Once upon a time, in a faraway land called Houston, I was an art student. Then I became a graphic artist and web designer. I sketched, a lot.
Now I’m a copywriter who works alongside graphic artists and web designers. And they sketch, a lot. During meetings, in brainstorming sessions, at their desks — their pens and pencils skim over whatever’s handy with a steady rhythm. And in just a few minutes, they can sketch some amazing stuff.
Last week, I was five minutes early for a meeting. So I followed their example but instead of sketching pictures, I jotted down random phrases that popped in my head.
The results themselves were terrible, but it was still worth it.
This post isn’t about gadgets or books or some sure-fire, secret to transform your writing into everything you’ve ever dreamed of, plus a basket of kittens.
This is about table stakes. Basics that other people may not tell you about because you’re expected to already know.
Because they’re part of every writer’s job.
One of the hardest things about stepping away from your blog for a little while is figuring out how to get back in it. That’s the problem I’m having trouble with now; the brain won’t kick in.
It’s like taking a break after you’ve been working out regularly and then trying to pick up where you left off. You realize just how out of shape your writing has gotten, how slow your pace is now—and how likely you are to sprain something.
Nothing like shame to try to keep you from getting back in the game, huh? Ironically, it’s often when we least feel like writing that we often most need to do so. I’m no exception.
What’s a writer to do?
I read an article on The Renegade Writer about the seven differences between being a writing fangirl or a real writer by Linda Formichelli.
The point of her article is that ‘fanfolk’ spend more time acting the part of a writer than actually writing. Real writers on the other hand, write.
Of the seven differences she outlines, number 4 hit a nerve in all the right spots.
Anyone looking at you, with your exclamation point tattoo and “Writer at Work” doorknob hanger, would think you are a writer. But…are you actually writing? Don’t delude yourself: A collection of quill pens does not a writer make. – Linda Formichelli
Note: I don’t have an exclamation point tattoo. If you’re gonna go there, go for an interrabang.
It’s the difference between a person who wears a thousand-dollar tracksuit to sit on the couch and another person who hits the pavement for a five-mile run every morning.
I have a confession.
Without knowing it, I was a creative writing fangirl for years.
In my last post, I shared how a fellow writer managed to get down almost 36,000 words despite him having a family, a toddler and mushrooms growing in his basement.
And I asked “What’s my excuse?”
Truth is, I don’t have one. I just suck at setting boundaries with myself. When I’ve blocked off time to work on my writing, my process goes something like this: