Successful Writers Question Everything
September 10, 2019
Note From Rochelle
I’m having a big launch of my book on October 15th, and I’d love you to be a part of it! If you love books and would be enthusiastic about reading, reviewing and promoting my new book, Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity, send me an email.
Today’s tip talks about how asking questions can lead to a breakthrough in your writing.
Live the questions now.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
At a conference several years ago, Bruce Colville reminded us to question our work the same way a five year old questions everyone: why?
Many writers ask that question once, stick with the first answer that pops into our head, and write. But the best stories come from repeatedly asking “Why?” and “What if?” and “How come?” until we find the magic.
William Faulkner says it this way, “The most important thing is insight, that is … curiosity to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does.”
Try this: Remind yourself of all the times that you asked so many questions, your friends or your parents told you to stop. Got that feeling? That’s the kind of tenacity I want you to bring to this exercise.
Take an idea you’re stuck on or need to explore further and question it.
Maybe you’re fascinated by resiliency but you’re not sure what you want to write about the topic. Or perhaps you have no idea what the characters in your current story need to do next.
Choose a question (Why? What if? How? I wonder if?). Set your timer for 10 minutes and answer the question in as many crazy ways as you can.
When I heard Bruce Coville speak, he said that the best answers come at the end of the brainstorming session. So feel free to keep writing after the timer buzzes.
To learn how asking questions can help you revise your story, check out this post called Question Everything by Melissa Wuske.