Productivity,  Thoughts,  Writing Notes

Writing What You Know, Writing What You Research

Know that you know what you want to write about, your writing idea, it’s time to ask a few more questions. The first is a researching, and not a challenging question. I say this because, as I said before, you don’t have to know everything about a subject, to know something about a subject.

In that mindset, what do you know about the subject. For example, in my most passionate column are my faith, my family, friends, writing, and art. However, I’m just a parent of a three year old so my knowledge about parenting is minimal. That is not to say that other parents of toddlers can not write wonderful parenting books, but I’m not there yet.

What I generally I write about my faith, family in general terms, writing, and art. I do not claim to know everything about any of these topics, but these are areas that I have experience in. Because of this, they are my base.

The answer to this question allows you to do two very important things. First, you write what you know about the subject. Remember this is a rough draft, it doesn’t have to have a cohesive line at this point. You are writing what you already know, write it out how it comes to you.

This may take three pages, half a book, or the entire book, depending on where you are in life. Don’t allow what the length is to affect you mentally. If you go blank as you begin to write, it doesn’t mean you don’t know the subject. It only means there is a tree in the road, a traveler can drive to somewhere for years, and have a temporary obstacle on their next trip.

There are a number of ways to get past this, for now I’ll mention just a few brief ones. They can be broken down much farther, but I would have you change either the method, the setting, or the time. If you’re typing, try audio, if you’re uncomfortable with video, try handwriting. Sometimes it’s the method that’s the problem. For some, it’s the wrong setting, or the wrong time of day.

The wonderful thing is, the second important answer to my first question can also help you with this obstacle. After you write what you know, whether it comes easy, or has a roadblock, is to research what you don’t. If you’re having trouble writing what you know, don’t stop, just move to research mode.

All of us will need to research, even if we are truly an expert. As an example, Frank Sinatra knew the singing business as well as anyone could have. Yet in the last years of his touring life, he came to his son for help. Frank Sinatra Jr was not near as famous as his father, nor was he as experienced a singer.

What he did know was orchestra, arrangements, and his father. Frank Jr was a composer, a singer, an arranger, and an orchestra leader. More importantly he wasn’t just Frank Sinatra’s son, he was his father’s son. That meant that he didn’t know his Dad as Frank Sinatra, he knew his Dad.

Because of this, he knew how to work with his Dad. According to what I have researched, this made working together not only successful, but enjoyable. I’m sure that both men learned from each other. Research doesn’t mean you don’t know enough to write a book, it means you know enough to know you want to learn more.

Another aspect of this is that, hearing information you know from others, clarifies your own thoughts. Even if you disagree with someone or something you research, their view may help you to communicate your own totally opposite view. John Maxwell said you can learn from anyone, even someone you completely disagree with.

After you are finished researching, or finished with a research session, you’ll know more. You may write and research, or write, research, write, and research. I would encourage you to find the strategy that works for you. Once you know more, you’ll have more that you are able to write.

Writing what you know, and writing what you research is a successful step in the writing process. Before you know it, you have went from having no idea of what to write about, to writing your second chapter. These practical tactics are why I say that anyone can write a book, with the proper roadmap, and an experienced guide.

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