|by Mr. Polyomnous flickr.com|
Do you take your career seriously? Whether you write every day to pay bills or after your day job at night or on the weekends only, you are a writer. Yes, that's right. It's not a hobby. It's a passion. Right? The words beg to be released from your soul, and that is no laughing matter.
What can you do so that you take your writing more seriously? (And in turn, so will your friends, family, and even your mother.)
Join a critique group! As soon as you write a page and realize that someone is going to read it and offer you feedback, you're going to be more serious about it. That doesn't mean that everything you write--like that poem about the jerk who stood you up last year--has to be presented to your critique group. But let's say your goal is to write one short story a month or finish your novel this year. First tell your critique group your goal (other writers are the best about bothering you to complete these goals), and then give them the opportunity to see your progress and offer constructive feedback.
Put it on your social media profile. Put "it"? What do I mean by "it"? The fact that you are a writer. Put it in your Facebook profile--"I am a writer." Send out a tweet that says, "I want to announce that I am writing a novel." On your LinkedIn profile, list one of your jobs as a writer--and if you've written and been published, put a link to that piece or ask the editor for a recommendation. You get what I mean. (Warning: once you do this, people who have NO CLUE about how difficult it is to be a writer will ask, "Are you still writing books?" Hold off on the urge to type what you really want to say, and instead simply answer, "Yes! :)" Don't forget the smiley face.)
Write. Yes, writing really is the key to stop fooling around with your career. I know many people in my monthly writing group (where we meet and have speakers, discuss writing trends, etc) that aren't actually writing. They dabble here or there, but they spend more time talking about writing and reading about writing and even blogging about writing (although I know--your blog is important and it is writing) than working on their projects. I am sure I am NOT talking about you, so no worries. But if there is the slightest chance that you are reading this and thinking: Oh, she caught me, just close the browser window, open up Microsoft Word, and type a page of your work-in-progress.
And finally, if you want to be published, you do have to submit your work--no fooling. But we'll save that for another day.
Happy April Fool's Day! Hope you have a chance to smile, laugh, and WRITE today.
Post by Margo L. Dill; Margo blogs about children's and YA books and how to use them at margodill.com/blog/. She also teaches online classes for the WOW! classroom. And she is working on a YA novel and an essay about giving birth at week 33.5--no joke.