Category: authors

…But Listen To The Color Of Your Dreams…

Okay, full disclosure, I only titled this post as I did as an excuse to make a reference to the Beatles. This post has nothing to do with them or music or anything. It does have to do with the creative process.

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid, so brimming with little nuggets of information that it is a self-contained story that demands to be told? I had one in about 2006 when I had a dream that I was in New York City outside the Dakota building waiting to get an autograph from John Lennon. No seriously this post isn’t about the Beatles. The dream turned into the first draft of a novel. I’m still not satisfied with it so it’s still a draft. I’ve had stuff to do. The point is that tiny little vignette turned into an entire novel.

I have another novel I started working on well over a year ago after a visit to New Orleans but set aside quite a while ago after hitting a brick wall creatively. Then, a few nights ago I had another one of those dreams that was so lucid that it demanded attention, and I knew as soon as I awoke that it was the next piece of the story I have to tell. Because the dream was a crystal-clear scene from a specific spot I’d been to in New Orleans, and a face in the dream was just as hauntingly clear. It was a New Orleans musician, a subject to which my story intimately relates. It was like the dream was grabbing me and shaking the next phase of my story out of me. I wasn’t about to ignore it.

Stories are like that. They come to you one chunk at a time. Each chunk, when it comes, gives you a giant leap forward. So listen to your dreams. Use them. Especially if a story you are trying to tell is really weighing on your mind but you can’t quite get it going. Your dreams are what is beneath the surface of your consciousness. Maybe these bits that come to you in a dream are so strikingly perfect sometimes because you’ve given them time to gel while you’re only sleeping.

Certainly I can’t wait around for that kind of inspiration to strike me while I am freelancing, but inspiration shows itself in various forms, thankfully. I listen for it.

That’s Your Business in the Spotlight

Usually when I open discussion with a potential client about their vision for marketing themselves on their blog, I try to give them a good range of possibilities. I don’t want anything to be off the table. Because I want to reach as many people for them as possible, while keeping it within the realm of those who might reasonably, at some point, become their clients.

Though I plan to continue to put a variety of choices up for consideration, what I am finding is that what most people want from me upfront is a feature on them (the owner) and/or their staff members.

I get that. Business owners know that while the quality of the product or service they provide is paramount, they also know that if you let people get to know you, you give them a chance to like you. If they like your personality, they are more likely to follow your company’s blog and/or it’s social media. By then, if they haven’t already, they are more likely to become your client because you’ve shown them what you can do for them. Then it’s up to you to earn their repeat business.

So maybe we start with a profile bit. I am an interview journalist at heart after all. So sitting down with you and your staff is a good opportunity for me to get a sense of the image you want to project. Having done that, the sky is just the beginning of the places we can go to make your business increasingly visible.

Can’t wait.

Finding Your Life’s Work, Your Legacy, To Echo Through the Ages

My wife and I watched the Oscars last weekend. I’m not real big on the pageantry of it all, or the trophies as a reward for art, and frankly the speeches can get rather inane. Even when the winners try to use their platform to say something of substance. Even so, someone said something that caught my attention.

I wish I’d written it down, but what it boiled down to was that everyone in that room were artists, and as such, they were a part of a lineage that went back to the dawn of civilization.

Inspiring.

Not only did the observation tie each of them to the history of Hollywood (and WELL beyond) and all of its luminaries of the past, but it linked them to each other. Technically what they were engaged in that evening was a competition, but they were one, when it came down to it.

As a writer, I know that I have a sort of “pantheon” of authors, poets, and journalists whose works I consider at least quasi-sacred. I’ll bet if you think about it, you do too. Maybe your luminaries aren’t writers. Maybe they make up the lineage of whatever your life’s work is. Whoever they are, it is nice to be able to see your own work as a part of that particular story.

Some people think it is a cliché and an exaggeration but I think we’re all artists. I don’t think that brushing your teeth or drinking a glass of water or shopping for groceries is art. But whatever your livelihood is…whatever enriches your life…whatever you do to tell the world who you are…whatever your legacy will be…that’s art.

Every one of us has a body of work that is weaved into that same tapestry, that lineage of artists which was mentioned on the Oscars. We’ve been building upon it, adding to it since time immemorial, and we’ll continue to do so.

I’d be deeply honored to use my art to tell the story of yours. If you’re ready to put the story of your business in the spotlight, see my blog’s contact page.

Then let’s do this!

The Best Part of My Day

Okay…well, first things first, the best parts of my day, hands down, are waking up with my wife beside me, and coming back home to her in the evening.

Having said that:

Dailey Freelance Blogging is my side hustle. For a living, I am a marketing representative for an insurance agency. It’s a good job. For the most part I know what to expect from day to day. But not so much that it gets terribly stale. I can make it fun, and when it does start to feel like I am in a rut, I have just enough variety in my tasks to shake things up, and re-direct my focus.

