© 2013 Janet Chester Bly
Creative writing begins with an idea. What follows determines the result. The motivation. Perseverance. Research. Drafts and rewrites. The sweat to make it happen. But unless there’s connection power, readers dwindle.
Since females buy the most books, what inspires a woman’s heart?
- Open your own heart. A writer who shines above the pack draws from her own felt issues. A hot topic: one that fits you and meets a need in the marketplace.
- Look into your past. Where have you struggled? What problems have you faced, and where have you found answers? What personal experiences make you qualified to opine on certain subjects?
- Lay it all out. You don’t have to be perfect but make sure you’re a woman in process. Be honest before you mete out advice to others. Share the wisdom you’ve gained and confess when you’ve blown it. Let transparency flow from your heart to hers.
- Listen to your own voice. What is the central theme you keep coming back to? What are the ideas that don’t seem to go away? What is your life message?
- Define your present. Who are you right now? Education and career, hobbies and experiences? Before you try a book, have you written articles on the subject? Are you willing to do research through reading, interviews, and travel, if needed? Above all, can you walk what you write?
- Listen to her voice. Pay close attention. Hear her concerns, the passion of her heart. Jane Struck, editor of Today’s Christian Woman, says, “If two or three friends bring up the same topic, then it’s a hot topic.” Subscribe to women’s magazines and blogs. Read advice columns and women’s how-tos and fiction. Scan letters to the editor. Go to women’s conferences. What trends catch your interest? Listen for writing ideas.
- Study the Scriptures. What does God say about a woman’s heart? Line up what you write with eternal truth.
- Stir emotions. Make her laugh. Make her cry. Tell compelling, true stories.
- Provide help, hope, and healing with “oomph.” Outline your principles. Then step them up a notch. Make them catchy. Develop a different slant. Give her handy things to do.
Study what’s already out there for women, and make yours as good or better.
Janet Chester Bly has authored or co-authored with her late husband, Stephen Bly, 31 books including The Heart of a Runaway, Words To Live By For Women, Friends Forever, Hope Lives Here, Awakening Your Sense of Wonder, How To Be A Good Mom andManaging Your Restless Search. Find out more at Bly Books or Janet’s Bly Books blog.