The Best Part of My Day

Okay…well, first things first, the best parts of my day, hands down, are waking up with my wife beside me, and coming back home to her in the evening.

Having said that:

Dailey Freelance Blogging is my side hustle. For a living, I am a marketing representative for an insurance agency. It’s a good job. For the most part I know what to expect from day to day. But not so much that it gets terribly stale. I can make it fun, and when it does start to feel like I am in a rut, I have just enough variety in my tasks to shake things up, and re-direct my focus.

I take what may be rightfully called pride in being the “voice” of the company. Most of the company’s marketing letters were written by me. And for a few years now, once per month, I have been writing blog posts for the company website.

Yup.

Part of my job is to write interesting, engaging, and useful posts… about insurance of all damn things. I like to think I do it with style, grace, panache, and swagger.

All of that. It is actually fun. I have written some truly inspired pieces. It is…wait for it…the best part of my (work)day.

Though this isn’t a part of my recent “I’ve Been a…” series, I find that through challenging myself to blog in an engaging way about insurance, I know now that I can take any topic and pull out whatever it is about the subject that will bring customers to the door. It is one of those steps I’ve taken that have made me what I am today as a writer.

If you look back at your life you can probably find a few moves you’ve made, tasks you’ve taken on, that have made you a better writer. Maybe there are tools from those experiences that you have been using all along but never even thought of it.

Channel those experiences. Reinterpret them. Master your craft.

Just Write…Every Damn Day

As a writer, I used to get annoyed when other writers would insist that you absolutely MUST write every single day. Some would even specify an amount of time (one hour) or an amount of writing (1 page) that one MUST do every single day.

I did not get that. If I was not in the mood to write, I knew that what I wrote was not going to be good. I felt like I was wasting my time.

Recently I have been working on what I assume will one day be a novel, and though I have not put any expectations on the amount of time spent each day or the amount of content I write each day, I have been going out of my way to add something too it every day. I always pick a time when my wife is busy doing something else anyway so I am not tempted to join her in front of the TV or to go out anywhere. That usually allows me enough time to get something of substance written. It’s just me and my keyboard.

And no, what I write may not be great.

It may not end up fitting with the rest of the story.

Truth be told, while I am doing it, I am editing it, so that gives me the best chance of ending the night with something I plan to use. But even if it doesn’t, I have used that time to develop the story , to brainstorm, to eliminate story lines that will not work.

Some of it is just memorable enough that even if I deleted it at the time, months later I may recall it and give it another try. An old Hindu proverb says that no sincere effort is ever wasted. It is just as true in the metaphysical sense as it is in front of your keyboard, as a novelist, a short story writer, a songwriter, or a blogger.

The word “sincere” is key. But it is also a bit sticky.

What “sincere” means is up to you. Only you know if you are at your keyboard honoring your story or if you are just putting in the time. My feeling is that even “just putting in the time” can yield some great results in the long run. Because the fact that you are there doing it means you are sincerely working to draw the bits and pieces of it out, and mold them into something.

So, to review:

  • The time put in doesn’t matter. If it’s good you will not be able to pull yourself away until you’ve exhausted whatever the muse has for you tonight.
  • The word count doesn’t matter, for the same reason.
  • The attitude you bring to the task doesn’t matter too much, because the fact that you are doing it is enough.

The most important thing is to continue on day after day, coming back to that story, coaxing it out from oblivion, molding it into whatever it is going to be. Feeding it and nurturing it. Seasoning it. Whatever metaphor you prefer.

I am continuously amazed at how exciting it is night after night how I see the story “writing itself” how the further I go the more I feel the momentum of the story building. How, in doing so, I am encouraging that story to show itself. You are just the catalyst. The story is there. You are just transcribing for the muse.

I’ve Been an Author

Blogging is just as much journalism as it is journaling, publicly. At its best it is somewhere in between. But it can take many forms, or even be free-form. Aside from being informed and well sourced when needed, should also have a story to tell.

