Getting Specific About What I Want to Write

Day 7/31: Blog Your Own Book Challenge

Parag Shah
5 min readAug 7, 2020

This is my seventh post for the Blog Your Own Book Challenge. In the previous post, I wrote about how I validated my writer-profile, which I had created with the help of quizzes, by feeling my way through it, with my heart.

This is my original writer-profile:

This is the profile of someone, who as a Spiller, loves to be authentic in their writing. Authenticity is also their shining light. As a Teacher, this person enjoys sharing what they know. They are also well-read and brimming with ideas. Being a Model-Citizen makes them well organized in their research and writing process as well as in the way they present their articles. They like to fact check and back their work with proper research. They are capable of writing clear, concise, and to the point prose. The non-conforming side of this person inclines them to a rich inner life with a tendency towards humor and sarcasm.

I journaled every point from the profile and tried to visualize myself writing an article related to that point. While visualizing myself, I tuned in to my energy and heart and checked how it felt. Did my energy expand or did it contract? Did I feel joy in my heart or a pit in my stomach? Or did I feel nothing at all? I let these feelings guide me to validate the writer-profile.

This is what I got at the end of the process.

  1. I prefer writing in an authentic tone as compared to a dry academic tone. I love bringing myself and my life to the table when I write.
  2. I enjoy teaching but not in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t want to tell others what to do because everyone’s life is unique. I have seen first-hand how someone who comes from a different background and has had a different set of life experiences will often find it difficult to understand my experiences. Similarly, I cannot condescend to understand and advise others because I haven’t walked in their shoes. And yet, I have learned a lot by reading other people’s experiences, especially when they are shared truthfully. That’s how I want to teach. By sharing how I solved a particular problem, dealt with an issue, understood a topic, or learned from a mistake, and then let the reader take from it whatever is most relevant to them. I also want to share stories of what I’m struggling with without having found any answers. This is especially important to me because I feel like we are living in a world that’s full of people who like to portray themselves as put-together experts. These false projections damage our ability to be authentic. I believe that sharing our imperfections helps is not only personally healing but it also lets others know that they are not the only people struggling to get a handle on life.
  3. I do get many ideas on diverse topics, especially when I am in the shower :-) I’d love to share these ideas.
  4. I like brevity in my writing but with just the right amount of exposition and humor. I prefer to take the middle path. Neither dry and academic nor too long-winded and flowery. This point is more of an aspiration than a skill. I still have much to learn.
  5. I try to be organized in the way I write. I create an outline with sub-headings and important points before I begin writing an article but I also want to make space for spontaneity and creativity.
  6. In the past, my writing centered mostly around writing FAQs and tutorials for software-teams I was working with. At that time my writing was well researched and fact-checked because accuracy was of utmost importance. However, now I want to focus on writing that’s more creative in nature. I’d still like to write an occasional research-based piece if the topic is of interest to me or if it’s for a client, but by and large, I want to more in the direction of experiential and creative writing.
  7. Finally, I felt my way through the point of humor and sarcasm. I do want to learn how to add humor to what I write but sarcasm doesn’t feel good to me. It’s true that I can be sarcastic at times but it doesn’t feel good to me anymore. It’s a lower vibe of energy and I don’t want to spread it through my writing.

I’m glad I did this exercise. It helped me take my writer-profile and turn it into a more specific set of points that represent what I want to write and who I am as a writer.

Now, I want to take this list and create a more specific list of genres that I want to write.

Writing based on my own life experiences

Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind. — Catherine Drinker Bowen

  • Personal essays and flash-fiction on lessons learned the hard way, interesting experiences, and things I am still struggling with.
  • Travelogues as essays and fiction.
  • Book reviews/summaries.
  • Movie reviews.

Topics of interest

  • Journaling.
  • The healing power of stories.
  • Self-Love and Self-Care.
  • Energy work and spirituality.
  • Divination.
  • Ancient Indian history and mythology (a topic I don’t know much about yet but want to learn more about it).
  • Living close to nature.
  • Tiny homes.

This exercise has helped me understand myself and gain clarity on what I want to write.

I know I still have a lot to learn. There are miles to go and it all feels a bit too overwhelming. But, this simple line is helping me...

Take one day at a time and get 1% better every day.

As a popular whiskey’s tagline says: Keep Walking.