The majority of writing is confidence. You have to believe in yourself and put words to the page that you hope with might that others will want to read. But, sometimes the choice of topic is a little too much to bear. It is always something you have never heard of and know nothing about. You start to panic and get the shakes. It can intimidate you and cause you to break out in the sweats. Every writer has been there, even myself.
I can recall several difficult topics that I recoiled from and thought there was no possible way that I could intelligently or coherently write with passion. But, if there is a will, there is a way! Yes, you can overcome a topic that is over your head and wrought with terminology that is starting to make your mind spin. Yes, you can write with abandonment about a challenging topic and be satisfied (even proud) of the words that you put on the page.
So, exactly how do I do it?
Well, I’ll admit it isn’t easy, and it takes a little grit to get started. But, if you can scrap with the best of them, you can certainly manage to handle a difficult topic with ease.
1. Break It Down
For starters, you need to break down exactly what you do know about the topic. Anything? Anything at all? If you hear crickets, no need to run for the hills. There is hope. You’ll find it on the web. You need to educate yourself and take a crash course to become an expert. If you have an inkling on the topic, you are in luck to some degree. Flesh it out. Vomit on the paper and just get your thoughts out. Sounds gruesome but it works. You’ll have a start, and sometimes that is all you need.
2. Do Your Homework
Now if you are a part of the former group with little to no understanding of what you are about to write, you need to down a strong cup of coffee and begin to be an internet stalker of sorts. Yes, you need to read everything that is out there about the topic until you feel comfortable, learn something, and can confidently speak about it. Only when you have accomplished this can you begin to write with the world as your audience.
3. Face Your Fears
Intimidation can be the demon for writers. You may be filled with doubt and don’t think you have the gumption to write something that anyone will care to read, much less on a topic that is challenging you so. You’d be surprised! I used to write about gen-sets if you can believe it, and readers gobbled it up like candy. They couldn’t get enough! I had to face my fears then (and still today) and know that I was good enough to be the expert on the topic and teach others a thing or two they didn’t know. Facing the fear that haunts you isn’t easy, but you can’t give into it. Standup! Be proud! You are a writer, and you have something to say.
4. Write Something
- You are ready to write but the words aren’t coming. The topic is too difficult. You are whining. You can’t! But, yet you can. You need to get something (ANYTHING!!) down on paper. Cultivate something and the rest will come. I promise. It may sound counterproductive but there are times when I write about how much I hate topic. That usually turns into a war with myself but there is usually a nugget in there that gets me started. I have found that starting is often half the battle but once you get into it, words spew and you soon find that you have written more than you needed to.
5. Go For A Goal
Lastly, when you are faced with a topic that is killing your spirit with its overbearing demands, take it as it comes. Write it in chunks. Give yourself a goal and stick to it, even if it is only 200 words by 10 a.m. It may take you all morning to get there, but it will get easier as you move along. Yes, 200 words now, 500 next and then mash it out with 1000. You’ll hit your goal, and it will be easier to manage, especially if it feels daunting at first.
As a writer, I have found that you have to develop the tricks that work for you so you too can climb the mountain on those difficult topics that make you want to jump off a ledge. Take a step back, my friend, and arm yourself with knowledge. You too can be an expert on any topic and speak to the world with your writing. Just get started!
Short Bio: Writing came naturally for me and almost by accident. I fell into a role as an editor with a monthly B2B magazine, working my way up to editor-in-chief. Here, I really crafted my skills as a writer and grew the confidence in my abilities. Now, as a freelancer, I’ve been able to tackle the diverse and the divine. Like every writer, I struggle with difficult topics but have found these tips work for me. It doesn’t start out pretty every time, but it gets there in the end.