Whether you are just starting out on your writing path, or have been doing it for years but fancy a change, it may be time to take a step back and ask yourself the question: What kind of writing is best for me?
Many people who want to write just do so blindly, they think they should be writing a novel when actually they have a talent for writing short stories, they spend years laboriously pouring over their poetry, when in fact, they had a best-selling TV script up their sleeve all along.
Of course, many writers try their hand at lots of different kinds of writing, and that is by far the most interesting and useful way – experiment with different types, styles, and genres to see what feels right and inspires you the most.
However, understanding a little more about what you like and your writing style can help you get there quicker. Let’s take a look at some of the most common writing types and see if they sound like they would appeal to you.
Do you like deadlines? Are you super organised? Do you like researching and writing about a variety of topics? Do you like learning new things? Article writing could be right up your street!
I took journalism in high school since I knew I liked writing then. This was my extent at writing articles. I still remember and use the editing techniques we learned then when I'm going over what I have typed, including my current piece of work.
Do you have a niche subject or hobby you want to share with the world? Do you love connecting with people? Are you hot on social media? Are you a productive writer? Perhaps blogging is best for you.
Since I have a blog, this is a no-brainer. I find bogging a way to express things I think of that I want to share. I love reading and commenting on other blogs as well.
Do you have a unique story you are dying to tell? Do you love using your imagination and being creative? Do you enjoy crafting a tale? Are you disciplined when it comes to your writing? Can you handle rejection? Do you have the time and energy to write a whole novel? You might just have an amazing novel up your sleeve!
Still trying to decide if I want to go this route. When I began my story last year, I debated over whether it should be a novel or memoir. Because the notes I began writing sounded like a memoir, I went that way. I've often pondered attempting a novel, however, and I recently began what I hope to make a YA novel written in diary format. Perhaps even a novella could be something I may attempt.
Do you live or have you led a fascinating life? Do you have a weird/ wonderful/ tumultuous/ terrifying family history? Do you need to make sense of something that has happened to you? Have you learned life lessons that you think others could relate to or benefit from hearing about? Perhaps a fascinating memoir is a way forward.
As all you regular readers of my blog know, I have been working on a memoir of depression for more than year now. I'm still trying to get it done and have been worrying over the word count. Some people tell me it's the effort that counts, but others say different publishers require a certain word count. I'm almost totally certain I don't want to self-publish, though the word count doesn't matter in that case.
Are you excellent at dialogue? Are you the one always telling stories at parties? Do you love to observe people? Do you love creating different characters and being their puppet master? Perhaps script or screenwriting is for you.
I'm not too certain about this one, but maybe I'll try writing plays or any other work that emphasizes dialogue.
Do you love playing with language? Rhythm and rhyme? Do you enjoy experimenting with form, and choosing every word carefully to deliver the biggest impact? Do you like surprising people with your words? Do you love poetic language and using poetic devices in your work? Perhaps you need to awaken the poet within!
I have tried this one and it's easy for me, though I tend to write the kinds that don't rhyme--guess it's easier that way.
Do you have loads of creative ideas? Do you find yourself always making up little stories in your head? Are you economic with words and language when you write? Do like to work on smaller projects where you can clearly see the finish line? Short stories could be your niche.
I've tried this one, especially for my creative writing class in college. I may just try again when I need to summon my creativity.
Thinking about what you like to read can also help you decide what kind of writer you want to be, Many writers have broad reading interests, but it’s rare that a person who hates poetry would want to be a poet, and so on.
Asking yourself the questions above can help you determine what sort of writing you might be most interested in and have an aptitude for. Of course, you might want to only concentrate on one type of writing, or you might want to try your hand at them all.
One thing is certain, without experimenting with your writing and the type of writing you do – you might never discover that hidden writing talent and passion within you!
I agree with all of this above. Sometimes you have to stick with what you like writing best, but experimenting with other kinds of writing can release a hidden talent you may have for that kind of writing.