Last August I asked the question “Am I a professional writer and as such should I be taking myself more seriously?” Even though I answered “yes” to both, it’s taking quite a lot of time to sink in. It’s a pretty good post and dare I say it, a good read. Yikes.
From the vault of August 2009: On Blog Writing.
This past month I’ve been contemplating the question of “am I professional writer or a blogger or is there a difference?” It’s an interesting question for me because more and more I’m writing for my living: through Craft Leftovers, Craft Leftovers Monthly, the Ames Progressive, on other websites, and various magazines. Most my day is spent writing, more than any other given activity. Does that mean I’m a full time writer? I think… Yes. It does indeed mean that.
I’m always unsure how to respond when people ask “so where do you work?” I think the easiest way to describe what I do is to say I’m a “freelance writer and illustrator”. Since realizing this and stating, “Hey, I am a writer” I’ve decided I should take my written work more seriously. I’ve started to read a lot of books on writing this past month. Granted I haven’t had time to absorb it all, but every week I think I’ve been implementing more of what I’m learning and improving bit by bit. From story structure to grammar, there are signs of improvement — I hope.
For those of you who are serious about your blog, whether you are using it as a marketing tool, networking tool, or hope to make the blog the base of your business I want to encourage your to work on your writing. I’m a formally trained painter, not writing, and being thrust into creative non fiction has been a little intimidating. I think a lot of us are in a similar place. We may be great at what we do, but not so great at communicating through written word. Or maybe have a natural knack for writing, but our grammar and spelling sets us back (cough, yeah, I know I have bad spelling and grammar issues).
Here are the three books that have already been very helpful:
I also picked up a copy of Writer’s Digest. They put out a special issue called “Novel Writing” and that has been wonderfully helpful. It gives a great overview of all the aspects of writing a longer work, from the process of writing itself to character development and dialog. It’s not in their back issues yet and I think is still out, so go swing around to your local book store and thumb through a copy.
If you are just getting started blogging, check out Diane Gillamand’s new ebook blog series: Making a Great Blog and Creating a Blog Audience. Both of which have helped me take my work more seriously.
I highly recommend you add CopyBlogger to your rss feed and read it regularly. They are putting out a lot of really high quality posts about improving your blog – both through writing and through marketing.
On to the fun stuff! Time to work on my embroidery project for Friday :)