I have written that I’m a professional writer. What this used to mean is a person obtains an English and/or Journalism degree and then starts a job where he or she is paid to write: reporter, journalist, news copy, etc. I was a newspaper reporter and had a weekly column for a few years. Thus, a professional writer.
But in the last 15-20 years, media has changed so much and the evolution of blogging pretty much makes a person a professional writer, regardless of education or salary. And like periodicals, some blogs are much better than others. However, the platform of writing a blog means you have thrust yourself into the foray.
So with that comes. . . responsibility and awareness.
YOUR TRUE VOICE
The last few years, the buzz phrase has been, be your “authentic self”. I cringe when I hear it now, because it is so overused. But at its core, it is a good message. When you write as when you speak, please think before you write. Because what you type is going to be searchable in the cyber-world forever. So if you take a stand, by Golly, mount that stump and make sure you mean it. Now, will you say things, even with great thought beforehand, and shudder 10 years from now looking back at some of your articles? Yes. That is inevitable, because we all grow and change our opinions. But if you truly believed what you wrote at the time, then that is your truth in that moment. And that’s ok.
RELIGION AND POLITICS
It can be said that no two subjects are more polarizing in human history, or ever will be, than religion and politics. One might say wait, what about money? But both religion and politics are so closely married to issues of money, both the garnering and the gifting of it, that it is already in the proverbial dual melting pot. If you want to write about these subjects, be prepared for the backlash, adoration and passion both topics bring out in people. Because it will be swift and it will be. So write what you believe and be prepared to take the criticism, good and bad.
READ, READ, AND READ MORE
I think many writers are afraid to read too much, because they feel it will muddle their own thoughts and mire them in other artist’s words, thoughts and ideas. I disagree. Read about everything you like, dislike and in-between. It will make you a better writer and an educated person. I mean, a greater part of college is buying books, having a professor tell you what you think of them, test you on it and thus…you are educated. Now believe me, I had teachers and professors that totally molded me, inspired me and rocked my brain. But reading a lot is what truly educates you, in my humble opinion. I would include in this category podcasts, as they are very informative. I am recently intrigued with The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast (find it on Itunes).
NOTATE YOUR IDEAS
Personally, the more I read and talk to people, the more inspired I am. As you think of things to write, jot them down. If I’m at work and a lunch conversation sparks an idea, I take a moment to write it down. Then when I have time to blog, I check my list and I already have ideas.