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Should you write that story? Here’s how to find out!

Whether you’re an aspiring writer or already a more experienced author, you might find yourself wondering if you should start working on a specific story idea that you have. As with most artistic endeavours, you’re most likely the best judge of that, but here’s a quick guide to help you make the decision. Spoiler alert: you probably should write that story.


Related: What should I write about?

How often do you think about your story?

“On the few occasions that something reminds me of it.”

Are you sure THIS story is what you should start writing? Because I want you to finish it, too, and you’re more likely to do that if you’re excited about it. Sometimes this happens when we come up with a cool story idea that we think we SHOULD write, but our heart is not really in it. Examine how you really feel and see if there’s a better idea waiting for you somewhere.

”I try not to think about it too much, it’s kind of embarrassing.”

My writing friend, never be embarrassed by your stories or ideas! There’s a reader for every writer and your imagination is awesome. Besides, have you seen what kind of weird stuff people love to read about? It never ceases to amaze me, and there’s room for you too.

“I spend pretty much all day thinking about ALL of my story ideas.”

That’s the dream, isn’t it? Just remember to commit to the one you’re most looking forward to writing so that you’ll get to the finish line, too. Finish at least a couple of drafts before you start working on another idea, and try to limit it to two writing projects at once. Otherwise you might never see a finished work and essentially you’d be STEALING from your future readers.

“I’m already gathering ideas for my story, so I think about it frequently.”

Great! Your dedication will help you create something really good. When you have a good system for storing all your ideas, it will be so much easier to start plotting your story.

“I’m totally obsessed with my idea and I think about it 24/7.”

You absolutely MUST write this story and I can’t wait to read it. When something is that important to you, it’s easy to start worrying that the end product won’t be as good as you hoped, so remember not to get discouraged or too anxious about it. Just write and then edit like your life depends on it!

Why do you think you should write this story and not something else?

“I’ve done my research and I think it will sell well.”

Market research is all well and good, but how do YOU feel about your story? If you’re not writing it out of love, it will show. Besides, no matter how trendy you are, nobody is obliged to like your story or buy your book, so it’s always best to be authentic.

”Dunno, maybe I shouldn’t write it? What will they say?”

Every single book in the world has been criticised by someone, don’t let that scare you! Your idea is totes valid and you should write it. I’ve definitely cringed at the thought of my family members reading the sex scene I had in my novel, but if I allowed that to stop me from writing the story I had in my heart, my writing wouldn’t have been any good at all.

“Actually I’m not sure? I have so many ideas. How do you know which one is the best?”

You know you have the rest of your life to write, you just have to START. Begin outlining some of your ideas and see which one you’re the most eager to keep writing. If you still can’t pick one, you can always brainstorm with another writer to help you choose. If you’re on Instagram, you could poll your followers and see if you’d like to start with the story they choose.

“Because I’m already invested in the world of the story and it will be fun getting it on paper.”

Great! You’re going to enjoy the writing process, just remember to get started. I know, I keep saying that a lot, but apparently writers love to procrastinate so it bears repeating. The writing process isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but there’s nothing like seeing your finished story in front of you and sharing it with eager readers.

“I have no other option, the story wants to get out of me. Like a sneeze.”

Okay, a gross analogy, but I can respect that. Please share your story with the world.

Who knows about your story?

”I’ve talked about it with a few published writers to check that they think it’s a good idea.”

There’s nothing wrong with brainstorming, but I hope you trust yourself the most when you write that story. Getting validation for your ideas and asking others to help you decide are good things only as long as you truly love your story idea yourself. You also shouldn’t be afraid to try out some new ideas that haven’t been proven to be marketable yet, because the world doesn’t actually need more books about teenaged vampires or jaded twenty-somethings who quote Oscar Wilde. (But, you know, who am I to judge? Write what’s in your heart.)

”Um, no one? I can barely tolerate the idea of someone reading it when it’s finished, I’m totally not going to share it with anyone while I’m still writing it. Please look away already!”

I totally understand that sharing your unfinished work with others can seem just about as appealing as making a face mask out of cold porridge, I just hope you’re doing it out of wanting to protect your story and not out of shame. Are there parts of you that you’re afraid of sharing with others? Not everyone will accept you all the time, but that just makes you more interesting – nobody wants to meet a person or read a story that is so mild that it appeals to everyone.

”I always talk about my story ideas and worlds so much that I’m sure even my writer friends aren’t listening to me anymore.”

If that gives you motivation to keep writing, never change! Just… remember to write, too. I’m so glad you’ve found your flock and you have people to keep you accountable on your writing journey, though.

”I may have mentioned it in passing but I’ll definitely have to explain myself if anyone sees my Google search history.”

Just another day in the life of a writer, I guess. So how much do you already know about different types of poisons?

”I don’t have the time to talk about it, this baby won’t be writing itself.”

You are amazing, I hope you know that. Oh, and you have that cup of tea forgotten somewhere, don’t you?

What will happen if you never write this specific story?

“Someone else might capitalise on it.”

I would never judge you for getting food on the table, but see if there’s another way of getting excited about writing your story. Stories written from the heart impact more lives, my pal. And even if someone else had been writing about the same idea, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it too, because a story written with your own personal voice will always differ from other people’s stories.

”I’d probably still keep thinking about it. I don’t know, it’s possible that I’ll start writing and then never finish the story anyway, so…”

The fact that you’re thinking about it says that it means something to you, so don’t be discouraged. Write!!! You clearly want to be a writer, and there’s no other cure for that except WRITING.

“It’ll be fine, I’ll pick another one of my great ideas!”

That attitude is going to take you far and I hope you apply it to other areas of your life as well. Never stop writing!

“I’d be pretty bummed about it because I can already see the story world and how everything pans out.”

This story clearly needs to get written and you’re going to have so much fun doing it. You should teach your world-building skills to other writers, too, because not everyone is as good at something that comes naturally to you.

“That’s literally not an option.”

GOOD. I believe we need to read your story as much as you need to tell it. It’s going to be iconic.


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