When I first starting chasing my dream to become a writer, I wanted to write a bit of everything: short stories, novels, poetry, children’s picture books, young adult fiction, epic fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, memoirs, devotionals, essays, autobiography.
Three years later and after much more writing and learning, I’ve realized it’s probably not the wisest thing to cover everything.
First of all, most authors specialise in one area and are well known for a certain genre: Dan Brown writes thrillers, David Eddings writes fantasy, Bill Bryson writes travel.
This helps the reader know what to expect, so once you’re hooked on an author, you can be pretty sure you won’t be let down with their next book.
It also helps the writer since they can put all the focus into one area and become really good at it.
Second of all, I know now what I love writing most and the books I want to write most.
There’ll always be other things I want to write and I can dabble in them, but my focus is on what I want to write most. It’s painful saying no to focusing on other projects, but also freeing to focus on the one area that means most to me.
Step 1 of a post I found called How To Treat Your Writing Like A Business helped me crystallise what I want to write.
Here it is:
Step 1: Think about what you want to write.
- What do you want to write about? I want to write about the lessons I’ve learned and share my journey.
- Do you want to do fiction or non-fiction? Non-fiction.
- What genre do you enjoy writing the most? Life writing.
I want to add one more question to Step 1:
- Why do you want to write about this? Because I believe everything we go through is for others. Every lesson and story we have can give something good to others. They can inspire, encourage, challenge, teach, delight, entertain, comfort, connect, and offer hope and understanding. They can let people know they’re not alone.