The truth about feedback

Disney Feedback.png

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when one hears the word “feedback,” one thinks “criticism.” The face twists in a cringe, and one wants nothing more than to run fast, run far and insert one’s head into a hole in the ground.

Feedback is uncomfortable.

Getting feedback on our work is one thing. That kind of feedback comes with the territory; we expect it and usually take it objectively because it’s about our work, not us. But getting feedback on our professional or personal performance? Yikes.

So let’s shed some light on what feedback really is: a gift. Continue reading

Taking care of your inner hamster

Drawing a Blank

Your writer’s muse is undependable. You’ve got deadlines? The muse is outta there; you’re on your own. Mine lets the door slam behind her on the way out as she calls “Bye, Felicia!” over her well-groomed shoulder as she takes off to enjoy herself while I work.

I’m a copywriter. Deadlines are my daily norm, and I need a source of creativity on which I can rely. I call that source of creativity my little hamster Hortense. When the muse abandons me, Hortense is the one who helps uncover the creative gems that get the job done. She’s not in it for the glamour; she’s there because we have a job to do and we’re in it together.

You, too, have an inner source of creativity.

Take care of it, it’ll take care of you. Continue reading

4 things I don’t love about being a writer

lolcat-failed-hugs

I’ve previously posted 5 things to love about being a writer. As much as I love being “ra ra sis boom bah!” about writing, I also want to paint a realistic picture. No vocation is perfect, even writing.

There must be balance in the force.

To be clear, these are my top personal pain points. They don’t apply to all writers. Like the Amazon rainforest, the writing profession contains a multitude of diverse creatures.

Also, for context, I’m a professional copywriter, who blogs and writes creative fiction on the side. This list—and how I handle each pain point—is pulled from my experience.

Ready? Let’s proceed. Continue reading

Staying social when writing is solitary

Ducks in a Row

Writing itself is solitary. Even if we’re working in an office and surrounded by people, we typically tuck ourselves away, apply our headphones and scurry into our documents with the enthusiasm of a meerkat digging a new downstairs.

Let the others collaborate; I have word magic to conjure.

It’s not that we dislike people (generally speaking). It’s that writing happens in our head. But that creates a problem.

Writing is solitary, but humans are social (even introverted ones like me; don’t tell). We fill our creative wells in countless ways, but one of those needs to be socializing despite the inherently solitary nature of our work.

Socializing keeps us:

  • empathetic
  • in touch with other perspectives
  • connected with other ideas
  • up-to-date with trends and techniques

It’s important, but it’s counter to what we do. So, what do we do? Continue reading

Return of the Ducky

World's Larget Rubber Ducky

I don’t know who should get credit for this photo or this meme, but I thank them.

Since I started this blog, I’ve wondered how much personal stuff to share.

On one hand, I want this blog to be useful and relatable. Plus, it’s part of my portfolio, and there’s only so much the professional world needs to know. On the other, I’m a human being and it’s my blog about life as a writer, interrupted by the occasional post about rubber ducks and cupcakes.

That said, this is the longest I’ve gone without blogging. So, for that reason and because I stopped posting right after a life event—being laid off—I’m going with an update.

If you’re not into personal updates, I’ve made a list of future posts meant to be helpful. For now, though, for anyone who’s curious, here’s what’s been going on.

Since January, I have:

  • Taken on freelance work (nifty)
  • Been through a major depression (crap)
  • Found a new job I enjoy (yay!)
  • Sprained two fingers, which are still healing (what the…?)
  • Begun implementing creative processes at work (back to yay!)
  • Had emergency surgery to remove an internal organ (oh c’mon!)
  • Adjusted to a major change in diet as a result (dear bacon, I miss you)
  • Lost 16 lbs (sweeeeeeeet!)
  • Gotten out of debt (can’t describe the joy)

It’s been an emotional journey. Sometimes you really find out who you can count in, including yourself. And who’s there for you when you can’t be.

On the bright side, I have so much for which I’m thankful, such as:

  • An amazing husband I can count on when I’m down
  • Health insurance
    (I saw the tally for what I’d have to pay if I didn’t have it; holy crap.)
  • An amazing new job with amazing new people who stuck by me when I wound up in the hospital a month in to my new role
  • My friends
  • My fellow colleagues who’d also been laid off getting new jobs
  • Freelance clients from heaven
  • An adorable kitty who kept me company while I was in bed for two weeks
  • A pile of books to read
  • The ability to take care of myself
  • A new world of healthy food I enjoy
  • Being—and staying—debt-free

Things are finally settling down.

I’m tired of being poked and prodded by doctors, but I’m doing well and living healthier than I was. I’ve also ordered a Fitbit to help me stay on track and keep getting healthier.

My new job is an exciting new challenge, and I like it. I get to apply what I’ve learned over my career to this new role. I’m part of a brand-new creative team; it’s me and a designer. I’m implementing creative processes. I’m defining and standardizing the brand voice. I even get to write a new brand voice book—from scratch!

I feel useful again. And I work with sharp people, so I’m going to get to learn even more about various aspects of marketing in general. Good times, people.

This also means I’m back to posting.

I love this blog. It’s my creative passion project and where I can be myself. Incidentally, it also helped me land my new job. Truth. I don’t see myself ever giving it up, no matter how long of a hiatus I may need to take once in a while.

I have a two-page list of topics such as:

  • Staying social when writing is solitary
  • Building your brand versus building relationships
  • Bullet journaling for writers
  • Other skills you need as a copywriter
  • Elements of a good creative brief
  • Career paths for copywriters (series)

If you’re still reading this, thanks. I appreciate your reading my blog. I promise to get back into the groove of posting on a regular basis again.

Until next time,
Your Faithful Rubber Ducky

If you have any suggestions for topics you’d like me include, please comment below.