One of the things that always fascinates me about writers is the search for a formula. It’s a quicksand trap that’s easily to slip into, especially when you hear of other writers you know who are doing rather well. In the blink of a green eye, you can lose yourself in the delusion that one woman’s meat is another man’s main course.
Which is not to say that models aren’t useful. If NLP teaches us anything (and I know the jury is still split on that score), it’s that behaviours and approaches can be modelled. So, recently, when I was discussing ways in which freelance writers can map out a strategy, the following idea came up.
1. Start with what you know. This should be precisely what your product or service is.
2. What problem or issue does it solve?
3. How does it solve it? (This will get you thinking about how you define what it is that you offer.)
4. Who would need that problem / issue resolved?
5. Where would you find them?
6. How could you communicate with them?
This approach might be especially useful for people who see life as a set of problems to be solved, rather than an opportunity for aspirations to be realised.