This probably seems like the most obvious bit of advice about writing, and I certainly thought so before I started my own writing “adventures” on this website.
What advice am I talking about?
Write about what interests you.
Wow … ground-breaking stuff, right?
In all honesty, this advice only FINALLY sunk in when I started blogging on this website 6 months ago.
Before that, I had written several other blogs of varying success levels (one was a complete dud that was abandoned early on, a few others were relatively successful university blogs, and the other one was a small business blog).
It was this last blog that almost killed my enthusiasm for blogging altogether.
Why did it kill my enthusiasm for writing?
Well, for some reason, I had convinced myself that I needed a business blog so I could market and promote my business.
I never asked myself whether I was actually interested in writing about business. It always felt forced. Forced by others’ expectations.
Nevertheless, I spent HUNDREDS of hours writing some of the more detailed blog articles on there, and these articles continue to get a lot of traffic every month.
But eventually I stopped writing there.
Why was I writing to begin with?
It suddenly hit me – why was I writing stuff about business?
Sure, it was good to know my articles were (and still are) helping people start their own businesses, but beyond that I had no interest in the material whatsoever. It was labour intensive, not financially rewarding (I make nothing from those articles, ironically…), and made me dread writing another article.
Besides, it was all SO BORING. Mind-numbingly so.
So I stopped there, and started focussing more on what was initially just a little “side-project” – THIS website.
Before I knew it, it became obvious to me that I actually preferred writing about LIFE in general. About self-development, motivation, creativity, thoughts and theories on living an unconventional life, being happy, etc.
Sure, those aren’t necessarily original areas, but screw it. It’s what I really enjoy writing about at the moment, so who cares how many competitors this area has. I’ll keep writing here as long as it interests me. And so far, it has been the most successful (and prolific) writing adventure I’ve had.
And, as an added bonus, the articles now feel easier to write, are more enjoyable to develop, and I can write many of them at once. As a result, I look forward to writing down ideas and articles for this website.
So what’s my overall point?
Don’t write what you think you SHOULD write.
Don’t write what OTHERS think you should write either.
Write because you genuinely want to, and because you are genuinely interested and excited about what you write.
It’s a simple bit of advice, but amazingly easy to forget. Do you forget sometimes?