How to Really Get Under a Writer’s Skin

And irritate the hell out of…me!

Don’t believe me? Then try this…ask this one simple question: Tell me about your writing process. WTF? Are you seriously asking that? You might as well ask me how to tell the difference between each cry a baby makes, because quite frankly, I can’t explain my writing process to you or anyone else any easier than I can explain what every cry means. And here’s why: no one project is the same. Therefore, writing does not follow a one size fits all approach to every project. At least, this is the case for creative writers. And I would venture to go out on a limb and say that this is true for most writers.

Sure, there are certain “steps” in the process that you hit upon at some point along the way, but again, depending on the project, these steps will vary. A hit or miss approach if you will. Sometimes you prewrite, but it’s not always required…maybe your client has provided this for you. Sometimes you start with research and then hit the ground with an outline and a running list of ideas before you do prewriting and sharing, then go back to do a little more research before starting to write. Who knows? It really depends on the type of writing you are engaged in: creative, business, technical, corporate, research, grant, whatever.

The fact of the matter is this: each writer’s writing process is a very personal process, and when someone asks this of you, you should be a little more than incensed. It’s infuriating, as if you need to justify how you get from point A to point Z. I know how to write. I know what works for me. What I don’t know is what works for you, and quite frankly, I don’t need to know that. That’s totally up to you.


Social Media and the Writer: The Big Picture

As a writer, your goal, with regard to using social media, is to generate a buzz about brand awareness. Spread the word. Reach the target audience using the tools they use and language they understand. Unfortunately, here is where a lot of writer’s drop the ball. It’s okay…this is new territory for most of us. The same thing happened when the Internet came along, and now look at us. Most, if not all, writers can say they are experts!

Social media is the same thing. New, but not unattainable. To master these tools, we need to just to get in there and use them. The thing is, we need to understand what they can and can’t do before we can recommend them to our clients. New challenges, but nothing we can’t deal with.

So here’s the big picture on social media and networking and what you as a writer need to know to make the most of it:

  • First, understand that this is a way to communicate and connect not only with friends, family, and colleagues, but with customers and more. Internet tools such as LinkedIn, Slideshare, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube give you instant access to the people you want to reach
  • Second, know that the Internet allows you to instantly collaborate, share information, and converse about ideas or causes you care about
  • Third, accept that you now work in a world where anyone can be a publisher, writer, reporter, artist, filmmaker, photographer, critic, pundit, or activist

Next step: try the tools out on your own and see what they have to offer. Then make the most of them, first for your own site, then for your clients.