What You Want to Write VS What You Need to Write
What’s better than getting paid to write about the things you like?
In a perfect world these two things would be one and the same. Sadly, you find this isn’t the case as much as you’d like; especially when you’re just starting out. If you get to the point where you’re getting paid for your writing, (such as freelance work) there’s a good chance you’re not always going to be writing about your favorite topics.
Now, you might think “well, I only write about things I like.” And that’s fine. You can write about whatever you want if it’s just for yourself. But if you want to make a career out of writing, you should be able to (and will most likely have to) write about anything. At least when you’re just starting out and doing said freelance work. This statement might sound intimidating, but it’s not a bad thing—no matter how much of a pain it might seem like at the time.
Do you want to grow as a writer? If your answer is yes, you must start venturing out of your comfort zone with your projects. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short story, essay, article, or any other writing you’re getting paid for. Because if you’re only writing about things that come easily for you, it’s going to end up being a hindrance to your writing. Even a novelist will fail if they write the same thing over and over again.
Trust me, I speak from experience. When I started to write for this site, it was mostly just comic based things. And yes, they were fun to do and I could get them done very quickly. But what was it really doing for me? Was it improving my creative writing ability? Was it helping build my article writing skills?
After some time doing more and more non comic based pieces, (like these different writing articles) my writing skills have improved dramatically. And whenever I do go back to a subject I’m more comfortable with, it’s much easier for me to complete the project.
An added benefit of trying new things with your writing is you never know what you’ll end up being good at. There could be something you think you’d suck at writing, (like romance, fantasy, literary fiction, tech articles, etc…) but when you try it a couple of times it turns out well. Then you realize you’re really good at it. It can open a whole new writing world for you.
This is also a good way to make connections with new people. Not everyone is going to be into the same stuff you normally write about. For instance, if you’re good at writing horror and never step outside of that genre, you’re missing out on a lot of potential readers.
If you expand your reach through other forms and genres of writing, you’ll also increase the possibility of expanding your fan base. And by other forms I mean things like poetry, creative non-fiction, experimental art-house stuff, articles, blog writing, and many other forms of writing you may have never tried your hand at.
The real beauty of expanding your writing repertoire is the fact that once you can make it through the roadblock of being new to all these things, you can write just about anything you want. Not only do you have the necessary knowledge, but you also built up the proper skill sets as well.
And let’s be honest here, it’s going to take a while to get as strong writing about different subjects, genres, and forms of writing that are outside of your comfort zone as it does when writing what you’re already good at. But the learning process gives you time to grow your fan base—who’ll not not only see you grow as a writer, but can also appreciate the effort you are putting in. This creates a much deeper connection between you and your readers.
So, I suggest you take a couple of days out of the week to write something you’re not familiar with and see how it goes. What’s the worst that can happen? You realize you suck at writing erotica? At least this way you can start figuring out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go write something I have no clue how to write about. Because life is a journey of learning and experience, and I want to learn and experience as much as I can, while I can.
If you enjoyed this, check out these other informative articles about writing.