Sunday, September 20, 2020

Return to the Five Ws of Writing

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

This year has certainly brought some oddities and changes to it. I believe most, if not all, of us have gone through periods without outside contact with our writing peers and friends. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you’ve no doubt felt the difference in your normal writing-life pattern. I’ve talked to introverted friends that admitted they missed the in-person conversations with their writing groups. As an extrovert myself, it’s been hard.

But, we are creative, and like most of the world quickly figured out how to work things out for our writing. We’ve gathered in Zoom meetings, Google Chats and the like. We’ve sent pieces to each other for critique and suggestions for plot holes. We’ve even sent out emails, texts or calls with an SOS to brainstorm. We’ve moved forward. 


As we approach the last few months of this crazy year known as 2020, I’ve noticed a few people slowing down. Not just slow down, but almost like a funk is hovering over them. It reminded me of something I used to tell our daughter at the end of every school year from middle school all the way through her Doctorate. I’d notice that in the last month or so she’d sort of lose steam. I would offer the same advice each year. Finish strong, you’re almost done.


As writers, we may have lost our fervor to keep writing also. I’d offer the same thought to you as well as myself. Finish strong, dear writer, this year is almost done. To do that, let’s return to the five W’s of writing we base our stories on. 



Who are we writing for? We are instructed to write for a particular person or people group, but is that really who we should be writing for? Isn’t the One we want to please the most God? Then return to writing your words back to Him. He’ll make sure those words reach the people he chooses.



What is it that you’re trying to say? Is your message clear? Would your words encourage, teach or edify another person? Write those.



Where are you writing now? Were you a writer who wrote in a coffee shop or library that still has closed doors? Have you found a new spot to write? If not, now would be a great time to create a special spot that brings you into the mood for writing, even if it’s just rearranging your writing space in a different way. Set yourself up for success.



When do you write? Often we see the “musts” of writing. You must write before others wake up. You must write every day. You must write 3,000 words a day. But what if those don’t work out well for you, is something wrong with you? No, that’s false. All that means is that it’s not how your body, schedule, or family functions. Search what works best for you and make that your own personal must of writing. Then do that.



Why do you write? I loved the comment I read years ago regarding that question. “Why do you write? It’s because I can’t not.” Grammatically so wrong, but such truth in the words. We write because we can’t stop ourselves from doing it. But this year has given us odd challenges, and maybe we’re not writing with the same determination we used to. I suggest we remember back to when God first gave us the nudge to write. When we realized He’d given us a calling to write the words he’d pour into us. Let’s return to that why.


As we wind down this crazy year of different, let’s return to those five W’s as they apply to our writing lives and not just what we write. 


Will you join me in giving the final months of 2020 everything you’ve got? 

Let’s finish strong, writing friends, this year is almost done.


Return to the Five Ws of Writing - Tammy Karasek, @TickledPinkTam on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog: Email:


  1. Love this, Tammy! Thanks for your wise words on the five "Ws"!!

  2. Such understandable and useful words, Tammy. Thank you for these five W's! So helpful to me.

    1. Thank you, Diane. Hope you’re encouraged in your writing!

  3. Awesome post at a great time - just when my steam detector was showing that I was about a quart low. There are seemingly more reasons not to write these days due to external events & forces, but my internal WHY indicator still shows "because I can't not." Thanks for the reminder.
    Jay Wright; Anderson, SC

    1. Exactly, Jay! Just ‘cause I Can’t Not write!!!

  4. Perfect timing and such great insight! Thanks so much for your beautiful words.

  5. This is wonderful Tammy! Thank you for your encouraging words.

    1. Thank you, Melissa. Glad you were encouraged!

  6. This year has brought all kinds of changes and even those who are not writers have learned to rearrange schedules and home space due to everyone forced to be together for long periods of time. Hopefully, these changes have also brought to us as writers some new perspective, new ideas, and new disciplines. Thanks, Tammy!

  7. Great thoughts! Thanks, Barbara.

  8. Well said. Maybe I should write some more...

  9. Well said. Maybe I should write some more...