Choosing What to Write?

Random T writes:

The topic is quite hot in the net right now. What do you pay the most attention to when choosing what to write ?

Well Random T,
It’s a good question and it made me think about my whole writing process. How do I chose what to write about? Here’s a little secret: When I am at a loss for a new topic for a book, I usually spend a few days of angst convinced that I have nothing left to say. Once I am over this big insecurity (and 99% of writers can relate to this), there are several things I do to get the ideas flowing. Here they are in order of preference, although at one time or another, all have worked for me.

    Put on my Ipod, without actually powering it up, and go out into the world to eavesdrop on people’s conversations. This is especially effective on buses, in cafes or other public places. People always assume that if one is wearing an MP3, their conversations will not and cannot be overheard. I’ve got tons of ideas this way. Best overheard sentence: “I can’t buy you a ring, but I can steal one. What’s your favourite stone?”
    Music. For some reason, the louder the better. I don’t use my Ipod for this. I’d be stone deaf. Instead I turn up my speakers to maximum and I dance and I sing like a fool. This unblocks me and the ideas flow.
    The beach. I love the beach. If it’s a warmish day (I hate being cold), I hop on my bike and go to the beach. It’s about ten blocks from my house — downhill all the way — which means the return trip is brutal, but worth it. Stuff happens at the beach all the time. Once I rescued a duck from the beak of an American Eagle. Well, I didn’t really rescue it. The duck weighed too much for the eagle to carry while flying, so he literally dropped it at my feet. It was a Surf Scooter and did survive its ordeal.
    Freewriting. Every author worth his or her salt knows the benefits of freewriting. I do this on a regular basis and it has never failed me yet.

Once I have a few ideas, I ponder them. Eventually the creme rises to the top and I go with the idea that most appeals to me. Sometimes I worry that I am a bit focuses on the darker side of life, but I am interested in struggle so that’s what I usually write about. In the beginning, I did try to write as per guidelines — happy stories, adventure stories, romance stories… but I was a complete failure.

So, that is a long-winded answer to a great question. Thanks.

The Beach

The Beach


Filed under General

3 responses to “Choosing What to Write?

  1. David T

    I encourage you to try your hand at contemporary adult fiction – just reading your blog is entertaining enough but you’ve got plenty of material at hand to come up with a full blown novel.

  2. Pariya

    Thank you for this fantastic post! The mind of Julie Burtinshaw should be studied and published for public record to inspire generations to come! You are truly brilliant, keep writing! We will continue to try to keep up with you and your fabulous adventures.. :o)

  3. Pariya

    ps- I didn’t intend to make that emoticon face, it just happened!

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