Web Content for the Crafty

August 28, 2009

A friend of mine launched a small business today. She’s been giving her gorgeous custom frames and greeting cards as gifts for a long time, and finally decided to take everyone’s advice and start selling them. She’s had some website trouble, so I won’t post a link here yet. One of the problems is content: she doesn’t know what to write. When she mentioned that at the launch party, I volunteered to help. I know, I said I didn’t want to be a freelance commercial writer. But this is a friend, and I’m so proud of her for starting a business. It’s a creative business, too!

So I’ll be writing web content again. I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure my friend knows exactly what she wants, and I’m equally sure that if I sit down with her for lunch and get her talking, I’ll know how make it work on paper. Or a computer screen, as it happens.

It’s been a day for writing and the web. I got a call from another friend and sometime client after lunch. He needed a grammar check: should he use “to” or “with” in the tagline? I felt cool. I’m the grammar-checker, yes I am.

Grammar for one friend, content for another, outlines and plans for me… maybe someday I’ll even make money!

In the meantime, this is fun.

Again!

August 26, 2009

I got another shiny new idea. It now has a home in my notebook, two to-do lists away from the last one. This is fun, but I’m starting to wonder if my brain is generating new stuff to keep me from making progress on the not-so-new. On the other hand, I’m glad I’ve been capturing these thoughts as they fly by. Organizing my mental fluff, giving it a purpose, and setting it down in words can only be good for me.

Blog Planning

August 24, 2009

I started working on a strategy for my new blog today. Evidently, I should have done that with this one. Glad the 50 or so of you haven’t been holding that against me. The hardest part right now is narrowing my focus, from “food” down to something specific enough to write about. I’m in no danger of running out of material no matter what I pick, but I’m still tempted to keep my options open… to the tune of maybe three related subjects.

Meanwhile, I got another blog idea that’s new and shiny! And probably harder, but in the exhilarating kind of way. I might as well spend a couple hours on that, planning topics and mapping structure and finding a place for it on my calendar. If it’s not all sparkly after a couple weeks, I’ll have a nice template for something else.

My student’s lightning strike is now a short story, and I have one of my own to review, too. By “review” I mean “rewrite entirely.” Standard procedure. It’s never as wonderful in Draft One as it is by Draft Three. Or Seven.

I’m still pretty happy with all this. I’m blogging, teaching on a small scale, writing, and I’m organized.

This is awesome.

Writing Bug Makes Nest

August 21, 2009

I’d like to say that I haven’t been afraid of The Blank Page all week, but that’d be a lie. My desire to write has outweighed my reluctance to write, by a lot. I’m so happy to come to this with a will, instead of with images of cruel overlords, who look like me, whipping me towards the keyboard.

Now I’m wondering: is this a visiting Muse? Is she staying? Does she like cookies? I can make cookies if she’ll stay.

Or can I give myself credit for forced habit formation? Did all those weeks of making myself write x words bring my natural interest in writing back to life (after it died in a university business program and an accounting job)? Not that it ever quite died, it just got sick, and weak, and… punk.

Whatever it is, I’m happy. I am going through my day with an inner ear cocked for Whatever to tell me it’s time to write. Then I hear it! It won’t shut up until I listen and obey. I’m not sure why that corner of my mind is a better overlord than the one that makes goals and lists and organizes things… Maybe because it’s skipping around with cool ideas, and not brandishing a whip.

It feels permanent. I hope I’m sensing that correctly, and not via the Wishful Thinking portal.

Inspiration Storm

August 20, 2009

My area saw a huge thunderstorm last night. This morning I found an email in my inbox from my writing student: his next project got blown away by a new idea. I got an idea yesterday, too. I wrote a short story draft in the morning, then spent the rest of the day buried in wedding stuff. Then came the rain… and lightning! I told my student that there must have been inspiration blowing in ahead of the storm.

Fiction Returns

August 17, 2009

It’s been a while. Fiction has been creeping up on me for a week or so. I’ve had some material floating back and forth in my head, taking up space and attention and energy… I guess it just wasn’t going to go away unless I wrote it down.

Good.

Write when You’re Cranky

August 14, 2009

You know those times when you successfully bite your tongue on a whole lot of things you shouldn’t say? I won’t reveal what kind of record I have on that tally sheet, but I will say that when I do manage to not talk, I stay up that night as the repressed emotions radiate out of my body at the rate of 1/100 of a degree per minute.

There’s a shortcut out of this: journal writing.

Maybe I shouldn’t make and keep a running record of my worst moods, but if conflict is the core of fiction, then I have a great store of material that illuminates some awful, embarrassing, human reactions to what happens in life.

If this happens to you, I suggest the following: write down (and then password-protect) all the things you knew better than to say. After that, write down what you wished could have happened. Then maybe throw in some realism. Make grandiose plans. Admit limitations. Get depressed; write about that. Then stop.

Write when you’re cranky.

But write down the beautiful moments, too.