Choosing a subject

When writing a piece you either get assigned a subject or you have to choose your own. Having to choose your own subject can in on one hand be positive, since you have a lot of creative freedom, but on the other hand the lack of direction can be very stressful. For both situation, even with an assigned subject, you must plan and decide what will be your center of focus and understand what your readers would want to read.

  • Whether you need to find a subject or even if you are writing about a very specific topic a good way to start is always by very simply writing.
  • Start writing all the thoughts and ideas you have about anything or about your assigned subject even if they feel unorganized and complicated at first.
  • You can always return to your writing, edit it, reshape it, add to it, and cut out things.
  • Let yourself get a bit carried away as often side ideas can turn into the main focus of your piece.

Once you have confidently found your center focus you can then start to narrow down your ideas to your subject to make it more specific. But don’t get anxious about the process and remember that you can always go back and look at your writing from a different perspective and again rewrite and edit it.

If you are struggling with the process of focusing on a specific subject you can try making lists with possible topics and discuss them with someone. Keep your options broad and include some not so obvious topics. Once you have selected one or more items from your list you can then divide them into branches of writing possibilities and points of view. For example, if your subject is Cubist Painters and you choose as your topic George Braque you can then have as your branches Style, Early Life, etc. You can then do the same for different topics and cross-match and combine possibilities from your branches and then build questions with your results to help you.

For example you can ask how did George Braque style has influenced something else you have in a different branch from the same subject.

This will create a very visual support for your writing. This may seem confusing at first but if you start creating your branching trees and then generating as many questions as possible you will end up with a lot of interesting possibilities for your writing.