One of the most important skills for a writer is being able to write ABOUT your writing. Ironically, this is often one of the hardest types of writing for writers to do, and many – if not most – do it badly.
When writers don’t know how to write about their writing it suggests a very damning truth: She hasn’t done the work to craft a strong, compelling, or emotional story. This isn’t just happenstance. Being a good writer and being able to write about your writing are tightly connected. In other words: good writers have an awareness of how their writing works. Bad writers either don’t know, or don’t care.
Learning how to write about your writing (WAYW) can serve many functions for writers. The primary function is to communicate your work to OTHER people. This is important when you’re trying to pitch, or sell, or get your work produced. It’s also important when you’re trying to apply for grants, fellowships, awards, etc. The better you are at communicating what your work is about and more importantly why it matters to your audience, the easier it becomes for other people to jump on board.
A secondary function of WAYW is to help YOU focus what you’re writing about. Whether or not you outline before you write, eventually it will be extremely useful to step back and organize your story into a synopsis, or especially a logline. This will help you strengthen the choices you make when you go into rewrites or editing.
I’ve written a series of blog posts dedicated to a few different types of WAYW. Click here to see them all as they appear. The first one deals with the importance of loglines. Good luck!