I’ve spent nearly ten years trying to figure out what kinds of writing I’m passionate enough about to do well. After jaunts into poetry, short stories, historical accounts, science writing, technical writing, news reporting, blogging, and novel writing, I still haven’t decided. I just love to write.
But I have found areas in which my writing is better than others—as much as I sometimes don’t want to admit it.
To fully evaluate yourself as a writer, one of the most difficult aspects is deciding which types of writing are your strengths. I don’t mean that you should just settle into one type of writing and be stagnant. Experiment with every genre, style, and mode. Instead, I mean that you should discover what you enjoy and are best at so that you can build up your strengths to a publishable level.
Passion is a tricky beast. Some of the interests that I have do not translate into good writing. History fascinates me; historical writing (fiction or nonfiction) does not. I also love fantasy novels and have grand visions of writing a series; however, my fantasy writing has—so far—not come together as well as my contemporary fiction.
You have limited time to write. Often, the best use of that time is to focus on the style of writing you both enjoy and do well. Someday you may expand into other areas, but don’t avoid the style of writing you do well because you’d prefer to write something else.
Here are some questions to ask to check your passion:
- What types of writing interest you? What topics are you passionate about?
- What interests and passions have not translated into successful writing?
- Does your writing critique group consistently praise you on one type of writing or genre?
- Are you writing up to the level you’d like in the mode or genre you prefer?
- Have you neglected a type of writing that people have commended you on?
The Writer’s Checkup
Read the intro for background.