In addition to having a general understanding of who our audience is and why we write, we need to determine what we want a particular piece of writing to accomplish. Here are specific goals I’ve had in mind with the things I’ve written, and links to sites that talk about that particular type of writing:
1. to inform others about something I’m interested in or think they will be interested in. (Informative Writing)
http://www.clccharter.org/donna/writersworkshop/pssa%20writing/informative.htm An excellent resource for informative writing tips, including how to write book reviews.
2. to release my anger, sorrow, fears, hopes, or joy. (Emotional/Expressive Writing)
http://brainstorm-services.com/wcu-2004/expressive-writing.html Explains what expressive writing is, and how to do it well
http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/comp_med/ask_expert/2007_03/question_20.jsp A doctor briefly discusses the health benefits of writing about emotional events.
3. to make a little extra cash by writing something I think will sell. (Freelancing)
Extremely helpful article about freelance writing.
4. to encourage someone going through a difficult situation. (Personal Writing)
http://www.ehow.com/how_5317167_write-inspirational-appreciation-letter.html Tips on encouraging others through a letter.
5. to document what has happened. (Journalism)
http://www.mediacollege.com/journalism/news/write-stories.html Tips for writing for the news media.
6. to explain or clarify my position on something that has happened. (Explantory)
http://www.tailoredessays.com/how-write/explanatory-essay.htm How to write an explanatory essay.
7. to entertain myself or others. (Creative Writing/Storytelling)
http://www.dailywritingtips.com/creative-writing-101/ Creative writing tips.
8. to remind myself or others of something that needs to be done or remembered. (Organizing/Note Keeping)
Provides links and a brief description of organizational software, like Microsoft’s OneNote, for keeping track of things (to-do lists, notes, and appointments).
Each story, article, essay, list, or note we write should accomplish something, or there isn’t a point in writing it.
What point are you trying to make with the type of writing you’re doing? Do you write lots of lists and notes for yourself or others? Is most of your writing fiction or nonfiction?