Since How to Write is now a little more than a week away, I am considering this question that I hear so often.
What should I write about?
We all face this dilemma when we sit down to pen something. I personally keep a pretty lengthy list of folders in my Document section devoted to ideas. And when I have an idea, I write it out and save it over there. So when the time comes to begin something new, I have plenty of ideas to choose from.
I am not going to discuss WHERE ideas come from because that is just a silly question. Ideas are everywhere. If you want to write YA go to the ice cream shop or pizza shop or another place where young people gather and LISTEN. You will hear more than you ever dreamed and the ideas will go cray-cray in your mind. If you want to write romance, watch a few Lifetime movies. Learn human interaction and you will never miss. If you want to write mystery, read a great selection from the bestseller list. I personally love the first books by Patricia Cornwell. Truly you can be inspired and get ideas from movies, books, and just plain opening your ears.
But choosing a writing topic is a very individual thing. You alone can tell what you should write about. Most of us have a strong inclination when we sit down to write about SOMETHING. Just let your muse take your hand and pull you along for a while. I am going on a wing and a prayer myself. Sometimes I have to write a few chapters before I realize what the story is really about and where it is going.
Writing is a process.
It’s the thing that our brain gets us into and we have to jump on the bus and just go. And if you worry about writing something you don’t know a lot about — just remember that there are a lot of good resources on the Internet, and this might be a great time for you to learn how to research. There are pros out there in the field you do not know much about who would love for you to contact them and ask for info. (I went on a drive around my town with a police officer to see what it feels like).
So, in answer to the what do I write about question — just write. Those who worry too much about what they are doing often give up on the notion. You don’t want to do that, do you?