And What Do You Do? ... How To Know When Youre a Writer!
It's the funniest thing. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I tell them, "I'm a writer." The standard response is, "No, really, what do you do?" Somehow, I always flounder in the conversation because I never expect that type of response.
So, how do you know you're a real writer?
It has to be a certain look or smell that identifies a writer. Is it the turtleneck and mothball odor that gives it away? Perhaps it's the old blue jeans you wore for a week or two.
Generally, my rule of thumb is: if you can sell your ideas and make money writing, you're "a writer!" If you sit and write all day long and never sell anything, then "you write." So, in summary: "you write until you become a writer!"
But, this is very true! To become a writer, you have to write every day. You should think of a dozen or so topics and write about them. This will help you learn your style and develop your skills.
If you write, but are not yet a writer, here's an objective! Write, until you sell something. Once you get the money, pay your gas bill. Now, you're a writer! But, don't stop with just one article, keep going!
Hey Ed! Say something funny.
It just doesn't happen like that. I'm not a funny guy. If I sit down and design something funny, I can be hilarious. But, I can't just say something funny.
On the other hand, ideas are things that just happen. But, developing and writing that idea takes work. The act of writing doesn't "just happen."
When writing about an idea, you have to research the idea to determine if it's feasible. If it looks good, then you have to research it again to become an expert---or at least knowledgeable on the topic.
The other point to writing is that, even as a Technical Writer, you have to feel the writing. This goes back to one of my previous articles, "Natural Writing." You have to learn your verbal style before you can become comfortable with your written style. Once you understand your own style of communicating, stick with it as it's the most comfortable place to start. Let it evolve, but stay with it to ensure that the writing feels good and flows.
And, have I read something you've written?
I don't even know if they can read much less if they've ever read something I've written. If the name rings a bell, probably so! The point is that most people won't know about you unless you write!
Become a prolific writer and write for the sake of writing. The more you write, the better you become, the more you publish, and the more people will read your work.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks for a writer is "fear." Don't be afraid to send your work out. People will compliment you and criticize you. In all cases, take the feedback, positive or negative, graciously. At least they took the time to read your work!
I write stuff, too.
When I was young, I wrote on the bathroom stalls in Catholic elementary school. I created some spectacular poetry! When Sister Mary Butch, of the Order of the Most Vicious Blood, caught me, that was the end of my career, and nearly my life. Everybody can write, but not everybody can be a writer.
Being a writer is not just putting words on the paper. It involves research, organization, thought, creative wordplay, and the ability to sit still long enough to put it all together.
This short article is a reasonable example. It started out in my head as "Why write?" and evolved based on some thought. Writing is the evolution of ideas into something between fact and fiction. It's the evolution of presentation into something coherent to the largest audience. It's a fantasy that turns into a reality once you figure out what it is that you're trying to say!
And, what made you write?
It wasn't some miracle or premonition. Honestly. Someone made me madder than a hornet. To make a long story short, I designed and developed an idea for a product that would save a previous employer a lot of money. I did all of the financial work, software engineering, implementation, and testing to prove the idea.
During my presentation, the senior engineers scoffed at the idea. So I took my notes, wrote a manuscript, and submitted it to various publishers. A month later, a publisher picked up the manuscript and we signed a contract to publish it. It all took off from there! That's it!
There are a million reasons to write, but I found later that you don't need a reason if you love it. It takes just one situation to get you started into the addictive world of writing! But, all you really have to do is ...
I don't write on bathroom walls anymore because it's too hard for our housekeeper to keep up with the work. But, I do carry around a palmtop just in case I get an idea! For now ... just write everything you can as often as possible. Once you get the hang of it, writing becomes an addiction. Write because you can take an idea and tell it to the rest of the world. Write because your wife has another headache. Write because you can make money. Write so that the next time someone asks what you do, you can say,
"I'm a writer!"
Edward B. Toupin, Ph.D., is a published author, life-strategy coach, counselor, Reiki Master, and technical writer living in Las Vegas, NV. Edward works with people to help them strive for a richer life. He also authors books, articles, and screenplays on topics ranging from career success through life organization and fulfillment. Check out some of his recent print and electronic books as well as his articles covering various life-changing topics! Contact Edward at email@example.com or visit his site at http://www.make-life-great.com.
