Category Archive: The Basics

Jun 05

6 Reasons to Make Writing a Career

In a world where there are many different professions to choose from, a career of writing is one of the most challenging, competitive, and financially unsound career paths that one can possibly take; that being the case, why become a writer, when there are many other, far more monetarily stable and lucrative fields of work? As an experienced writer who had given up on writing as a viable source of income, I myself recognized these hardships, and decided a while back that writing was more useful as a hobby than as a career.

That being said, there are several benefits to choosing writing as a career, many of which can only be attained after taking writing seriously, not just as a hobby, but as one’s livelihood as well.

1. EDUCATION

The first, perhaps most important merit of writing as a career, is education. You will find that in your search to convey fresh, inspirational material to dynamic and diverse audiences,you’ll be researching, reading, thinking, and innovating like never before to ensure that you can provide the best content to your target audience(s) possible. In your ventures to communicate material effectively, informatively, and comprehensively– all while being as elegant as possible about it, you will have amassed a repertoire of knowledge and skills useful not only for putting out continually superb material, but also for living an extraordinary life. As Sir Francis Bacon famously noted, knowledge is power; writing is an optimal path to acquiring and applying that knowledge.

2. SELF-EXPRESSION

The career of most good writers begins not with the pursuit of monetary gains, but with the challenge of effective self-expression; to manifest creative genius in such a way that can be appreciated by those who read our writing– this is one of the greatest joys in life for a writer; making money is by comparison a fortunate byproduct of that awesomeness. Authors tell the readers a lot about themselves through writing, and making that connection with the readership proves to be the most challenging and also most fulfilling aspect of writing.

3. SUBLIMATION

For writers with an extreme excess of creative energy, writing is much more than a hobby or a career– it’s a necessity. That there is a proven link between mental illness and creativity is no coincidence– creatively-minded individuals need to write in order to preserve their sanity. Father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud noted that among the many defense mechanisms his patients used to deal with excess negative energy, sublimation, “The transformation of an impulse into something socially constructive,” proved to be the most effective means that mentally ill people used to regain their sanity; even among sane writers, writing provides a constructive outlet by which to re-balance one’s psychological equilibrium.

4. OPEN-MINDEDNESS

Writers, and especially life-long authors, recognize the mind-opening power of writing; As we press ourselves to think, innovate, explore, and become masters of the topics we write about, our minds open up, often without us knowing it, to the infinite possibilities of reality and fantasy alike, and the myriad of perspectives we have to choose from. As we struggle to get fresh perspectives, think outside the box, and achieve a well-balanced and comprehensive understanding of the topics we write about, becoming progressively more open-minded is, for writers, an inevitability.

5. EXPERIENCE THE IMPOSSIBLE

There are many things that I want to do in-real-life, but owing to lack of time, resources, biological prerequisites, or ethical problems, I am unable to. For example, I want to understand the female orgasm and what it’s like to be pregnant, to understand the joys of masochism and the heart of a killer, and to experience a bug’s life, or life on other planets. Such scenarios are (for obvious reasons) impractical or impossible to experience in real life, but through a combination of research, imagination, and literary ingenuity, one can understand and experience the otherwise impossible through writing.

6. INFINITE POTENTIAL

While writing might not be particularly lucrative from a practical standpoint, it’s one of the biggest potential moneymakers; while the per-piece value of writing is remarkably low (owing to the competitive nature of writing, coupled with the willingness of most writers give away their work for free), the potential of writing is high, because you can always write more! For the conditioned writer, for example, it’s possible (if they were to push themselves) to output one quality novel a day– that’s 365 novels a year! There is also infinite potential on what type of content to write about; writers invent new genres, niches, trends, and even new religions on a regular basis, and there’s no limit to what you can write about, the style you choose to write it, the medium through which you write, or the criteria for your writing. It’s all fair game; the whole of reality and fantasy alike are at your disposal, for you to do with as you please.

While perhaps you could achieve most of the benefits of writing without making it a career, you won’t truly experience the joy of writing until you take it seriously; while a hobbyist can output creativity, the professional writer produces art.

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Jun 02

One Page Per Day…

… To Write a Novel Without Delay!

Ok, the rhyme is ridiculous, but you know what I mean.

The point is that many of us, me included, would love to be able to write a novel. However, the task seems so daunting that it’s easy to get caught up in all the day-to-day events that require more immediate action. Take the cat to the vet, help your child finish his homework, complete that essay for your Philosphy of Movement, Language and Dreams (one of those classes with interminable names that sound interesting until you realize that even the professor himself doesn’t really know what he is teaching)… anyway, I digress.

Which, actually, proves that maybe, just maybe,  the reason why we never sit down and write those masterpieces is that it’s simply too easy to digress, to run off on life’s tangent and leave our great novel unwritten.

This is why some of us “chicken out” from writing lengthy pieces and write short stories and poems instead, then publish them on a blog called Write-A-Holic and feel a little bit better. (Any reference to me and you is purely not coincidental).

Nevertheless, there is still a part of us that would very much like to write that novel.

If you feel like you would just need that little extra nudge to help you get started, then here is the solution to all your problems: One Page Per Day.

This website is a useful tool that simply presents you with a blank page ever day.

The idea, according to them, is that “You get a gentle reminder to do your page each day, then you just sit back and watch your book come together.”

I’m not as optimistic as they are, but I think I will give it a try, and let you know how things go. You do the same and, if you finish your novel, let me know!

Buona scrittura :)

(roughly translated as “pleasant writing”)

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Jun 01

8 Ways to Untap Your Literary Genius

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
From Through The Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

For creative spirits like us, the difficulty in producing quality writing does not lie in the generation of ideas, but in conveying them in a way that their meaning will be fully appreciated.

Perfecting the craft may take years or even decades, but you can become a good writer by putting in the appropriate amount of dedication, creativity, curiosity and a little patience. These four factors will make all the difference in your writing, helping you to say what you mean… and much, much more.

The first step to becoming a good writer is to establish a good foundation through keeping good literary habits.

More specifically:

1. Do a lot of reading, and be as well-rounded in what you read as possible. While the type of writing you do (or are intending to do) might be targeted to a specialized audience, all quality writing has some common attributes. Thus, the more reading you do, the better of a writer you become: as a writer, what you read becomes a rich repertoire you can tap into.

2. Do a lot of writing. Even if you are a terrible writer, write anyway; even if you can’t think of anything valuable to say, write about anything you can think of. Everyone has to start somewhere, and no one starts off writing masterpieces off-the-top-of-their-head. Continue writing crap, and before you know it, that “crap” will evolve into something beautiful, and you will be that much closer to becoming an accomplished writer. Just as you should aim to read a wide variety of texts, you should also aim to write with different voices and styles. Experiment with every type of writing – poetry, plays, journalism, fiction, and nonfiction. Every type of writing will help you to delve deeper into who you are and the voice (or voices) that best fit your personality.

Continue reading “8 Ways to Untap Your Literary Genius” »

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