Monday, April 9, 2018 ~ The Letter H
This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.
I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon. And yes, I’m working on a novel.
Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.
The Letter H
We must be honest with ourselves and with our readers.
These days we’re expected to market ourselves and our work though various media and other various outlets. In doing so, we create a brand, an image of ourselves. Our readers trust us to be consistent with what we represent. This goes beyond credentials, it includes the image our readers have of us, based on what they see online and elsewhere. It goes without saying that we’re honest about our credentials and accomplishments. We must also be mindful of honesty in our branding. If we create a public persona of world traveling hipster foodie, and our readers find out we’re actually a grandmother who enjoys gardening and a rocking chair, they’ll feel betrayed. You don’t want to annoy your readers. So, unless you have the resources of someone like *Katy Perry to scrub your internet presence, be honest with your readers and true to your brand..
Be honest with yourself. Is your goal to be a professional writer, an author? Do you write for joy? Do you have a goal you expect to make in your writing journey? Lets face it, statistically speaking, very few of us are going to enjoy the success of J.K. Rowling or Stephen King. Not many more will actually make a decent living at this craft. If you do want to make writing a career, not a hobby, understand the expectations of this industry. Are you willing to put in the time and expense expected and required to market your book? Would you rather just create? Be honest with yourself about what your writing goals are, and don’t ever ever let anyone convince you that your personal goal is not good enough. Do what is best for yourself!
To be our best creative selves, we must take care of our bodies and our souls. With all respect to Hemingway, I couldn’t string together coherent words with a raging hangover.
Take care of yourself, if you’re physically healthy, you’ll have a clearer head and more endurance for those sessions when the ideas just don’t stop flowing. Don’t forget to eat and stay hydrated and move now and then. Writing time is often limited, so make it as productive as possible. And you’ll be more productive if you feel good.
Have you ever browsed pages for writing retreats? The usually quality of instruction, the beauty of their location, and the deliciousness of their meals. Part of the attraction of a writing retreat is getting away from regular life and finding uninterrupted time to get the words down. The opportunity to learn from an expert appeals to our sensibility. And the chance to spend time in an environment of serenity and inspiration beckons. Retreats can feed our soul, and that is one of the reasons they’re so popular.
We don’t have to invest dollars and travel and time to feed our souls at a retreat. Sometimes a simple cup of tea is all it takes. Or a soak in the tub, a stroll, a nap. Some of us practice meditation or focus exercises. Find what works for you to feed and calm your soul. You’l l feel better for it, and you’ll see it in your work.
Tomorrow, the letter I …
*Few people know that Katy Perry began her career as a Christian singer, Katy Hudson. But if you google Katy Perry, you won’t see much about her squeaky clean early days. You have to search for “Katy Hudson Christian singer” for that. Celebrity online image management experts are well-paid for their expertise and discretion.