Today is Friday, March 14th, 2014. Today I’m really interested in writing. In truth, writing (and reading) is the foundation of most of my activities. I have always like those two topics. Not so much for ‘rithmetic. But I got good at even math after I got into college and was forced to take numerous mathematics and statistics courses for my bachelor of science degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus.
I had been listing some of the online courses that I’ve taken in previous years. As I listed the Copy Blogger Authority program, I revisited it to see that I was still enrolled and if there was anything about writing there that I would like to review. Indeed there was. Right in my face was a seminar by Sonia Simone and Robert Bruce talking about “7 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer”, part of a paid course with CopyBlogger. Many great ideas there.
They talked about writer’s block and how to not have it. They quoted Seth Godin saying that we never have talker’s block. And that the best way to defeat writer’s block was to have a deadline for the thing we thought we were blocked for.
They talked about writing every day even if it’s only for 20 minutes. If not twenty minutes, then 10 minutes or 5 minutes. (I expect that anything less than 5 minutes may not be too meaningful.) No, not true. You can write a very meaningful paragraph in 5 minutes. So, the underlying goal here is to WRITE.
Another meaningful topic was “How to Write a Damned Good Sentence” by Demian Farnsworth which I interpreted to mean that a sentence is the atom of writing, of expression, of explanation. See http://www.copyblogger.com/damn-good-sentences/
I belong to a very casual group at 750words.com and my goal is to write 750 words EVERY DAY. I did that for about 178 days before I missed a day. Although I missed that day, I was not too disappointed. I noted to myself that I had missed a day and kept on writing. Oh, I would have liked to be able to say that I had a longer writing streak than 178 days but by simply rephrasing a sentence about my writing longevity, I can say that I have written 186 days out of the last 187. How’s that for a DAMNED GOOD SENTENCE?
And then Brian Clark said in Ten Steps to Becoming a Better Writer:
02. Write more.
03. Write even more.
04. Write even more than that.
05. Write when you don’t want to.
06. Write when you do.
07. Write when you have something to say.
08. Write when you don’t.
09. Write every day.
01. Keep writing.
And another thing to think about. Just because you write every day doesn’t mean that you need to publish that writing. Some days you write jewels. Some days you write drivel. Publish the jewels. Review the drivel from time to time to see if there are any hidden jewels waiting to be polished.
My attention was redirected to Seth Godin who DOES post (publish) every day. I want to remind myself that reading his blog should be a required daily activity for me. I just looked at his entry for today and was interested to see some information regarding giving your product away as compared to selling it (even at a nominal price). The perception is that a paid for product is usually better than a free product. You know. You get what you pay for. True? Or not? What do you think?
They also suggest that you find a writing mentor. Indeed find a mentor for the major interests of your life. And that mentor can be living or dead. So, this means I need to find a writing mentor, a WordPress mentor, a cartoon mentor, a World of Warcraft mentor, a photography mentor, a podcast mentor, a business mentor, a senior living mentor, and so forth. As George Takei would say, “Oh, my.” Rather, than trying to take a really big bite and getting one of each of the preceding, I think I’ll look for a writing mentor – someone whose writing really inspires me.
One of those writers would be James Michener. I have read many of his books – some of them twice. I just finished “Centennial” and have begun “Texas”. I live in Austin. “Chesapeake” was my all time favorite because I spent about five years of my life in Hampton, Virginia which is in the general geographical area covered by that book.
So will James Michener be my writing mentor? Could be. Since the idea of a dead mentor is a very new but not too disturbing idea for me, I’ll have to give it a chance. One comment made somewhere is this presentation was that when you find yourself blocked, sit down and write word for word from one of your mentor’s works. I look forward to copying James Michener.
Do you have a mentor? Tell me about it. Let me know that you don’t think it’s weird to have a dead mentor. Or if you have a great writing mentor, share her or his name with me.