The 5 W’s of Writing


My  one and only journalism class stressed the importance of those vital 5 W’s, the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of every good story.

I downloaded Jeff Goins new ebook, You Are A Writer, and reading it made me consider those same “w’s” in terms my identity as a writerly type person. Goins exhorts us to stop beating around the bush of our identity as writers. Part of being able to declare ourselves as a “writer, hear me roar!” involves developing a persona, or a concept of writerly self.

Seems like the answers to the 5 w’s could be an important part of that process.

Ponder these, my writer friends. And if you are so inclined, share your thoughts in the comments, or on your blog.

WHO: How do you identify yourself as a writer? Is it something you do for self-fulfillment, do you have a message to impart, do you write to make a living and is that different from other writing you do?

WHAT: What’s your line? What subjects or themes do you return to again and again? What do you want to explore and impart to others in your writing?

WHERE: Nuts and bolts, here. Do you write at home, in an office cubicle, the library or neighborhood coffee shop? or all of the above!

WHEN: More nuts and bolts. Do you write on a regular schedule? Do you find it necessary or important to sit down at the same time every day? Or does your life dictate that you write whenever and wherever you can find the time and inspiration?

WHY: The real knitty gritty question. Why write? The answer comes from the “who” you are as a writer, but also asks you to consider the importance of the written word in our world today and for the world tomorrow.


A Writer’s Meme


A little busy work for you this week, while I’m away on a trip.

Have fun!

What’s your favourite genre of writing?

How often do you get writer’s block?

How do you fix it?

Do you type or write by hand?

Do you save everything you write?

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

Do you have a  constructive critic?

Did you ever write a novel?

What genre would you love to write but haven’t?

What’s one genre you have never written, and probably never will?

How many writing projects are you working on right now?

Do you write for a living? Do you want to?

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper?

Have you ever won an award for your writing?

What are your five favourite words?

Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?

Have you ever written based on an artwork you’ve seen?

If you’ve answered all these questions, give yourselves a huge gold star and pat on the back.

Now go off and do some real writing.

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