So you’re looking at a blank page, and you ask yourself, “what do I put on it?”
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, my first book was inspired by a dream. It felt like something I had to write. To transfer all of my thoughts (and dreams) onto paper. And as I’ve moved forward, I find that I continue to enjoy writing historical romance, but I’ve also branched out into a few other categories. One book is medieval fantasy, and the newest one is contemporary with a paranormal twist. That one was really fun to write.
Granted, I enjoy writing, period. But what should I be writing?
At a recent retreat, our guest speaker gave a workshop on finding what inspires us and discovering what we’re suited to write. She had us compile a list of things we truly love, (detailed), and then also had us make lists of favorite movies, and books that we read when we were young. Once the list was compiled she was able to pinpoint our interests. Some of the writers in our group were very family oriented, and the things they loved centered around them. Those kind of writers are excellent candidates for writing small town stories that have strong family ties. Makes sense.
On the other hand, writers who liked quirky science fiction, or perhaps spent their youth pinning dead bugs to boards and framing them, or taking apart appliances and figuring out how they work, might be inclined to write sci-fi or steampunk.
For me, family is important, but when it came to my movie and book list I was definitely into fantasy and time travel. The importance of family and the time travel element is probably why I like writing historical. When I started writing my medieval fantasy I thought I was going far away from my ‘norm.’ But since I’m a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, and some of my other favorite reading when I was in high school was Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Legend books, then it made sense to me. I fell in love with Merlin through her writing. Honestly, that was probably the first ‘romance’ I ever read. Not typical romance by any means, but it had a lasting effect.
So, my suggestion to you if you’re having a hard time figuring out what to write, is– Make a list.
But most importantly, write. Write what moves you, but if you truly love the things you’re writing about, you’ll write a much better book.