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6 questions to ask before you start to write

I’m often asked, “What’s the biggest mistake people make when they write?”

The answer?

They simply start writing – and fail to do their best thinking first.

Here’s a fix:

Before you start to write anything, always take a moment to answer these six questions:

  1. WHAT is the point?
  2. WHO will be interested in this?
  3. WHY should these people care?
  4. WHEN will this make the biggest difference?
  5. WHERE ELSE can this be applied?
  6. HOW is this related to something bigger going on in the world?

Your answers to these six questions will help you focus your piece – and make your writing process easier and faster.

This checklist is easy to remember, too, if you think back to grade school and recall “The 5 Ws and 1H” your English teacher taught you way back when: who, what, where, when, why and how.

But now, you’re just applying these same questions in a new way, and for one reason: so you can make sure your piece resonates with your audience.

Happy writing!