Darwin’s Writers (A Plea for Word Chasers)

Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. — Terri Guillemets

     Writers had to be who Darwin had in mind when he developed his infamous theory of survival of the fittest!  As a writer, today I’m feeling like a fish out of water.   The only way a fish could actually survive would be to adapt to air. This is almost impossible, unless you are of the infamous Mudskipper variety; that is you adapt. 

Don’t believe me?  Click here to see this amazing Mudskipper:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or9NUEroVcE

As a writer, I’m learning a few things about the sport, occupation, obsession, or illness (it varies from day to day):

  • You need readers to feel validated and to avoid a horizontal parking space on the shrink’s couch.
  • You need to set goals; this often involves even more time than the writing takes.
  • You need to decide if you eventually want to make money at it.  When?  How?

These days can the writing ever carry itself, or is all about networking, sharing, and linking?

I’ve discovered, just like exercise, it’s really hard sometimes to write every day, or nearly every day.  I enjoy it about 98% of the time, but I loathe is about 2% of the time.

I enjoy it because I have so much I want to write about.  I loathe it because I’d be dishonest if I didn’t admit this:   Every writer wants more readers!    Yet how best do you accomplish this?  In this day of digital information overload, how do you get more people to read your posts?  After all, other peoples’ time is valuable too.

Do you write true?  That is do you write what is truly at your core and in your heart today?

Do you write what you think will be popularAnother words do you write in order to please others and seek to satisfy some mythical audience?

How do you branch out and reach more potential readers?  Are you marketing yourself correctly?   Facebook and Stumble Upon pulls a few folks in, but are there better ways?

Am I over categorizing?  Over tagging?   Should I be more specific or more broad-based?

Is conciseness the key?  Or is detail?

I know you should post often and consistently, and try to hook people with clever titles, and an interesting picture or quote.   Yet, is that enough?

Is your theme eye-catching?

How long did it take you to build a bigger audience?  What was your best strategy?

Maybe I’m just having one of those days where I’m in a state of analysis paralysis and it has rendered my muse positively mute today.  Maybe I’m listening too much to my head and not my heart.

I am curious and seeking other writer’s perspectives on what works for them and what doesn’t.   Or if you are just a reader, and want to pop in and say hi, well that’s great too!

It’s been said that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, but I say, you’re bananas if you think writers write only for themselves.  Like the infamous Mudskipper, I’m hoping to eventually rise above the mud as well as drying out in the sun.

I would love to hear any thoughts from those of you out in cyberspace!  For my readers:  I love you and appreciate you more than you could possibly know.  For my fellow writer comrades:  Keep going.  Never give up.  Stay encouraged.  Keep networking.  Have faith.  Go!

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2 thoughts on “Darwin’s Writers (A Plea for Word Chasers)

  1. Very thought-provoking post, Liz. I think that if in the beginning we all write mostly for validation, later comes a time when we write simply because we enjoy writing. Of course, we all want to write stuff that will become popular, but it becomes obvious, after a while, that no matter how many people read our work, we still enjoy writing because we have a lot to say. No one would read someone’s personal journal, and yet many people love to keep one. One thing that has really made a difference for me — especially when I write nonfiction, such as blogposts — is the idea that my writing can make a difference in the life of at least one person. If I can touch that individual, and change their perception even a little, I feel accomplished.

    • Thanks Sandra! You have offered so much good wisdom and encouragement this year! But the last sentence you offered is the most helpful; particularly in terms of blogging. I notice most blogs are about that very thing, it could be 5 easy steps for ____, but I see less writing in the blogosphere just related to entertainment. I actually wrote a how to article first, but may revisit it later. I got half way thru it and i was making myself sleepy!

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