I’ve been a storyteller. A novelist. An author.

One may blog in short form or long form. Long form gives you a little more space to paint a picture. You still need to be economical with your words, but that just means making each word count, regardless of how many you use.

In my many attempts to write novels, I had to maintain that balance, while bringing a subject to life. To make my reader feel as if they were there, like they’d lived what I was writing about. And that is a bit how it is as a blogger. You have to make the reader believe that YOU lived what you are talking about, or know what you are talking about first. Once you’ve done that you can worry about “taking them there.”

I’ve Been a Newsman

In last week’s installment of the “I’ve Been…” series I wrote about what writing poetry did for me as a writer, and how it made me a better blogger in the long run.

To summarize, poetry taught me structure, economy of word use, and feeling.

As a journalist, one of the most difficult things to master was, when writing about an ongoing story, giving a brief summary of all that had already been established about the story in previous articles.

You do not have to summarize anything as a blogger. But blogging, like poetry, puts great importance on economy of language. So it is very important to be able to summarize anything that needs to be grasped upfront in order to understand the meat of your post.

All news stories have to include what, who, when, where and how or they aren’t really complete. I would not have been able to work under such conditions had I not learned the discipline of structure involved with writing poetry.

And if I hadn’t been a poet, I don’t think I could have said things in such an evocative way when writing news stories about otherwise mundane subjects.

Like city hall meetings, which was one of my regular gigs.

Every blogger has worked through some gigs they didn’t necessarily know much about or weren’t too interested in. Having the ability to use colorful language at just the right time makes these jobs quite enjoyable actually.

Let’s face it. Often freelancers are hired by a business that doesn’t know quite how to make their information…I don’t know, sparkle. It takes a talented writer to bring out the color and the shape of such topics.

Having a background in storytelling, aka journalism, helps a lot.




I’ve Been a Poet

Though I am a professional blogger, this is not a blog about blogging. It is about writing of various types. One of those types is blogging, but we’ll get to that.

Right now I want to talk about poetry.

Blogging at its most raw is a platform to rant. Though blogging can allow the writer freedom from any particular rules of style or meter, if you don’t know how to structure your rant, it can descend into anarchy quickly. It takes discipline and detachment to look at your work and know whether you are delivering your message with grace.

Poetry can come in paragraph form.

To achieve that “grace”, it takes economy. How can I say what I need to say in the least amount of words as necessary to get the job done? How can I do that without being needlessly sparse?

In the effort to be economical, you run the risk of stripping your writing down to the bare bones. In doing so, you take away the heart. Your writing loses its color. You’re no longer painting a picture, but sketching with stick figures.

I learned how to create that balance in my writing with poetry, which I referred to as “songs.” They were for a band that only existed in my head called “Equilibrium.” Our debut album was called “Misfit’s Manifesto.”

But I digress.

It’s True. I’ve Been a Poet, a Blogger, an Author, a Newsman…

I decided when I was fifteen that I was going to be a journalist “when I grow up.” Little did I know that though I would do that, I’d also be the author of:

  • magazine articles
  • books (published and un-published)
  • several blogs (personally and professionally)
  • and a string of sarcastic and witty poetry, some of which I, in a fit of grandeur saw as the next “Jabberwocky” or as scathing punk rock songs.

I am now a professional blogger with my current endeavor, Dailey Freelance Blogging. I started this blog because I wanted to show you how every piece of my past as a writer has prepared me for the work I do now.

In the upcoming four-part series, which I call the “I’ve Been a…” series, I’d like to show you how, with everything I have done as a writer, I have been building toward working for you.

This is what I can bring to the table in writing your company’s blog.
This is how I can help you reach the audience you are trying to reach.

As the name of this blog implies, I plan to post an installment once a week. Hit the Follow button or bookmark this blog to keep up with the series, and beyond.

Thanks!