(On a train to Cinque Terre in Italy.
I did a lot of writing while on trains, planes, and buses while abroad.)
"Hey, You Wanna Blog?" The definitive post on blogging, best blogging practices, and how to make money off our your blog and build readership.
"Sophomore Bitties." What Google Analytics means for you as a blogger.
"Normalcy Sucks." Why sometimes there is no new content on SATCG for awhile, and how life contentedness sucks for blogging.
"Professional Opinion: The Case for Cliches." Why cliches aren't the devil; why mannerisms are what give you your writer's voice; why public news should stay free; and why no one ever went into the newspaper industry to get rich, save for Rupert Murdoch.
"This Is What A Forty-Thousand Dollar A Year Education Pays For." On why being a writer and going to college sometimes sucks in a financial way.
1 Minute Writing Advice:
- Try all types of writing. If you normally write prose, try poetry. If you normally write fiction, try writing something devoid of fiction. I write poetry on Jux and experimental or abstract creative non-fiction because sometimes I need a break from channeling my SATCG voice and want to try something different.
I "found my voice" (per se) during my sophomore year of college. As a required course for my major, I had to take a Creative Non-Fiction class. Beforehand, I actually had only ever wrote novel-length fiction. (Some of it was good. Some of it was horrendous and made Nora Roberts look like a major scholarly writer.) I basically dragged my heels in the first few classes, kicking and screaming all the way, because I really believed I couldn't write anything interesting about myself or my own experiences without fiction being involved, somehow. To my surprise, I actually ended up loving it. This was also about the time I started watching Sex and the City and was in a few rather "interesting" relationships, so it provided for some great writing fodder. I started writing the love, sex, and relationship column for a campus magazine, and realized I had more to say than I could fit into a quarterly column. Thus started Sex and the College Girl's concept. The rest is obviously apparent.
- Read. Read and read and read and read and then read some more. Don't like reading? Better start.
Reading a lot of work in different genres will open up your eyes and writing abilities to a bunch of different ways to package or present it.
-Something else that I do is dog-ear or underline sentences or sections of books that I read that I think the author did a particularly good job in writing. It will provide you with some great examples of good dialog, or well-crafted sentence structure.
- Make sure to also read your competition and figure out where the holes in their writing are so you can provide readers with a different service.
- Trying to mimic a successful author's writing will let you know if a specific tone comes naturally to you or not.
- I found my voice in the most unexpected place and totally by accident, so I guess my final thoughts are that it's really something you can't force-- it'll come when it's been fully crafted. Until then, just keep writing. Play around with it. See what works, and what doesn't. Write about what you KNOW and what really interests you, and your voice will come from there.
As always, if you have any other questions or want specific advice on writing, blogging, or let's mix it up a bit and say relationship issues, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love getting feedback and questions from readers.