Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Why Writers Can’t Ignore the World Around Them

by DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Many writers are introverts and prefer to ignore the world around them. Writers genuinely care about others but working in cave mode keeps them on task. A quiet place with a laptop is much more appealing than noisy crowds. I understand the writing preference because many times I’m right there with you. While working independently is admirable, there’s a flip side to a writer’s life that we should all take heed.

Writers can’t address reader needs while neglecting the world around them. 

Let’s explore 7 areas of writing to prove or disprove my point.

1. Nonfiction writing is about real events, people, places, history, and various sciences. They can be articles, textbooks, commentaries, or books. Every topic has a link or application for today. 

If a writer doesn’t know what others are experiencing, their information will might miss the mark.
2.  Fiction is about a character(s) journey to solve a problem or reach a goal. A writer creates a fully developed character who resembles reality to the reader. Wants, needs, victories, flaws and life experiences mirror the reader. 

If a writer isn’t interested in people’s issues and problems, how can they entertain, inspire, or encourage readers?

3.  Blogs are focused on addressing specific needs within a specialized topic. They inform, teach, entertain, and raise awareness for those interested in the subject. 

If a writer does not understand what a reader needs, how can he/she create a dynamic and engaging post?

4.  Devotions are spiritual aids resulting from in-depth study of a Biblical passage. They can explain, teach, encourage, and even convict the reader in clear and concise language. The writer hopes the reader will meditate on the devotion’s contents throughout the day.

A writer who has no idea what people are facing in their day-to-day lives or what is happening in the world that shakes their faith, may miss the best approach to resonate with readers.

5. Social media posts call attention to art, blogs, podcasts, images, videos, media information, and more. The post draws attention to the featured topic, enticing the reader to explore further.

If a writer foregoes what’s happening in their community, state, national, and world events, how can a social media post draw distinction? 

6.  Poetry uses words to express intense feelings and ideas about any subject. The writer uses unique styles and rhythms to showcase the piece. While a writer might not find value in keeping informed of life and happenings, how can they create a piece others will appreciate?

7.  Biographies show us the life-history of people who have accomplished something noteworthy. These people come from every walk of life with one distinction: they achieved leadership and success by battling the odds against them. 

A writer who pens a biography must consider why this person would be of interest. How can their challenges help or address a need today?

What are your thoughts? Are you ready to use your knowledge and expertise of the current world to help readers?


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. 

She is the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Retreat, and Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson. Connect here:


  1. The what ifs that sparked all my stories have come from the world around me, overheard conversations, a newspaper article, and even other writers passing along a tidbit. It's fun to see what sparked the idea for a book. But my favorite is eavesdropping.

  2. Oh, I love eavesdropping! I find so many great tidbits for my stories.

  3. Our words can help others. Words can also hurt others, so we must pray before writing. I pray and ask God to give me words He wants me to share. By sharing our own life experiences, we can be a blessing to others and we can lead others to a relationship with the Lord. :-)

    1. Melissa, wonderful spirit-filled words. Thank you!

  4. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your wealth of wisdom Ms. DiAnn.

  5. And thank you for always making me feel valued!

  6. You've proven every point so eloquently. Thank you for sharing.

    1. You are so welcome, Pat. I had a writer friend who refused to be informed about the world. That friend is no longer writing.

  7. DiAnn: You have given a good picture of the reasons for paying attention to what is going on around us. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 issues have caught my attention. For my husband and me, a house right next door is being refurbished (?). I was concerned about the noise level as Hubby does not sleep well and sleeps into the day. I asked my prayer group to pray about this concern. Strangely, the only way I can tell if anyone has been there is to see the things piled in this dumpster.