What Counts as Writing?

In my class, Becoming a Writer While Keeping Your Day Job, one of the concepts I cover is determining what counts as writing.

Of course, the obvious pen to paper or finger to keyboard arises as the first answer, but writing involves so much more.

  • Topic research

Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, you must be accurate in content and that means doing research.

  • Market research

Most writers dream of being published. Well, publishing is business, so that means you need a buyer for your writing. As a seller of your writing, you need to do research as well–research on who’s buying what. The Writer’s Market (available at the Writers Digest Bookstore)  is a good resource for finding places to sell your writing.

  • Life observations

It’s been said that writers are observers of life. What do you observe when you leave the four walls you call home? What do you observe within your home?  How can you incorporate your observations into your writing? If you’ve ever tried to remember a dream without writing it down, you know how fleeting thoughts can be. Make a note of what you observe so you have it when you need it.

  • Idea file

When you get an idea for a character, for an article, for a story to make a point, etc., jot it down on a slip of paper or index card and slip it into your idea box/file. You may not use that idea on your current project, but you’ve got it available for when you can use it.

What counts as writing? Everything you do the contributes toward getting your perspective commited to paper or computer file. Now, stop reading blogs and get back to writing!


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