Category Archives: Ghost Writing

A Writer is Always Starting Over

Why do I say that?

Those of you who have begun any type of writing project know no matter what the subject, each time you write another white paper, case study, article, or ad, you’re starting over.  You might combine thoughts or even a sentence or paragraph from something you’ve written before.  However, as a writer, you’re starting over.

Are you a writer?

Some people will tell you if you love to write, and do it whenever you get an inspiration, you’re a writer. There are others who say you’re not a writer unless you actually get paid to write. My advise to you is to ignore the experts and write – when and how you want to write.

If you have a dry spell, you’re still a writer!

Okay, so this is a bit more serious tone than I usually use. It’s because, as a writer, I’ve had a dry spell. I let illness and a stressful situation at my day job put my writing into pause. Oh, let’s face it. I just stopped writing. This is my first post on either of my blogs since just before Christmas, 2017. I want to get started again.

First thing to do is to come up with my own definition of being a writer. I look at that as similar to creating a goal for myself. And there are goals in my agenda. For the last four months I’ve been letting life get in the way of reaching my writing goals. I don’t have that definition for myself yet. But since I’m a writer starting over, that definition will present itself, I’m sure!

A new goal is the catalyst for my starting over.

While on a business trip to Albuquerque last month, a member of the team hosting us suggested I use my certifications as a virtual training designer, producer, and facilitator to expand what I offer to those who need people with writing skills. I have thought about that remark from a relative stranger for over a month now.

Yes, I need to stop thinking about it and act on it. And I have. I actually worked on one of my blogs yesterday. I’m writing this rant, too. I’ll go with this as a beginning.

And, yes, I am now doing more than thinking about what the representative from the Albuquerque Visitors Bureau suggested to me while I was there – I’m reworking my web site to include things I’m good at that will enhance my writing experience and business.

Suggestions

     (My ideas – you can always come up with your own!)

I’m going to make a suggestion to those of you reading this blog now based on thoughts initiated by writing this rant.

  1. Use all your talents, certifications, skills – no matter where you acquired them. For example, I’ve found out over a period of 10 or so years that I’m good at teaching people using virtual platforms. And while learning to do that, I also discovered my PowerPoint presentations are asked quite popular.
  2. Don’t let starting over, and over, etc., get you down. Life will get in the way, as it has with me. Work stress dampens creativity, as does illness. If stray ideas hit during a dry time and you can’t seem to get up the motivation or energy (or both) to act on it, just write it down. When that motivation suddenly strikes again, you’ll won’t have lost those amazing ideas.
  3. When you have an epiphany, such as I’ve had today, pick up those notes and let you’re creativity come forward and pick one to write about.

Remember, first of all, you’re a writer!

A Bit of Copywriting From My Past

While working on an AWAI training module yesterday, I got the urge to look through old files for a specific article written while I attended college in the 80’s.  The files weren’t on my computer.  They were hidden deep within an old 2-drawer file cabinet I hadn’t opened in years.

Now I know this cabinet has all my mother’s genealogy research and some of my father’s work records and pilot logs.  That’s a story for another time.  Amazingly, I found what I was looking for after almost losing my focus reading one of dad’s logs.

Let me begin with a bit of background.  My entire life had been filled with writing.  I wrote for myself.  Why? Because as a child I didn’t want anyone else, including my parents, to read what I wrote.  Even when I went to college in my late 30’s, it scared me to death to turn in the journal my English 203 professor required.

Needing a job in my first semester, I responded to an ad for a typesetter.  So for that semester, I worked typesetting articles, interview, and advertising.  Right after Christmas break, the editor approached me with a surprising query: Would I like to write for the WCU Catamount? It turns out, he had asked my English professor if there was anyone in his class with a talent for writing about current events.  The professor recommended me.

Never having been a person to step much outside my comfort zone, I hesitated.  My editor told me this professor had said I was the best writer in the class.  I fretted and fumed for two days before the editorial staff ganged up on me at the typesetting machine.  It seemed they had dozens of candidates for the typesetting position, but only one “decent” writer on staff.  Okay, so yes, they were trying to boost my confidence, or ego.  Whatever.  It worked.  I decided to try my hand at it.  To read the entire article, about four paragraphs across three columns, click here.

I have to say, the whole adventure changed my attitude toward my own writing, although I’ve never quite gotten over the difficulty in participating in peer reviews, critiques, or anything of that nature.  The editorial process for my novel, “The Crystal Birch,” threw me into paroxysms of anxiety.  It did make it to Amazon.  However, I haven’t decided if I’m going to go through that again.

In a post to come, there will be a series going through breaking my fear of peer reviews.  I’m about to submit my first copywriting spec assignment to AWAI.  Please cross your fingers for me.