By Terreece M. Clarke
Do you remember what your first time felt like? The nervous, but excited fumbling to open it up (the web site or paper publication), the feverish scanning to take it all in (checking to see what the editor changed, making sure your name was spelled right) and the last cry of ecstasy (your paycheck!).
Dianne Burrell over at The Renegade Writer Blog is asking writers about their first time – literary experience you dirty minded thing. I want to know something different from the FWJ community – does it still feel as good as the first time, writing that is?
One of the keys to a successful writing career is you HAVE to love what you do. Not just like it or tolerate it. Writing is like another um, act – your passion and level of enthusiasm has a direct effect on the outcome. In other words, blah writers produce blah work.
We talk a lot here about the business of writing, the technical aspects of writing and the goals of writing, but I like writers to remember why they got into this business in the first place. The past is prologue – if you became a freelance writer to take on tough political issues, but you find yourself languishing in SEO article writing because it pays the bills you need to shake things up. If you aren’t reaching the same or surpassing the high you received from your first printed piece, you need to do a little therapy to get the passion back in your pen.
Love it, but it’s lost some umph
It’s a tried and true relationship. The bond you have with your niche or style of writing is steady, comfortable, but you miss some of the excitement. It’s time to try some new positions. Keep doing what works, but add some creativity. Try a new blog or a different type of publication. Shake up the way you format your articles: anecdote, statistic, quote, background info, bullet points, end quote, turn in article and repeat; that can get old after a while – stretch your legs and imagination.
Bring in another
Maybe your blog or column just doesn’t have the zing. Bring in a guest writer or blogger to breathe a little fresh air into your work. Use a guest writer and watch someone else have fun with and find the beauty in something you see everyday. Be careful not to get too attached or dependent, a guest could take over and before long you’ve lost the loyalty of your readers.
Practice makes perfect
Maybe you don’t write enough and when you do it just feels awkward. Keep practicing at every opportunity. Conduct additional research and work with in an expert or mentor if necessary.
While it will never be as special as your first time, your published pieces should continually feel just as good if not better as your first published piece. If it doesn’t make some changes!