The One Question Every Writer Should Ask First

Answer it and your writing will sing

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Photo by Sophieja23 via Pixabay

Once you do these things, what’s next? How will you set yourself up for success again and again? What is the secret to writing stuff that people will care about, buy, and share?

The answer comes when you ask yourself one simple question.

So What?

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Photo via Pixabay. Made with Typorama.

Why You Should Ask

So What reveals the Pain.

  • Physical pain — You can’t ignore it when your body hurts. You might be able to sleep it off, but what if you can’t? What if it has lasted way too long? What if you can’t figure out why someone as healthy as you is going through all this? When you can’t go on any longer, you look for a Savior to deliver you from the daily torment.
  • Inadequacy — Education is the top remedy for people who don’t feel like they have enough to do what they want. Is there a secret? Do I really have to go to school for 8 years or is there a cheaper and quicker way to learn how? If you can prepare someone to succeed, you have great power and an even greater responsibility.
  • Apathy — When you just don’t care, So What is the question you ask yourself all day long. If you can’t answer with more than a shrug, you move on to something brighter and more riveting.

Apathy is the most common objection people have for doing anything. It’s painful because it can feel like the valley of eternal hopelessness. And if you stay there long enough, you don’t care if you ever get out.

The only way you can grab this person’s attention is to disrupt them.

The best Disrupter is the Amplifier.

If you really want to see something for what it is, you need a microscope.

  • The payments your family still has to make on the mortgage
  • The shock and emotional trauma your family will feel when you’re suddenly out of their lives forever
  • The day to day cost of living that will go on after you’re gone

What the agent is really doing is looking out for you. You might hate him for it, but if that scenario ever happens, you’ll thank him for encouraging you to do the right thing.

As writers, when we answer the question So What, we’re looking for the Pain.

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Photo courtesy of via Unsplash

So What is a Boil Down.

Here’s another advantage of answering So What.

As a writer, you’re a marketer. It doesn’t matter if you write stories or teach people how to do something. If you want readers, you’re in selling.

So What is your insurance policy. It forces you to dig deep. It moves you to make your words count for something. And every time you answer, you’ll add a foundation stone to a stellar writing career.

What if the answer is Who Cares?

Then maybe you need a different focus.

We take water when we’re thirsty. We run when we’re being chased by a killer. We go through a door when it’s the only way forward.

Discovering the Pain is finding the Ultimate Trigger.

Are you up to the challenge?

Will you take a bold stand that changes your culture?

Written by

Teacher. Coach. Bestselling Author. Helping writers, entrepreneurs, and change agents write the perfect blog post every time.

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