My throat is sore and I can’t bring myself to be clever.

John Green (a YouTube video blogger and a Young Adult novelist) has said in the linked video, and in many other videos that he doesn’t make money writing. So why did I choose him? Because as much as that’s something I’m super familiar with being an issue, I also think that within the context that he’s both presenting the information in, and the many different formats he performs social media wise (podcast, vlogs, etc.) I wish that he talked more to the importance of writing in a different context.

My group mates seemed to talk reasonably about more tangible moments of talking about writing, which is great, but I also foresee these as way more formal pieces of talking about writing, which feels problematic to me. Two of my group members even responded on the same writer with the same text.

I think what’s most impactful to me about how John Green talks about his writing and him as a writer, is that he addresses the privilege he has that he gets to sit at home and write as a “job” part of the time. And I’m most certain that my own personal writing about this, I’m full-heartedly going against what the actual assignment was… but it should come as no big surprise that I don’t care. This is because I see value in how he talks.

He’s talked about his need for routine in his writing and writing pattern and how that sometimes helps him in his writing.

John Green consistently discusses how difficult writing is. Which helps level with me as someone who also enjoys/identifies as a writer. I think that it’s important to think about because of our over romanticized views of writing and writers. I also think it’s interesting that he’s never addressed the video making as a part of writing. I think more about this and his process of doing this because of the work I did in WRIT 205 where I talked more specifically about videos as a genre. And additionally is it more of a “just talking” idea that limits him to talking about it as writing, or is it less legitimate. I’d also maybe like to hear more on writing for visual things from people who write for more organized and written ones.

But mostly, I like the way that in this video he talks about the issues of an over eager audience which is both a privilege to have, but also he talks about how it inhibits his personal need to write what he feels like needs to be written instead of just attempting to construct a good story.

P.S. I’d love to feel bad about not doing the correct thing for the assignment and not submitting it on time etc….. but I really cant self-care > homework this week. Sorry, not sorry.

 

Jeff Goins: “How I Became a Full-time Writer

As you can probably see by my title, the reading that I did was Jeff Goins’ blog post about how he became a full-time writer. What I really enjoyed about it was that Jeff came to become a full-time writer by starting out doing it on the side while he had his “regular” job. This was relatable because I see this as the path I would like to take as I pursue a career as a professor of religious studies. While teaching in the field is something I would love to do, it is the writing and the research aspect of the field that really captures my love.

I read a few different blogs, articles, etc. before I found this one and I would say that Goins does a good job of capturing some of the common themes in them when he cautions those who want to become full-time writers:

When people ask me how I did this, how I became a writer, and what advice I have for them, I usually caution them. Pursuing a dream is hard and costly. It requires lots of energy and dedication, but it can be worth the effort.

These days, most people I meet are talking about their dreams. They want to launch out into their life’s work or pursue a calling, and they’re doing it all wrong.

They think they need to take a giant leap out into the unknown when, in fact, the opposite is true. It’s all about small steps over time.

The advice that I think a lot of people (myself included) could take from his post was advice that came from his friend, advice that changed his life. What his friend said was that Goins doesn’t have to want to be a writer because he already is a writer. He just needs to write to be a writer. From that point on Goins owned the title of writer and would introduce himself as Jeff Goins, writer. I think this is powerful advice because I often don’t consider myself a writer because I have yet to have anything published. However, I should probably give myself more credit and own the title of writer because I have dedicated years to studying the craft and improving my writing. This advice from Goins’ friend reminds me a lot of something I heard awhile back.Image result for a professional writer is an amature that never quit


I think this is great advice that goes with what Goins was trying to say because writing is all about growth and commitment and the continual process of getting better. After owning the title of “writer” Goins eventually started to believe it and that was when his commitment continued.

After he believed he was a writer he needed to iron out a schedule so that he could build up some consistency in routine (another problem I think so many of us have trouble with). After all, he had a wife, a full-time job, and other commitments so finding time to write was a difficult barrier he needed to break down, but his dedication led him to getting up at 5 am so he could find time to write. At first it was difficult, but then it became a habit that would happen without him having to try. He would wake up, get his coffee, and write.

Establishing a routine was a common theme in all of the readings I did because once something becomes “part of the day” it is a lot easier to be able to get in the zone of writing. Each writer stressed how difficult it was when getting settled in to a new routine of writing, but also highlighted how much of a joy it became once it was habitual. Instead of using the excuse that he didn’t have time to write, Goins tossed that excuse aside and made time. The hardest part about connecting to this advice as college students, I think, is the fact that my schedule is never consistent. Sure, my day starts in the early morning when we get my daughter ready for school, but when I go to bed usually depends on the type of homework I have that evening. If I have a big assignment or a lot of reading when I go to bed can range from 12-3 in the morning. This really threw me off when I got up at 5. My hope is to find another routine that involves the weekends and days where I know my schedule better.

Goins talked about how he didn’t make the jump to writing full-time right away,  but instead built himself a following while keeping his regular job. He talked about how he was able to view both careers of his as beneficial to the other and utilize what he learned in one to help him with the other. I think this  was really beneficial for me to read because I try to do this with both departments (writing and religious studies).

