When #BlogLikeCrazy season approaches, I often think about one of my favorite Flannery O’Connor quotes: “I write to discover what I know.”
Can you relate? Can you remember moments when you’ve started writing in a journal or typing on a keyboard just to quiet the questions swirling in mind only to discover, by the time you write your final line, that you had the answers all along?
This is one of the many reasons I love #BlogLikeCrazy, my annual challenge to bloggers to publish a new blog post every day for 30 days in November. This challenge gives me 30 new chances to discover what I know and to do so near the end of the year, a perfect time for reflection.
The other day I was chatting with a friend who is also a writer and she told me that she felt she owed her writing success to me. While I was very flattered by the statement I assured her that was not true.
This friend has had a lot of success. She’s had her work published in literary magazines galore and is currently slaying the freelance copywriting game, too. She also edits books and is working on writing a book of her own. But her talent and tenacity made all this happen — not me.
My friend, however, said that many of the opportunities that she’s had and the community of supporters that she has built happened because of her blog and she said she never would have started blogging had I not encouraged her to do so years ago.
Her words made me so happy. I preach the gospel of blogging to anyone who will listen because I, too, have built a wonderful tribe of women writers who have my back and have had several writing opportunities land in my lap because of my blog. And it’s so nice to know others are reaping the benefits of blogging, too.
Blogging has definitely boosted my career as a freelance journalist. It helped me get the attention of magazine editors who offered me my own column. And sometimes editors even pay me to republish my blog posts in their publications.
Here are 3 other reasons why freelance writers should blog.
You’ve finally launched your blog and you’re SO EXCITED. You’ve posted announcements about your new site on every social media channel and sent emails about it to everyone on your contact list. You even had business cards made and maybe even designed a blog branded T-shirt. Perhaps you even had a blog launch party!
Six months later your blog has been abandoned. You had plans to publish new content once a week, but you felt lucky if you updated your site once a month. So eventually, you gave up — not because you’re lazy, but simply because life got in the way.
I’ve been blogging consistently for over a decade. Through the years I’ve changed jobs and even time zones but my commitment to blogging has remained. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way…
August 10-11, 2019 I attended WordCamp Birmingham 2019, which was held at Rosewood Hall in Homewood. The event featured several different tracks of workshops including sessions on content and business. I had the opportunity to speak, as well, and gave a presentation on using group writing challenges to boost your blog.
I’ve been attending WordCamp Birmingham conferences for years and I always leave with a notebook full of tips and tricks on how to improve my blog and overall content creation process. Honestly, I leave with too much information. I leave with so much information that I usually get too overwhelmed to put any of it into practice.
But this year I’m going to rewrite my story! This year reviewed my notes and made a list of 10 things I will do to put the information into action.
Here are my top 10 takeaways from WordCamp Birmingham 2019…
There was a time when my writing space was a Pinterest-worthy home office that dazzled my guests. The white color scheme with pink accents and trendy art prints that cover the wall came together perfectly to create a room that was my pride and joy.
But for the past two months, my home office has been a complete mess. Two months ago I left my job as a high school English teacher to write and run See Jane Write full time, which means I had to pack up and move out of a classroom I’d been in for 10 years. And this means I have a decade’s worth of junk stuffed in boxes, bags, and bins that are now stacked in my home office.
The good news is this clutter hasn’t kept me from writing. Sometimes, like right now, I sit in my office and just ignore the mess and get to work. Also, I’ve been working on freelance stories, pitches, blog posts, and email newsletters from my sofa, my bed, my kitchen, and my favorite coffee shops. I trained myself long ago to be able to write anytime, anyplace.
Nonetheless, the messiness of my home office distracts and haunts me. I even keep the door closed most of the time so I won’t have to look at it. This is showing me just how important it is to have a writing space, but recently I got to thinking about how we women writers must work to find writing space not only in our home but also in our schedules and even our mindsets.
Then I started thinking about this A LOT and came up with a “Writing S.P.A.C.E.” acronym!