"Don't let the turkeys get you down." This is my favorite phrase to tell myself after reading the comment section of some articles. I am fortunate that many times I have more positive comments than negative ones. However, the important thing for any writer that wants to go from writing for fun, to writing for funds to remember is, not to give either kind of comment too much weight in your writing life. That is not to say that a writer should ignore comments. I think comments are the best part. I am able to get feedback and see how my readers received the information I put out there. I get to be enriched by my reader's experiences, which I find to be an extremely rewarding part of the process.
However, as many writers know there is always at least one in the group. Especially when writing for more populated sites, the one turkey that wants to take pot shots for whatever reason because that is what they like to do. I have seen many writers get frustrated by this, sometimes to the point of wanting to give up writing because of them and to those writers I say "Don't let the turkeys get you down." Keep writing, keep improving, learn your topics, be brave in your point of view and keep at it.
The other difficult challenge is to face the notes given by professors, colleagues, or editors about your work. It is difficult to know what type of weight to put on their notes. I think there is value in listening to what they have to say. However, there is also the need to understand that they are people too. Some people just don't get where you are coming from and that's okay too. There are changes that need to be made in writing and there are also times to stand your ground and stick up for your writing. That is something that a writer must develop in her gut. Being able to correctly engage or know when to back down in order to write another day, is an important social skill to have as a writer. Nevertheless, when a writer comes up against an editor or other in authority that "Just doesn't get it." That is another time to remember "Don't let the turkeys get you down."
The most important thing is that a writer puts her best writing out there. Some readers will get it and others won't but just keep writing.
Until next time.
What would you do if you were exactly where you wanted to be with your writing career? Every day as I strive to go from writing for fun to writing for funds, I attempt to shape my day as that of a writer. What would a writer do? I watch the news in the morning and tweet comments to my favorite shows. I scan for the trending topics of the day. I attempt to read a few blogs about how to be a better writer, and a few sources about the topics I like to write about the most, and then I write. Some days it works out better than other days, because I still have other responsibilities. Nevertheless, the more I "act" like a writer, the more habits of a writer I take on, the more I become a writer. I get stronger and better by practicing and by developing the successful habits of a writer. When I go to writing lectures or conferences and meet other writers I always feel inspired. This is what writers do. So if you are still writing for fun and you'd like to write for funds take on the habits of successful writers.
One of my writing friends recommended this blog about getting work as a writer. It's worth a read: http://bit.ly/HSKSsW.
Until next time...
Happy Writing! :o)
Writers who want to transition from writing for fun, to writing for funds often place all effort on a jump into the big pond too soon. Excited about finding a place on the big websites and those websites see them coming. Competing with tens of thousands of writers to get a a dollar a month if your lucky for work can be disheartening. It is a good way to build skill and hone your craft. It is nevertheless not the best way to get paid money to purchase the required amount of caffeine, for example,that most writers need to fuel their efforts.
On my personal writing journey, I was very excited to get a message on Facebook from one of my writing buddies Tamra McRill, she offered me the opportunity to write a guest blog for her on http://www.punditthis.com (look for it next Monday April 16, 2012). As writers it is important to come together and help others with their work. Don't be selfish with your talents, trying to hoard them all on your page or on big sites where your work is buried for the most part until you can develop a large following. Get out there build your audience and make the kind of money that folds, not jingles. It's a winning situation for all involved.
It gets me thinking.Perhaps, I'll start paying for quality guest blogs here on Writer's Notes. Hmmm let me look into that. Stay tuned for more information.
Until next time...
A writer who wants to be taken seriously must first take himself/herself seriously. Their work must live up to the additional scrutiny given to those who put themselves out to the public in the light of being an expert.
This seriousness is shown in the writer's work in the following ways:
I wonder, is it really harder or more work to write as a professional as it is to write as a hobby? Is it merely an abstract placed on typing the same characters onto a screen? I think they are two different things. When a writer wants to be taken seriously, she makes an oath that what she portrays will be factual if writing non-fiction, it will be at least believable when in the realm of fiction. The promise that the brand will be well-written and as a matter of course will be placed for all to see and to inevitably criticize. That is the nature of the beast. Will the work survive the criticism? That is the question which comes into play any time a writer posts their work in a venue to display.
When a person is a hobby writer she can merely take the critique and say "Hey I didn't say I was an expert, I'm just writing my thoughts." and in so doing, there is a cushioning effect. When a professional places work out to the public, the notes given back are more direct, sharp, because the writer presents her thoughts as truth. As an assumed truth they must be based in some form of logic, some meaning, some semblance of a valid argument to be taken with the respect that an expert deserves.
