Book Ideas – A New Writing Rule #2
What’s the number one rule of successful writing? It is this: Write! That well-worn cliché is important to all writers, but it does not encompass the full truth. Writers cannot write aimlessly, they must have a topic.
Another cliché is that you should write what you know. That’s an important starting point for new writers, but seasoned writers need to take a different perspective. After all, each of us can only know so much, and when we run out of ideas and information we need to rethink that cliché.
So, where do you get book ideas? If you’re a social person, many ideas will come to you as you interact with others. If you are an adventurous person, ideas will come to you as you try new things. If you are a person composed of body, soul and spirit, and you will find that many of your best ideas come from your passions.
The Power of Passions
Notice I did not say, “passion.” I used the plural. As Christians, we should be in touch with our body and our soul and with spiritual things. We should be aware of God is working in us and through us. We have a particular worldview that enables us to see people and situations in the context that is different from others. If we have a passion for Christ then we will have a passion for other things, and that is the source of our book ideas and writing topics.
When Christian writers start thinking about a new writing topic, whether it is a blog post, magazine article or book, they need to pause and in the quietness of their heart ask, “What am I passionate about today?” The answer will fill your conscious mind. You will not need to thrash around for a topic. You will know.
Your passion will inspire and motivate you. That doesn’t mean that suddenly all the words will pop into your head. On the contrary, passion often drives us to do research, to discover all we can about a certain topic. Our passion compels us to discover new things, and it’s not an onerous task but one driven by the desire of discovery. If you’re like me, tasks fall into two different categories. One is when I don’t want to do something, and I watched the clock and put it off as long as I possibly can. There is no passion in that. There are many times, however, when I am so driven to learn something new about a topic I am passionate about, that time is no barrier. I sometimes work until I drop, and often it is very satisfying.
We all know that the first cliché of writing is that one must write. The second cliché of writing is that a person should write what they know. I would like to delete the well-worn second cliché and in its place offer a new one. The new second rule of writing is this: Be passionate!
When you are a passionate writer, you know the source of your inspiration because it is spiritual in nature. Book ideas flood your mind. When you are a passionate writer the spiritual part of you is in tune with your own body and soul. Passion releases your desire to learn new things about your writing topic and it energizes you to fill your page with words. If you are passion-driven you will never again be at a loss for book ideas.