I take what may be rightfully called pride in being the “voice” of the company. Most of the company’s marketing letters were written by me. And for a few years now, once per month, I have been writing blog posts for the company website.

Yup.

Part of my job is to write interesting, engaging, and useful posts… about insurance of all damn things. I like to think I do it with style, grace, panache, and swagger.

All of that. It is actually fun. I have written some truly inspired pieces. It is…wait for it…the best part of my (work)day.

Though this isn’t a part of my recent “I’ve Been a…” series, I find that through challenging myself to blog in an engaging way about insurance, I know now that I can take any topic and pull out whatever it is about the subject that will bring customers to the door. It is one of those steps I’ve taken that have made me what I am today as a writer.

If you look back at your life you can probably find a few moves you’ve made, tasks you’ve taken on, that have made you a better writer. Maybe there are tools from those experiences that you have been using all along but never even thought of it.

Channel those experiences. Reinterpret them. Master your craft.

Just Write…Every Damn Day

As a writer, I used to get annoyed when other writers would insist that you absolutely MUST write every single day. Some would even specify an amount of time (one hour) or an amount of writing (1 page) that one MUST do every single day.

I did not get that. If I was not in the mood to write, I knew that what I wrote was not going to be good. I felt like I was wasting my time.

Recently I have been working on what I assume will one day be a novel, and though I have not put any expectations on the amount of time spent each day or the amount of content I write each day, I have been going out of my way to add something too it every day. I always pick a time when my wife is busy doing something else anyway so I am not tempted to join her in front of the TV or to go out anywhere. That usually allows me enough time to get something of substance written. It’s just me and my keyboard.

And no, what I write may not be great.

It may not end up fitting with the rest of the story.

Truth be told, while I am doing it, I am editing it, so that gives me the best chance of ending the night with something I plan to use. But even if it doesn’t, I have used that time to develop the story , to brainstorm, to eliminate story lines that will not work.

Some of it is just memorable enough that even if I deleted it at the time, months later I may recall it and give it another try. An old Hindu proverb says that no sincere effort is ever wasted. It is just as true in the metaphysical sense as it is in front of your keyboard, as a novelist, a short story writer, a songwriter, or a blogger.

The word “sincere” is key. But it is also a bit sticky.

What “sincere” means is up to you. Only you know if you are at your keyboard honoring your story or if you are just putting in the time. My feeling is that even “just putting in the time” can yield some great results in the long run. Because the fact that you are there doing it means you are sincerely working to draw the bits and pieces of it out, and mold them into something.

So, to review:

  • The time put in doesn’t matter. If it’s good you will not be able to pull yourself away until you’ve exhausted whatever the muse has for you tonight.
  • The word count doesn’t matter, for the same reason.
  • The attitude you bring to the task doesn’t matter too much, because the fact that you are doing it is enough.

The most important thing is to continue on day after day, coming back to that story, coaxing it out from oblivion, molding it into whatever it is going to be. Feeding it and nurturing it. Seasoning it. Whatever metaphor you prefer.

I am continuously amazed at how exciting it is night after night how I see the story “writing itself” how the further I go the more I feel the momentum of the story building. How, in doing so, I am encouraging that story to show itself. You are just the catalyst. The story is there. You are just transcribing for the muse.

I’ve Been an Author

Blogging is just as much journalism as it is journaling, publicly. At its best it is somewhere in between. But it can take many forms, or even be free-form. Aside from being informed and well sourced when needed, should also have a story to tell.

I’ve been a storyteller. A novelist. An author.

One may blog in short form or long form. Long form gives you a little more space to paint a picture. You still need to be economical with your words, but that just means making each word count, regardless of how many you use.

In my many attempts to write novels, I had to maintain that balance, while bringing a subject to life. To make my reader feel as if they were there, like they’d lived what I was writing about. And that is a bit how it is as a blogger. You have to make the reader believe that YOU lived what you are talking about, or know what you are talking about first. Once you’ve done that you can worry about “taking them there.”

It’s True. I’ve Been a Poet, a Blogger, an Author, a Newsman…

I decided when I was fifteen that I was going to be a journalist “when I grow up.” Little did I know that though I would do that, I’d also be the author of:

  • magazine articles
  • books (published and un-published)
  • several blogs (personally and professionally)
  • and a string of sarcastic and witty poetry, some of which I, in a fit of grandeur saw as the next “Jabberwocky” or as scathing punk rock songs.

I am now a professional blogger with my current endeavor, Dailey Freelance Blogging. I started this blog because I wanted to show you how every piece of my past as a writer has prepared me for the work I do now.

In the upcoming four-part series, which I call the “I’ve Been a…” series, I’d like to show you how, with everything I have done as a writer, I have been building toward working for you.

This is what I can bring to the table in writing your company’s blog.
This is how I can help you reach the audience you are trying to reach.

As the name of this blog implies, I plan to post an installment once a week. Hit the Follow button or bookmark this blog to keep up with the series, and beyond.

Thanks!