The following quote was his final thoughts on what it takes to become a full-time writer and how he was able to do it. Overall I think it is powerful advice that I can identify with:

“The real secret to launching out as a full-time writer or full-time anything is will. It comes down to owning your calling and committing to the work, however hard it is. For me, this meant I had to stop saying “I don’t know how” and start saying, “I’ll figure it out.” It meant learning to be more patient and perseverant at the same time. And you know what? I did figure it.”

https://goinswriter.com/full-time/

How to Become a Full-Time Author

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I am writing a career journey revealed by Michael Warden about his writing in an interview by Jeff Goins. Michael is a writer and coach and he writes fiction and non-fiction books. He started writing in sixth grade and it was a fiction novel. In early days, he used to write short stories, about school life, keeping diaries etc. Writing felt him like something he couldn’t. He graduated in journalism and joined Group Publishing in Colorado as a regular book editor and finally became managing editor. In his tenure at Group Publishing, he came to learn how things can be done in publishing industry and he published several articles, trained and helped many authors to publish their work. He found this time extremely helpful as he shaped his skills and set a passion.

As transition phase is often difficult and painful, Michael also suffered a lot. It took him about two years to transitioned into full-time author. During transition phase, to maintain financial earnings he kept working with Group Publishing at the cost of no social life. Once he had got a track of freelance work, he pulled out from corporate work. In answer to question “when and how did you know it was time to start writing professionally”, he replied “I think a lot of people are called to write; but only a small percentage of those folks are called to write professionally as their primary career. Just enjoying the act of writing isn’t enough to make a professional writing career sustainable. You also have to be competent at writing, and that means being an active student of the craft.” In addition, professional writing needs business skills, far different from writing skills. The corporate world had left him drained and he wanted to be his own boss, consequently he started his own writing.

Tips for writers: when you write at home, your relatives think you are not “at work”. To avoid this confusion, set regular hours just like other 9 to 5 jobs and tell them. Stick to the regular hours, designate a space in a room only for work, and don’t wait for inspiration and keep writing whatever you feel. Keep reading good writings from different genres. Welcome the critiques, travel and explore the world, live vigorous life, take the risk and do different. He stuck with “writer’s block” few times, he conquered it by figured out what was going on instead of getting frustrated about it. He believes, there is reason behind a “writer’s block” and to overcome it, you should act like a teacher and search for what is missing and what is the piece of writing trying to tell you. Writing is not easy and often comes very hard, so you should expect “writer’s block”, which is not a strange.

His publishing tips for beginners is that publishing world is in transition phase from traditional to modern models. Internet has reduced the traditional distance between writers and readers, hence it’s the best time to be a writer. Come forward, take risk and be creative.

 

Reference: Becoming a Full-Time Author: Interview with Michael Warden by Jeff Goins; at https://goinswriter.com/full-time-author-michael-warden/

Writing As A Grant Writer

Katie Kelly

Grant writing is another specialty among the many genres of writing and an interview with Jennifer Rader gives some insight to the intricacies of successful independent-contracting as a grant writer. Rader started in the private sector of business working in management with press releases, budgeting, marketing, and cost negotiations. Upon starting a family she took on a role of a freelance writer in order to be more available to her family’s needs. However, she was very quick to realize that she’d need to specialize if she hoped to be successful in her new career. She found a great need for grant writers regardless of where her family moved.

Rader had plenty of professional writing experience in press releases, campaign packages, scholarship proposals, newsletters, and various pieces for an assortment of magazines. This shows she had exposure the concept of audience driven writing with bounded vocabulary and structure. However, she did expand her horizons by actually taking an advanced grant writing class in order to get the lay of the land, which she would also suggest to any writer starting in her same position. The need for grant writers is high due to the complexity and diversity that comes with grant writing, thus why it is so specialized in professional writing.

The first step is to find an appropriate grant and Rader stressed the reliance on online databases to search and best fit the organization with a potential source of funding. A lot of research goes into addressing the organization’s mission and purpose prior to even beginning writing. There’s various sources of funding from corporate, family and trusts, and government; all with different turnaround times and amounts of funding. Not to mention the various stipulations that come along with the appointment of funding. Since Rader is a freelancer that means that her fees must be taken into account when an organization is looking for funding and if it is available for the time she will put in to just find the grant that best fits.

Once a grant is found and she begins writing, Rader has various positions of the contracting organization edit and proof her content. In many way, Rader is constantly in an interesting position upon the subject matter she writes. She has found a niche and thus a formula for writing for education and outreach program grants, but it is always for a different focus or subject matter. Rader is a subject matter expert in the process of writing a grant for a type of funding and purpose, but will always be a new comer to the focal point of the content she writes. The need for program directors, development directions, or executives to edit her work is to ensure the mission and purpose of the organization is clear and comes across correctly. This highlights the point of and insider or expert trying to explain to an outsider of non-expert the crux of an organization. Rader recognizes that those assessing the grant criteria will need to see that the mission and purpose of the organization aligns with the funding agency or purpose of the grant, thus it needs to be conveyed well.

In many ways, a grant writer such as Rader has a special skill and experience to contribute to organizations in need, but the grant writers themselves do not generate the content that is submitted. She gets work by having a special set of skills that other writers don’t fully develop or chose to specialize in, which then allows her to network and gain more and more contracts. The non-profit circuit she works has her very well known as a freelancer and thus a viable option for hiring.

Interview from: http://www.catklaw.com/an-interview-with-a-grant-writer-why-you-need-one