I think about writing in the same way that I think about business…
Be your own target audience.
I’ve always been really interested in entrepreneurship, the whole process of making something from nothing. Having stopped running my own business (I used to sell vintage things) 5 months ago so that I could start writing full-time, I have noticed how there are lots of parallels between what makes for a good business, and what makes for a good piece of writing.
In the same way that all it takes for a business to become a roaring success is one idea being brought forth into the world and received well, the same is true of writing. All it takes is one idea that’s floating around in that head of yours being brought forth into the world and it could change, not just your life, but potentially the lives of lots of people.
And this is what, for me, makes writing, and being a writer, so exciting. The fact that you’re always one good idea- one good article, one good poem- away from having your whole life changed (for the better)! What greater motivation to write is there than this?
‘How can I increase the chances of my writing being well received?’
Again, to compare writing to the way [good] businesses operate, make yourself your own target audience.
Write about the things that you are interested in.
Answer the questions that you have.
Doing this has two benefits…
- Writing about the things that genuinely interest you will make you more likely to keep writing, because you enjoy researching and writing on the topics so will therefore look forward to writing rather than seeing it as a ‘job.’
- By answering your own questions, you know that at least one person is going to appreciate the answer, even if that person is you! Even if a piece of writing you spend hours and hours on gets zero views, then having landed at an answer to whatever question you were asking, you’ll avoid feeling as though you’ve wasted your time, something which can be very demoralising, especially for new writers.
Chances are though that if you’re asking a question, there will be lots more people who are also asking the same thing…
Because our similarities- what we have in common- far outweigh our differences.
It’s easy to overlook how similar we really are when we see politicians arguing on TV, when we see wars breaking out, but, it is a fact. We all come from the same place, we’re all going to the same place (albeit, none of us know where that actually is), and we’re all just doing our best as we try to make sense of what the hell we’re actually doing here in this bizarre ‘in between’ stage we call life…
Write from the heart, write about what it means to be human, so that your words will connect with people/so that people will feel ‘seen’ in your words.
I try to connect with people by writing about all things social justice, mental health and spirituality, for these are things which, I believe, are universally experienced by nature of us being human…
Just think about it.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be political, even if you’ve never voted a day in your life (please do), simply because you are human means that you have some vested interest in politics- in the way society is run, because you are in that society.
And the same is true of spirituality- even if you don’t consider yourself to be spiritual, simply because you and I are together on this random floating rock in the middle of space, we have some vested interested in spirituality- in the way the universe is run, because we are in that universe (or, perhaps more accurately, because we ARE that universe).
And as for mental health… Even if you have never had any issues with your mental health, the nature of life- the fact that we will all go through loss and love and death, we will all hurt and have to make it through, to heal- means that mental health is something which we will all struggle with throughout our life (granted, to varying degrees) and can therefore all relate to-
the nature of life,
the nature of humanity–
made relatable through,
brought to life via,
(something so simple yet so profound).