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Friday, January 03, 2014


Friday Speak Out!: Write What You …, Guest Post by Rochelle Melander

You’ve heard the advice:

Write what you know. —Mark Twain

Write what you don’t know about what you know. —Eudora Welty

Others say, write to discover what you don’t know.


How about this: write what delights you.

Every so often, I come across a book that’s just plain delicious.
I felt that way when I discovered Alan Bradley’s delightful series
of mysteries featuring 11-year-old scientist and sleuth Flavia de Luce.
I loved the character and her adventures. Or Lisa Lutz’s book
The Spellman Files about a dysfunctional family of sleuths.

What about you? What delights you? Who would you love to
spend time writing about? Make a list of novel elements that
delight you. Consider:




Time Period


Point of View

Added Value (This is often the stuff that makes a book rich and
fun for you. It may not fall into the categories above. For example,
I love books that have recipes in them—like the novel Bread Alone.
I may never use them, but it’s fun to imagine.)

Once you make your list, put it away. Let your subconscious think
about the book you will write this year. As ideas show up for you,
take notes.

* * *
Write Now! Coach Rochelle Melander is an author, a certified professional coach, and a popular speaker. Melander has written ten books including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (And Live to Tell About It). As the Write Now! Coach, she teaches professionals how to write books fast, get published, and connect with readers through social media. Get your free subscription to her Write Now! Tips Ezine at

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Blogger Margo Dill said...

This is great advice, and I think many of us would be writing more without all the excuses if we would remember this. Thanks for the reminder AND the reading suggestions!

8:13 PM  
Blogger Julie Luek said...

Blissful words for my writer's soul. Thank you. I love these words by William Zinsser, "Write about things that are important to you, not about what you think readers will want to read, editors will want to publish or agents will want to sell...If it's important to you, it will be important to other people."

Have to trust Zinsser! :)

9:20 AM  
Blogger Briane P said...

I've heard lots of advice about what to write, but you're the first to say this, and I think it's great advice. I've said to people about projects I abandoned that I didn't find them entertaining anymore, and if I don't like it, why would someone else? "Write what delights you." I like that a lot.

PS My old creative writing teacher in college -- we needed a LOT of arts credits, which was weird as I was a poli sci major, but it led to me taking creative writing, drawing 1 and drawing 2, guitar 1 and guitar 2, and acting in a play -- my old professor said "we write what we will never understand", and I always liked that, too. Combining the two would mean all my writing is about how delighted I am of the things I don't understand. I like it.

10:40 AM  
OpenID said...

I love the idea of listing the elements that delight me and then setting them aside to simmer in my head.

I can't wait to see what ideas bubble up. Thanks!

8:44 PM  

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