Expert. The word itself grabs the air from my chest. It's what holds some writers back. The fear of stepping from the center of the pack out front to pronounce "Hey, I know what I'm talking about." It comes with responsibility and hard work to be sure that when facts are presented they are in fact the best information and/or entertainment available.
Responsibility is something many hope to avoid. I am no exception. That being said I continue to create scenarios in my life (being a wife, a mother and a business owner) not to mention community responsibilities that I took on in the past which come with the need to be very responsible. Such a dichotomy to want the benefits of responsibility with none of the bite. This is the fire that every writer must walk through. Writers usually hope that people appreciate their point-of-view. Many writers also know that a least a few readers will not, and could be harsh in relaying their feedback to that effect. A writer is compelled to write despite this fact. Because the urge to write is greater than any fear that possible retribution may hold.
So what about you? Are you up to the task? When thinking of yourself as a writer,,,
Are you serious?!
Until next time. Happy Writing!
With the New Year coming it's time to plan for the future and make New Years Resolutions. Have you made any yet? I am about to sit down and make mine. Do you take yourself seriously as a writer? I didn't really but 2012 is the year. And in order to take myself seriously as a writer I must set goals in order to achieve them a goal set is the first step to a goal met.
Good questions to start out with:What is my topic of expertise?
Who can I help?/ Who is my audience?
Is the audience of this topic a wide or an exclusive audience?
How much do I want to make?
How many people would I have to help in order to reach that number?
What media methods can I use to reach them?
How many units of my work would they have to purchase in order for me to meet my goals?
How many hours will it take to research and write these stories?
What does this audience want to learn about regarding my topic of expertise?
What can I do to make myself the top expert in the topic of my choice?
As a writer finds the answers to these questions and others that will most certainly come up and puts a chart together, a strategy, then they are able to transition from being a dreamer, to a person who makes dreams come true.
Make it your New Years resolution to take your writing seriously and act upon it with focused action. Bring in a consistency that your fans can count on.This will begin the fateful steps that all writers must take to writing for fun to writing for funds.
It's so simple and yet it's not. As a writer it is so easy to get caught up in writing for a purpose. And you know, you should write for a purpose, however you should also write without a purpose. Because there are times when I am not able to write about what my assignment is and so I must write about something else. If it turns out to be any good I can stockpile it away for later. Like a squirrel storing up for winter, a winter of ideas. I can pull the work out later where it may fit another contest or assignment (or not). That's really not the point. The point is to write it down. That's the only point. That can be the most difficult thing to get behind. Especially when the bill collectors are calling and the pantry looks thin and that mental accountant is screaming "WE NEED TO GET PAID!!!!!!" from the back of my mind, I get lost in it to. Each writing, each journey, is like the SIMS game, it improves your skill level I can see the little stars collecting in my head now. Sometimes that's the only point. But after mindfully practicing the craft for while a nice compilation of work begins to accumulate that is actually marketable. And then what do you know? Perhaps it is something others will find valuable and pay for! Bonus.
Today is the first day of my professional writing career. Because it is the day that I placed my writing in top priority right after my family being taken care of because that will always be my tippy top priority.
As I began to work on adding links to my Self Empowerment blog and interlinking them I began to think about my body of work. They spoke about this with President Obama in the beginning when he was getting Nobel Peace Prizes and then not getting an honorary award from the Arizona State University because they felt he had not shown a body of work to deem worthy or not at that time. So I started thinking about a body of work and what I would leave behind.
A writer's body of work is her immortality. Watching history channel and watching the dusty scrolls being unrolled by excited scientists we realize the power of the written word. What will I leave in the time capsule for future generations both for strangers and my family? Most of my work is online so who even knows if any of it will be preserved it's not written in stone or anything.
Even that term written in stone challenges my mind. What would I write in stone if I could? What would I want future generations hundreds possibly thousands or hundreds of thousands of years from now to know? I must contemplate that for awhile.
My words would be my immortality. If that were truly the case. They'd better be good!
I was chatting with a group of writers that I network with on Facebook and we were comparing notes about which articles got the most clicks. The funny thing is it is hard to predict. We found as a group that the articles we did the most research and worked the hardest on were not the ones that got the most page views. Many times it was the article that was thrown together at the last minute on a whim that did better with readers. Who knew? Who knows the magic combination? If anyone did they'd be a billionaire because every one would want to know their secret. In the end it is just fishing. The more lines you have in the water the more likely it is that the nibbles will come.
Going to work on getting another line in the water now and see if it gets any nibbles :o)
Sophia Tesch is a graduate of the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at Arizona State University. Sophia is a community advocate. She lives in San Tan Valley, Arizona with her husband and children.