Self-Exploration for Writers: Writing Formats and Focuses

Self-Exploration for Writers: Writing Formats and Focuses
By Norma J Hill (aka Pen And Paper Mama) ©2020

Welcome to a self-exploration series of exercises for writers: useful whether you are just thinking about writing, are a beginning writer, or are already an experienced writer. Explore what, for you personally, defines a writer, what kind of writer you are, what your writing goals are—and in the process, you will discover yourself as a writer. At the end of each post in the series, there is a link to a downloadable and printable PDF copy on which you can write your responses. Put them in a binder or duotang-type folder. Then, periodically along your writing journey, return to your answers, read what you noted previously, and add new thoughts and experiences. Through this self-exploration process, you’ll end up with a wonderful personal record of your writer’s journey.

1. Muses and Mentors
2. Reading that Inspires Me
3. Listening and Viewing
4. My Life Experiences Related to Writing
5. Inspiration and Dreams
6. Writing Formats and Focuses
7. My Writing Skills
8. My Readers/Audience
9. Preparing to Write

6. Writing Formats and Focuses

Do you have a particular topic you want to write about and/or a specific genre in which you want to write? Why have you chosen that format and focus? What are you doing to prepare? Jot down your thoughts about:

Fiction: genres and lengths (novels, short stories, flash fiction, etc.):                  
Nonfiction: topics/subjects and formats (books, workbooks, etc.)                    
Articles: topics and types of publications (blogs, magazines, ezines, anthologies, etc.):                
Poetry: what kind? How published? (books, anthologies, journals, etc.):                
Podcasts, radio, other audio broadcasts:              
Video, play, or film scripts:                
Video game scripts:                  
Other writing formats and focuses:              

Putting your exploration into practice:

Which category of writing formats and focuses are you most interested in doing? Take a full day (or even a weekend) “retreat” to explore that format and focus. Check it out wherever it might apply: online, in your local library and bookstores, on television, at the movie theatre, on YouTube, courses, and online/video games. Be open-minded; could you extend the format and focus you have chosen? For example, could a book someday become a series, a movie, a video game, a TV series, a course? Think about that, and plan how you can develop your original format to make it more easily adaptable to other formats and focuses in future. Or perhaps your original idea might actually work better in a different format? What do you think?

PDF LINK for this “Writing Formats and Focuses” exercise: Download, print, fill in your responses, and place them in your own “Self-Exploration for Writers” binder.

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