One of my students recently asked, “How did you zero in on the topics you currently write about? What prompted you to make these choices?”
It’s a challenge every person who writes online has to solve.
On the one hand, you want to write about topics you love, but you also want to write about what readers care about.
It’s a difficult challenge because if you only write about popular topics that you don’t care about, you might get the views, but not the inner satisfaction.
And if there’s one thing you need to succeed as a writer, it’s the latter. Without inner satisfaction, it’s very difficult to keep writing. It’s not like writing is the highest paid profession in the world.
Writing is mostly unrewarding and hard.
But you write because you must. Not because someone forces you, but because it’s a way of life for you.
So if you want to write online, that’s the first thing you want to ask yourself: “Is this something I must do? Is this something I want to do?”
Only proceed if you can’t see yourself not writing. That’s the first step for all new writers who want to succeed.
A few questions that help you zero in on topics
I wanted to write for many years before I actually started getting traction. But I felt I had nothing to say, so my writing wasn’t any good.
I don’t know exactly how long that took. But I remember wanting to become a writer in high school. I started zeroing in on the topics I currently write about when I was 28.
The ten or more years before that, I just tried a lot of different things: Traveling, reading, taking different jobs, going after goals, starting businesses.
At some point, I decide to focus more on self-awareness. I started doing more introspection and started asking myself more questions. Here are some of those questions:
- What are the things I really don’t like?
- Which writers do I like? And why?
- What type of books do I like to read? Books that entertain me? Or books that help me solve problems?