On Blog Writing
This past month I’ve been contemplating the question of “am I professional writer or a blogger or is there a difference?” It’s an interesting question for me because more and more I’m writing for my living: through Craft Leftovers, Craft Leftovers Monthly, the Ames Progressive, on other websites, and various magazines. Most my day is spent writing, more than any other given activity. Does that mean I’m a full time writer? I think… Yes. It does indeed mean that.
I’m always unsure how to respond when people ask “so where do you work?” I think the easiest way to describe what I do is to say I’m a “freelance writer and illustrator”. Since realizing this and stating, “Hey, I am a writer” I’ve decided I should take my written work more seriously. I’ve started to read a lot of books on writing this past month. Granted I haven’t had time to absorb it all, but every week I think I’ve been implementing more of what I’m learning and improving bit by bit. From story structure to grammar, there are signs of improvement — I hope.
For those of you who are serious about your blog, whether you are using it as a marketing tool, networking tool, or hope to make the blog the base of your business I want to encourage your to work on your writing. I’m a formally trained painter, not writing, and being thrust into creative non fiction has been a little intimidating. I think a lot of us are in a similar place. We may be great at what we do, but not so great at communicating through written word. Or maybe have a natural knack for writing, but our grammar and spelling sets us back (cough, yeah, I know I have bad spelling and grammar issues).
Here are the three books that have already been very helpful:
Getting the Words Right: 39 Ways to Improve Your Writing
Rules of Thumb: A Guide for Writers
The Art of the Interview: A Step by Step Guide to Insightful Interviewing
I also picked up a copy of Writer’s Digest. They put out a special issue called “Novel Writing” and that has been wonderfully helpful. It gives a great overview of all the aspects of writing a longer work, from the process of writing itself to character development and dialog. It’s not in their back issues yet and I think is still out, so go swing around to your local book store and thumb through a copy.
If you are just getting started blogging, check out Diane Gillamand’s new ebook blog series: Making a Great Blog and Creating a Blog Audience. Both of which have helped me take my work more seriously.
I highly recommend you add CopyBlogger to your rss feed and read it regularly. They are putting out a lot of really high quality posts about improving your blog – both through writing and through marketing.
On to the fun stuff! Time to work on my embroidery project for Friday :)
ps – if you are interested in this kind of back end pondering on being self employed artist and writer, check out the Kro Studio blog. I ramble about once a week or more on what’s going on in the studio and teaching workshops. This post will also be published there.
pss – as part of this getting serious about Craft Leftovers as my full time gig, I’ve started listing new kits and zines in the cl shop each day. Etsy was down for maintenance today, but go check it out later when they are back up.