Tag: freelance writer in Rochester Minnesota

Writing For the Sake Of Writing, and For Something Bigger

My mantra is “I’m a writer, and writers write. So I write.” I’m paraphrasing some old advice from a dear friend.

I am a freelance writer but I started this blog just to keep working on my writing chops in between client work. And for a long time it really did give me the motivation to just write for the sake of writing. Funny, but lately I’ve been fighting off a nasty case of writer’s block. It’s hard being a commercial freelance writer when everything is closed indefinitely. So you’d think right now would be the time to get plenty of writing for the sake of writing done.

Alas.

This blog is called the “Dailey Weekly” and I almost never fail to write something here weekly. But last week I did and I’m kind of past my self-imposed deadline for this week too. And it isn’t just writing. I am finding that with many aspects of every day life on hold, it often feels like there is less to talk about. Maybe it is a bi-product of almost the entire news cycle and the monologues of late night talk shows being dominated by COVID-19, and by extension a great deal of our every day conversation being infiltrated by the subject.

Let’s face it. There is a whole lot less “What did you do today?” and much fewer immediate plans being made. That tends to carry over. I would not want this blog to become COVID-19 Central. I wouldn’t subject my readers to it, and I don’t think I could do it to myself either.

But an increasing number of of business owners are now able to get back to work and are trying to maintain a connection to their customers. So I’ve recently decided that going forward, until our economy regains stability, for every piece I write for a client, a part of my fee will go to this “Adopt a Healthcare Worker” initiative in the clients’ name.

For as long as it takes for that stability to come, or as long as the “Adopt a Healthcare Worker” initiative runs, whichever comes first.

Lightening the load for a local health care worker who is carrying a lot on their shoulders right now will make me feel like I am doing something useful to my community. It will re-motivate me to write because I will be doing it for a cause well beyond myself.

I hope you and those you love are doing very well.

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.