wings. Try out different things. Write for the web, for print—even try your hand at a short story or flash fiction. Not only will variety help you determine the kind of writing you love, it will improve your ability overall. Here are some other tips to help you get started.

  • *Look for a writers group in your area. There may or may not be one, but if there is, it will help immensely. It gives you perspective when you see what others are doing and you’re able to ask questions.
  • *Take a look at what you like to read. What touches you? What do you find yourself saying, “If I could write anything, I’d write this?” The answer may surprise you and lead you down a different writing path.
  • *Determine what you want to accomplish with your writing. Is it to touch people, glorify God, earn a little extra money? The answer may not be all one thing, but you should have one that stands out from the others.

These tips will help make your choices easier. They will also help you determine where to go for further training. For example, I might recommend one book for a writer who wants to write devotions and a completely different one for someone who is interested in freelancing as a career.

Don’t be afraid of all the choices—embrace them!

I’d love to hear from you. What kind of writing do you like to do? How did you discover it?

***

Edie Melson is a leading professional in the writing industry. She’s a sought after writing instructor; and her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others.

Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle is her latest book, a devotional for military families. You can find her on her blog,www.thewriteconversation.com or coaching new writers on social media at www.mybooktherapy.com.

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