Wow, friends! So much has changed in the past couple of months. More about that later, but the BIGGEST news yet is introducing a guest writer to my blog. Woot, woot!!
My craft, my art, my skill is words. I serve you, you darlin’ entrepreneur, by writing and editing your blogs, press releases, essay and articles, so you can concentrate on what you do best – running a successful business. An extension of who I am, though, is also a creative writer.
Creative writing is a different walk of writing. And it’s a rather lonely and difficult world to travel. Especially if you have a side hustle, you know?
That’s why I asked Jacqui Goetz, a dear friend of mine (and an AMAZING writer) to share her expertise on creative writing while in the midst of a regular job. For the next couple of weeks, Jacqui will give you insights into her life as a creative writer – tackling roadblocks and thoughts, and sharing tips along the way. This essay series is for writers who need a creative companion, and relatable experiences, to pull you through the thick weeds and storms of creative writing.
And without further ado:
The Unpublished Writer
By Jacqui Goetz
It occurs to me this is the first non-email I have put on screen in a while. I haven’t written anything in months. It’s weird. For as long as I can remember, I considered myself a writer, but, don’t you have to write to be a writer?
When I was a kid, I was the BEST WRITER EVER. I could throw out a short story in minutes. The Bermuda Dolphins would speed through the ocean in search of snacks, games, and the occasional misunderstanding between friends. In the space of no more than two pages, single-spaced on a typewriter, characters followed the tide of rising action, crested through the denouement, and settled in cheerful childish bliss at the conclusion.
So when Katherine asked me to write for her blog about creative writing, I had to stop myself from researching the best practices of ‘blog writing’. Chalk that up to a near creativity fail!
1) Flex Your Fingers (and your writing strategy!)
It would be easy to follow a blog template, right? I spend ninety percent of my day doing just that, but it’s not the point.
So I disabled the internet and stretched out my fingers on the keyboard. While I type I have fallen into the rhythm of editing my sentences for the correct tone and grammar, wondering about passive language and the presence of too many “ing” words. I imagine what the reader thinks. The scoff they utter as they smirk at my words.
But who cares!
Flex your fingers, writers. Write anything – no template, no Googling ‘proper way to start my creative writing process.’ Just write.
2) Don’t Listen to Adults with ‘Well-Intentioned’ Colloquial
At some point, there will come a time when we about-face from being the BEST WRITER EVER to the most, somewhat, adequate writer ever. I remember it well.
I was asked a question which appears in the top ten questions asked of children. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“That’s great,” the adult responded. “But don’t you think that you should think of a job that will earn you money. After all, most writers never get published.”
I didn’t run and cry or throw out all my writing in a fit of despair. The transformation was far more subtle. I vehemently denied this reality. I wrote my heart out through my youth. I finished a novel in my young adulthood.
As writers, we are bound to receive the overabundance of ‘well-intentioned’ remarks and the sudden pitiful look from career-minded strangers. Fellow writer – here’s your lesson #2:
Push through the negativity.
3) Respect Your Writing Goal
No matter how much I fought to prove the idea wrong, writing is my hobby with no strict schedule or end goal. I have such respect for those who have made it their career in all the forms writing can take, and, just a little envious.
Know your writing goals, whether it’s a hobby or a career, and work with it; not against it.
With all these lessons in mind, I am setting out to share my personal experiences as the unpublished, weekend warrior of writing, personal anecdotes with a touch of self-deprecation. Drop a comment below if you have questions on creative writing; I would love to hear from you!
Jacqui Goetz is an avid stacker of newly read books and collector of half finished novels. I am an organization magician, a project management wizard, and I climb mountains in my spare time. It all sounds much more exciting than it is.
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