Sounds like the preface to some book on behavioral theory, or something, I know.
This question can be asked in millions of different ways, and how you answer will always determine the course of your life. And, you can change your answer, too.
That question is…
Why do I write?
Why do I write emails (or fiction, HTML code, what-have-ya)?
Why do I write what I’m familiar with?
When you answer those questions honestly (as best you can), you’ll get closer to defining who you are, even if the answers don’t seem very encouraging, at first (mine probably aren’t, because I never liked those types of questions).
But they have to be answered. They give vital insight into what makes you who you are, and why.
And remember that anything more specific than “I don’t know” will help you. Anything.
And if you think up these answers for characters in your stories, it’ll do the same thing–great for making characters who are awesome to read about.
You can also ask similar questions about your readers or prospects, like:
Why do people visit my website?
Why do people read my blog?
Depending on the answers, this will give you clues on what they like, and how to reach them (unless the answers are “this is great info, keep doing what you’re doing,” which is fine, too).
If you’d like to answer any of those questions for Fiction and Copy Decoded, feel free to drop me a line in the comments.
And the next time you’re stuck on an email or story, back up for a second, take a deep breath, and ask “Why?” You might be surprised at the answer–or what you need to brush up on. Or push through.
Until next time,