Over at Copyblogger, Jerod Morris offers six good pieces of advice about how to become a more proficient and better writer. Among them. “Write, don’t blog.”
Bloggers casually write within their WordPress dashboard, adding links, pictures, and videos, as they create content. Bloggers may even have Twitter open to capture any late-breaking news about the topic they are covering. The words are important, but they are just part of the show.
It’s true. My windows of writing opportunity are small. With a full time job, rehearsals for my second show since February and a yard that desperately needs my attention, I may be writing a lot. But I’m not writing well.
While I may boast that I come home from rehearsals and write “2 articles and 6 posts,” they’re not what I’d really call writing. And, I’m certainly not making progress toward my August 31 self-imposed deadline to submit my novel to a publisher.
I learned to write for the Internet, and had my first professional successes as a political writer/blogger. In that world, everything’s a crisis. There’s always a story line to push. Either you want to get your candidate’s views out there, correct a story, or you want to scoop the other media outlets with the story. It’s fascinating and sometimes exciting work. But, truth be told, I’ve grown weary of the whole political process. So I’m looking for other writing outlets and opportunities.
Somewhere there’s a balance between what I need to do to actually make this writing thing pay and what I really want to write. So far, I’m getting paid basically enough to support my habit but not my household. I know that reality is when I’m full time I’ll spend a lot of time marketing myself and pitching story ideas.
For now though, I’m taking some of this advice and trying to become a better writer. More proficient yes. But also better.