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When I was in preschool, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I said, “I duh-know – a potatah?”
So, my parents probably didn’t have high expectations for me. Hopefully, I’m aiming a little higher than what it takes to be a tuber. For a while, I’ve had my eyes set on being a writer.
I thought I’d document the process (I’m already a day behind; but I doubt I have enough readers at this point for anyone to notice… like I said, I’m “small potatoes”).
I’ve been doing my best not to get side-tracked in this quest to become a writer. Sickness and circumstances sometimes stand in my way; but I’ve found that those issues often make for the best kind of content (and character growth), so I’m trying not to see things that are frustrating and unforeseen as road blocks to becoming a writer; but rather, good building blocks for content – and definite cures for writer’s block – because all kinds of things can happen!
Stuff I find myself saying: I’m so stupid. I can’t believe I just posted that on social media.– Jody Susan
In this day in age, becoming a writer seems like less about crafting words, and more about spinning plates – having a website, keeping up with social media, making sure to network, building a blog, keeping that bank balance out of the red – because hardly anybody’s read your work, much less paid actually money for it…
(If you happen to know, please comment down below and enlighten me. 🙂 )
At times, spinning all the plates that are expected of a writer, has rendered me downright dizzy – and usually they don’t all stay spinning long.
To balance things out a bit, and hopefully help others know they aren’t alone in this struggle, I’ve decided to go ahead and document this year, by looking at the following list of questions and categories on a daily basis, and giving my best shot at having something to fill in the blank. Here goes…
What Did I Accomplish Today to Be a Writer?
I sent some people some of my writing.
Writing feels like a double-edged sword.
I don’t want people to think I do nothing; but I don’t feel totally comfortable showing anyone my work.
Hitting send to share my words is a big win, when it comes to combating my natural bent to hide it away – much like a potato planted underground.
What Am I Afraid of Doing Next in My Journey as a Writer?
This. I’m afraid of doing this daily log. I don’t want to start something and not finish it.
I looked back at my post about Small Steps in the Same Direction, and I can see that I didn’t follow through on that plan. I’d said I would do a batch of posts to fill in some gaps about my mom, and didn’t get it done.
I did get sick for over two weeks, and I did finally find a house to move to and was busy running back and forth filling up a U-Haul, so I can see how I got side-tracked unexpectedly… but still – I don’t like to start something and not follow through.
How Am I Balancing the Different Aspects of Being a Writer?
I decided I’m going to start my “writing” first, and save the technology trials for later in the day. When I start with some tech problem and don’t make any progress, I wind up feeling like I’ve wasted the day. If my main goal is to write, then I want that to be the first part of my work schedule.
What I’m Doing About Building a Body of Work as a Writer
What I’m Doing to Complete My Manuscripts as a Writer
I’m looking to start the rewrite process on another manuscript next Monday, while I’m awaiting word from my editor on the one I submitted. This week I’m taking a break to get my bearings, and to rejoice that I got that one turned in.
What I’m Doing to Grow My Website as a Writer
I went back and fixed my menu, which I’d accidentally deleted trying to install WooCommerce and Stripe.
I also took down the “Services” tab.
I do want to offer editing and coaching; but for now, that’s not something I want to actively promote. I think in a lot of ways, looking to help others, is my most notorious form of procrastination, when it comes to completing my own work. I feel like I’m more likely to succeed as an “assistant” than as somebody floundering around on my own.
What I’m Doing to Build My Blog as a Writer
I took some time to watch this YouTube Video, put out by Income School.
Then I made a rough-draft for my posting schedule. It’s pretty optimistic – which makes me more pessimistic than I already am!
What I’m Doing About Networking as a Writer
I recently joined a local writing group and yesterday I was asked to bring some of my work to the next meeting. Scrolling through some things, they all felt either too long, or like they weren’t a good sample.
I finally landed on this post about my mom (and the lady she befriended, who liked to drink Prune Juice and Pepto-Bismol) and sent it. Now I’m left feeling very self-conscious; but at least it’s a step toward exposing my writing. Like a potato vine, starting to peek out from under the soil.
What I’m Doing About Monetization as a Writer
I didn’t do much – just decided I do need to spend more money by getting Wi-Fi to the house I moved into, since I’m not getting a consistent cell-signal – which motivates me all the more to go ahead and work on monetization.
What I’m Doing About Social Media as a Writer
This was my main focus yesterday. I want to figure this aspect out and get some systems set in place.
I made a batch of videos for Instagram, that hopefully will transfer over to Facebook, once I figure out the Business
Account aspect. I plan to use Business Suite to schedule posts – although I still don’t know if I can get it on my desktop.
Here’s a sample of my simple social media push:
Be looking for this little guy. 🙂
I felt pressure to add some branding through Canva and could do a better job with linking and hashtags; but I knew if I tried to do all that at this point, it just wouldn’t happen.
What I’m Doing About Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Writer
After hearing more about AI, I started thinking about the way blogging is heading and decided maybe I’d better turn on my heels and head a different direction; but then I realized that was reactionary. Yes, I do want to be ready to change with the times, and look ahead, so I’m not caught off guard; but I don’t want to completely throw away the craft of writing. Whether anyone reads these or not, it’s helped my writing to learn how to make things more concise.
I can tell from my own experiments with Chat GTP that there is a lot of “personality” lacking in content generated via machine. I’ve got lots to say that’s been dangling too long in my draft pile, which I hope to publish soon.
What I’m Doing to Stay Organized as a Writer
I found a little book to keep track of mileage and expenses when I’m on-the-go in the coming year, in case I need that information for taxes – I thought that was pretty optimistic (like I might actually make enough to more than break even).
I utilized Business Suite for the first time for Instagram – and maybe Facebook (this caused me some confusion).
I made batches of posts for Social Media, so I can schedule them and set myself up on auto-pilot on some things.
Looking Back at My Writing Journey
This past Fall, I participated in a course called The 90-day Memoir. When it started in September, I was completely scared and intimidated by the thought of interacting with other writers. Ninety days did a lot towards building my courage – especially as I began to realize that my struggles were quite common among other aspiring authors.
When I was trying to find something to share with my local writing group for next week, I came across a post I’d written when I was contemplating enrolling in The 90-day Memoir. It’s funny how my mentality has changed.
I have to laugh at the title of that post: Corpses, Plastic Bottles, Glitter and the Baby Moses – What Hope Has to Do with Saving Your Story as a Writer. That’s quite a mouthful. I was certainly having a bad day when I started typing that heading; but once I’d gotten my words out, I felt so much better. Such is the life of someone who wants to be a writer.
Any Other Thoughts on Becoming a Writer, Random Rants, Tales, or Trials…
I think I need a better set of reading glasses – I still can’t believe I have to wear them! Also, when I hit publish on the first post, I noticed that “Day 1” looked cut off – but I took a big step in allowing things to be sufficient, instead of perfect, and just let it go…
After all, this whole series is about the process – not perfection.
Click here to see if I can do this three days in a row (give me through the 4th to get it up, though – I’ve gotta have some grace 🙂 ).
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