Teachers Should Write, During Their Summers
Before I became a teacher, I was a sports writer. Working for a newspaper taught me a lot about writing, especially dealing with the pressures of deadlines.
A Perfect Day for Writers
In one of the exercises in my "Getting Started as a Freelance Writer" workshop, I ask participants to describe what a "perfect day" would be like for them.The responses are frequently tender, wistful and unfailingly vivid.
Here's everything I know about improving your writing,publishing it electronically and in print, and promoting itafter the sale.Two questions you should ask:(1) What will it cost me?(2) What does this Michael LaRocca guy know about it?Answer #1 -- It won't cost you a thing.
Top Seven Ways to Write your Print or eBook Fast
Want to write your book? But, need a blueprint on why it will help your profits and brand your business? Need to know each step so you can delegate it to an assistant or do it yourself in just an hour a day for less than a month?Each chapter within my eBook "Write Your Print or Other Short Book-Fast!" can help fiction and non-fiction authors.Ch.
7 Writing Muse Kickers to Fill Up That Blank Page
Nothing is more daunting for any writer than having to stare at a blank sheet of paper.When we stare at a blank sheet of paper, we often think, "What am I going to write?" A few minutes later, it becomes, "Oh my goodness, I can't think of anything to write!" And several minutes later, it turns into something like, "Write, dangnabit! Write! Write! WRITE!"Some writers call this writer's block.
Personal Journaling - Strategies To Make It Easy
Recently I was watching the Oprah show and it was about doing something really great in someones life. Was it buying them a special gift? Or taking them out? Not really.
How to Relax Your Writing
Q. My writing sounds stiff and stilted.
The Top Five Mistakes That Companies Make with Regard to Technical Documentation
I've seen it time and again. One of the most common weaknesses that I've seen in engineering companies-indeed, an almost universal fault-is the lack of proper technical documentation.
Understanding Editorial Guidelines
Editorial guidelines, also known as writer's guidelines, are the rules set forth by publishers for contributing authors. In order to have your article taken seriously you must review the guidelines prior to submission.
The Writers Angst
What is this annoying, insidious angst that permeates my psyche? In all other regards, I'm a moderately confident guy. I'm secure in my abilities to be a good father, husband, employee, friend, gardener, etc.
Knock-Out Writers Block: Listening To Your Inner Voice
When I was young, I used to talk to myself. Long, drawn out, one-sided conversations.
Business Writing Tip: Question & Answer Format
Traditionally, business writing uses the "one thing after another" format, which usually means a plain recitation of the facts, circumstances, or whatever else needs to be said.But, we have a number of other options, and some of them may provide more responses or better responses.
Prolific authors write; they don't just dream about it. A good example is Georges Simenon of Inspector Maigret fame.
Comma Usage Made Simple
Don't they drive you nuts?You can visit all the rules of style you want, and you can readall the books and articles you want. You'll still be confused.
No matter what you are writing, the first priority is write the first draft.Most writers procrastinate.
7 Weapons to Conquer the Giant Procrastination Keeping You from Your Book Dream
Have you been guilty of procrastinating on your book project,lately? Like the author, many writers get hung up with wrongthinking about writing and completing their books. They feel like aloser because they have stopped and started countless of times overthe years.
Writers: Dr. Phil Goes Fishing with Oprah in His Tackle Box, Shouldn't You?
Dr. Phil's Life Strategies, #1 New York Times Bestseller catches us on page one.
How to Use Textpad to Write Articles Faster
It's a good idea to use TextPad because all opt-in ezine publishers want your articles without any formatting. Also, for any email exchange, you need to put your article in the body of the email, not an attachment.
Writers Block is No Longer a Problem
"If you're like me, than I'm sure you're pretty familiar with the well-known writer's block.From time to time, when you have to start writing something, be it an article, an ebook, or just a letter, there is that moment when you just stare at the blank sheet of paper (or at the vibrant colors of your monitor) and nothing seems to come out from your mind.
Getting Past The Shoulds To Write
During the past few months I have received many questions asto how I have gone from an unknown writer to over comingsociety's adversarial thoughts on what writing should be andbecome a well known writer. So, today, I was inspired towrite on this.