Dog Walk Writing and Book Publishing Q&A with Susan Daffron, the Book Consultant, which answers the perennial question: What should I write about?
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Hello. My name is Susan Daffron and I'm the Book Consultant. This is Fiona. She's the Fuzzy White Dog.
And it's time to head out for the walk.
In today's Dog Walk Q&A, I want to talk about the biggest question I hear from writers. Whether they're writing a book or an article, people always ask: What should I write about?
The easiest way to discover what people want to know is to listen. Go where your target readers hang out, whether online or in person. What are they talking about? What questions do they have? Do you know (or can you find) the answers? Do you have a strong opinion on the topic?
People buy non-fiction books or do an online search to solve a problem. That's why weight loss, self-help, and business books and blogs are perennially popular. Everyone wants to be healthy, happy, and make more money. (Don't you?)
The main key is to keep your topic manageable. Don't try to write a complete treatise on a broad topic. For example, my book Funds to the Rescue offers an introduction to fundraising principles and 101 ideas for humane and animal rescue groups. It's extremely specific to one group of readers and doesn't try to be the be-all and end-all reference on fundraising.
People who have the most trouble coming up with writing topics often are bogged down worrying about what they "should" do.
In every case, there is no one "right" way to write. For example, you can blog in many ways. Often worrying about "what to write about" will stop people from starting a blog, book, or even writing anything at all.
When you answer a question or solve a problem, the people who need those answers will want to read what you've written. It's as simple as that.