How to Choose Which Stories or Articles to Write

decisions about articles
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I could just be a freak about this, but the number of things I want to write in articles or books is getting longer than Santa’s Naughty-and-Nice list. If I see something online that piques my interest, I pop the URL into a Google Doc for later. Down at the bottom of the document, I jot down potential fiction ideas. But how do I decide what’s worthy of my time and choose a writing option (and how can you)?

The interest overlap

Every writer has specific topics for articles or other formats they get excited about. Personally, for instance, I like anything to do with mental health. And on one hand, you’ll hear people tell you to write only what you’re passionate about. Doing so, they tell you, will ensure that your storytelling is authentic and enjoyable.

But there is a happy middle ground, as shown by the Venn diagram below.

If you can find the overlap between your interests and the interests of your readers, you can have a decent shot at a paycheck without feeling like you’re going to hurl onto your keyboard.

What articles or stories will go quick, quick, quick?

Think about which story or topic is going to be the easiest and fastest for you to produce. One rationale for this is psychological. If you can get something out to readers quickly with minimal effort, then you’ll likely feel more confident. You’ll probably be more motivated to continue with the harder or more comprehensive concepts. There’s also a practical side to the approach, too, however. The more articles or books you can get out into the world without delay, the sooner you’ll get paid and have a comprehensive portfolio and platform.

One note here is that you often can repurpose existing content or sources to create fresh work. For example, let’s say I’ve already created a blog entry with a list format. I could take all the research and sources for just one of the list points and create a new article. Always try to milk your work for all it’ll give you before setting it aside.

Influence counts

Finally, look through your ideas and think about which of your concepts likely would have the most influence. If you’ve looked at your Venn diagram properly, then some influence on others should be default. But some of your interests might have a larger reach than others. Some might have a bigger potential for supporting a domino effect of positive social change.

You can look at influence internally, too. A topic might not be the hottest on your ideas list. But if it’s one that has a lot of potential to grow you, then it’s likely one that’s worthy of your effort.