What a fellow writer and better novelist just taught me

I'd better get writingLast week a fellow copywriter accidentally sent me his first draft of his work in progress.

(Note to those of you who are new to Apple Air Drop: make sure you know where you’re sending your stuff. And don’t send sensitive materials if you’re practicing.)

We commonly share all kinds of writing and such with each other so of course, I cracked it open and read it. (I didn’t know he didn’t mean to share. Otherwise I would have respected his privacy.)

Reading his work was a wake-up call for me. In many ways. First, he had almost 36,000 words down. That made 99 pages. I still haven’t hit 10,000 words.

This is a man with a full-time job, a wife and a three-year-old. Way busier than I am. They recently found mushrooms growing in their basement. His hands are full.

Yet he still managed to get down half a novel.

Where’s my excuse?

The cat’s looking at me funny.

Continue reading

6 Things to Remember When You‘re Afraid of Making Mistakes

Since no one is perfect, it follows that all great deeds have been accomplished out of imperfection.
Yet they were accomplished, somehow, all the same.
Lois McMaster Bujold, American Sci-Fi Fiction and Fantasy Author

I start this post by noticing that I’ve been inconsistently formatting my lede quotes here at Rubber Ducky Copywriter. Some have quotation marks around them; others don’t. Oooooops.

First, I’m embarrassed. I’ve been writing for the web since 2001 and been a commercial copywriter since 2007. Shouldn’t I be past making such tiny mistakes by now?

But then I remember – Rubber Ducky Copywriter and my professional website, HayesCopywriting, are my first real steps in building my own commercial online presence. This is the first time I’m doing things my way without regard to company guidelines. So yes, I make mistakes.

I could let it get to me. I could get discouraged. I could berate myself.

Worse, I could quit.

Instead, I’m going to examine the cause (lack of my own style standard), make a decision (no quotation marks in this format) and move on.

The same goes for you. When you’re just starting out, remember:

  • Your career and your writing are organic, always changing.
  • Your online presence will always be a work in progress.
  • Even gurus make mistakes (I’ve seen some typos).
  • You will make mistakes – they don’t always last forever.
  • You will succeed – they, too, don’t always last forever.
  • Learning from your mistakes will bring about more successes.

At the time of this post, Rubber Ducky Copywriter and HayesCopywriting are adequate for their respective purposes. I’m proud of what I’ve created. Both can still be better, but they’re already better than when I first created them.

I’m pretty comfortable with some of my mistakes. And I’m going to leave my inconsistent quotes where they are (they give my blog character).

Mistakes are inevitable, so don’t let fear hold you back. Forge ahead anyway and then enjoy your well-deserved successes. Take one step towards your goal. Today. Let us know how it goes.

Keep paddlin’,
Rubber Ducky