Dear Writer’s Block,
Thanks to you, it’s taken me almost ten minutes to write this sentence. You’re the gag gift that comes with every blank page. The side of half-baked brussel sprouts with every meal.
You are more persistently irritating than a grain of sand nailed to the eyeball. You are a plague to writers around the world. You poison our creative wells with anxiety and depression to make sure we still suffer even when you’ve moved on to your next victim.
We cannot find peace even when you grow bored with us. For when you leave, we know you’ll come back. You always do. When we least expect it. When we most need you to leave us alone and let us work.
You, dear Writer’s Block, defy all reason and logic. Many, even fellow writers, simply don’t believe in you.
Writers write. Good writers write a lot. Or so I keep telling the junior writer I currently mentor.
She’s talented, has a terrific attitude and a bright future ahead of her. I still want to flick her in the forehead when she rolls her eyes at the suggestion that she start blogging. Especially when she follows her eye roll with “Yeah, I know I should,…but…you know…”
Incidentally, “…but, you know” is one of the worst responses ever and sets my teeth on edge every time. But I’ll spare you my rant and move on.
There exist tons of articles and posts on why writers should blog. These articles exist for a reason.
Blogging is good for you. For so many reasons. Even if no one ever reads it.
In a perfect world. we’d all know our value. This is not a perfect world. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt like an imposter. Me too. Especially as a copywriter. People either think I’m way smarter than I actually feel, or they simply have no idea what I do and how I do it. Either way tends to leave me at a loss for words sometimes (no pun intended).
Last week, it occurred to me: I can’t possibly be the only one who feels this way.
This is a confession. My own personal confession as a copywriter. Because (and here’s my first confession), I often feel inadequate when I feel like someone assumes I’m smarter than I feel like I actually am. Like all copywriters should be these awesome, wonderful, intelligent, creative, magical creatures who know the English language inside and out, and if I don’t live up to one of these misconceptions, I’m failing my own vocation. Like I’m not a ‘real’ copywriter if I don’t fit the pre-defined mold.
So, my putting these out there hopefully lets you know that you’re not alone if you ever feel the same way.
Oh, Boromir. My poor, doomed-to-die fantasy hero. Yeah, one does. And by the way, you forgot a period at the end of your sentence.
Even non-writers are non-shy about expressing their opinion over comma placement. But nothing is quite so galvanizing as the dear old Oxford comma. Now, before I make a whole lotta friends, let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same comma.
a comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect).
— Google search results
When you go straight to the source, the Oxford Dictionary defines it as: “A comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect). Also called Oxford comma.” It also states that it’s “an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list”.
Alright, now that we’re on the same metaphorical (and digital) page, I’m going to be honest—and brace myself for a wave of unfollows.
I don’t typically use the Oxford comma.
Before you start throwing veggies at your screen, hear me out. I’m writing from the perspective of a digital copywriter.
Self-care is all the rage these days. And there’s no shortage of tips and tricks about super-awesome strategies for creating a super-awesome you and keeping your new super-awesome you running like new. And those are all grand ideas.
What I sometimes struggle with is that much of it either won’t work for me or isn’t feasible right that moment. Let’s face it, sometimes you need to feel better now. Like right now.
Go for a walk and reconnect with nature? I live in Seattle. The weather doesn’t always invite you outside. Go to the spa? Yeah, I’ll just tell my boss that I’m leaving work in the middle of the day for a massage. He’s awesome, truly, but no. Just, no.
So, I’ve come up with my own list of instant self-care tips for those of us who need immediate assistance.