Why Write?

© 2014 Bob Haslam

It’s nice to see our names in print, but that should be a matter of secondary importance, not our major reason for writing. Let’s explore some of the various reasons for writing.

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I’ve read articles submitted to my magazine for publication and asked myself, “What was that writer meaning to say?” We need to fully think through what we have to say to the reader before sitting down to write.

No matter what classification of article we envision, we should have something of benefit for readers in mind. Editors, who screen articles, pick up on whether or not we have a valuable contribution to make to their readers. Readers are discriminating as well.

A Story to Tell

If you think you have a great story, ask yourself some questions. Will this connect with the interest of readers? Is there an application readers can make to their own lives?

Readers especially like personal-experience stories, whether about yourself or others. They can relate to stories that fit into their own life situations.

Let’s Be Practical

As an editor, I learned through reader surveys that people like “how to” articles. Do you have a unique method with daily devotions? A unique way of observing Easter? Christmas? Planning summer vacations or celebrating birthdays with spiritual components?

Writing is about ideas. Give people new ideas about things they do, and they’ll thank you for it.

Would You Believe Be Entertaining?

Put a smile on your readers’ faces and they’ll keep on reading. You don’t necessarily have to be hilarious, but be pleasant, even humorous, here and there in your writing.

The Bottom Line

Why be a writer? To say something of value, to tell a story with meaning, to give people new ideas of how to do things, and to put a smile on their faces.

Is this an exhaustive list? Not at all. But these are good reasons to sit down and write for the benefit of readers. And when it’s in print and you see your name, you can smile, too—with satisfaction that your submission pleased an editor and will benefit thousands of readers.
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Bob Haslam Bob Haslam is a former editor of Light & Life. His book, PK: A Preacher’s Kid Comes of Age During the Great Depression and World War II is available at Amazon.com, also on Kindle and Nook.

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