Wondering What to Write About?
Sometimes the smallest questions hold the largest potential. If you’re struggling to find topics to write about for a book or your blog, let this one simple question uncover the experiences, knowledge, and expertise that you might be taking for granted.
So, if you're wondering what to write about next, this is a stellar question posted on Facebook Stacy de la Rosa (who got it from a post by her friend, Jenica Lake, and it started me on the path to thinking hard, often, and a lot on the potential in short books.
What could you speak on for 30 minutes
with no preparation?
It’s not a difficult question to answer. The challenge for me and many of my Friends came with stopping – that is to say, once we started answering the question, we couldn’t stop answering it. Like this—
After leaving a comment on Stacy’s post, I shared the question to my friends and restated what first came to mind…
surviving divorce, choosing childlessness, what wordworkers must have in their work contracts, depression and anxiety (in and out, and then in and out again), 10 ways to repurpose your writing, where to look for article/blog post ideas, self-publishing…
and then found myself adding another comment to list even more topics…
recovering from divorce, leaving your husband, being left by your husband, financial recovery, rebuilding your life, isolation and loneliness, being the child of an alcoholic, being ‘the ugly sister’, idea wrangling, steering your creative juice, telling your story, how to not write a book, and (ideally, someday soon, how to write a book).
and then, a few hours later, I circled back to add some more…
mixed-race marriage, being a woman in a man’s world, being black in a white world, being not black enough to the black world, baking as a healing process, clearing and decluttering as acts of self-forgiveness.
Even now, three weeks later, I could add more (and more and more), but I resist; there’s a world of work right there already.
My Friends posted interests and experiences that were just as eclectic and much more interesting, like—
- drama-free living, parenting, and grand-momming (Beth)
- dogs, chakras, and how to make Lefse (Bridget)
- the third-third of life, cannabis as a healing ally, and kombucha brewing (Sue)
- the stories we tell ourselves, writing believable characters, and Taekwondo (Christine)
- creating a vegetable garden, email marketing, and unschooling (Gwen)
- language learning, song writing, falling in and out of love (Rachel), and
- how to make Christmas dinner on the barbecue when your oven is broken (also Rachel!)
And many, many more.
It was a delight, really, to uncover and share our not-so-little pockets of knowledge, expertise, and experience.
And as this question came on the heels of my post about dictating your writing, it was only a small leap from talking for 30 minutes to 30 minutes of talk is ~2700 words to Heeyyy, that’s long enough for a mighty blog post or a fine white paper or a freebie on your site or a chapter in a book or…
Now it’s your turn—
- Pull out something to write with and write on
- Ask yourself (aloud or in the privacy of your thoughts): “What could Ispeak on for 30 minutes with no preparation?”
- Jot down anything and everything you can think of, and
- Add to the list over the rest of the day (and maybe the next few days or weeks) as more things pop up.
Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
p.s. And if thirty minutes doesn’t seem like enough time to cover a topic, remember that TED talks are 18 minutes, and folks have changed the world (theirs and others) with that small slice of time.