As promised, I am going to give you Part II – Confessions of a New Blogger. I will give you a list of the four secrets I use to get my writing done along with a short powerful story as to why I write. I write for many reasons… this short story is just one of the many.
Keep in mind, this post was originally written on November 2016 when this blog – The Bitchy Business Briefs was only 3-months old. I write every day. Not everything I write is posted or shared on my blog or social media. I’m weird like this. Sometimes I feel the story is not ready or that it’s not going to bring value… So, I don’t post it.
Fast forward… here we are August 2017. I found this content in my vault [also known as journals] of ‘words, notes, quotes-memes, and other writings” Since I started this blog, I have also found that my social media platforms and audience now reaches approximately 10K in human beings who read my stories. I feel obligated to continue to get better at this and to bring value to as many people as possible. I am humbled by this.
Cracking a peek into one of my journals gives me a wide-screen view of how hugely my writing has changed over the last 24 months. Sometimes I don’t recognize it…
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]”I write for many reasons – – this short story is just one of the many reasons” @SharonLeeZapata [/Tweet]
Excellent writing isn’t just another one of those things that I do. It is a matter of survival and growth. If you are thinking about becoming a writer, a journalist, or a blogger, you’ll want your craft to survive the messy noise inside the world-wide-web and you’ll want your writing to continue to grow [flourish]. I will also tell you how to come to the blank page not with a mouse and keyboard, but also with a knife . . . and the courage to use it.
Here is the breakdown of today’s post:
- What is a blog?
- Why start a blog?
- My 4 secret tips for writing.
[especially if you struggle to create content or interesting stories]
All my life I’ve had to learn to keep my head and my ass in the game…. the game of life.
This is the short story:
It’s November 2015 – The Bitchy Business Briefs is just a little baby 3-month old blog. I was honored to be invited to write/blog for Verizon’s Wireless Small Business Summit [Houston, TX]. This was my very first compensated blogging opportunity and I was smiling from ear to ear! Plus, I really did not know what to expect. You know I commit first… figure it out as I go.
While sitting in this beautiful ballroom filled with corporate executives, audience members, and several talented, nationally recognized bloggers, I felt my meager blog was still too new to be included in this platform.
Even with my smile [did I mention ear to ear smile?], I felt like I was not supposed to be there. It was at that moment I had to grab up my ass and turn myself around. This is where I tell you how to come to the blank page not with a mouse and keyboard, but also with a knife . . . and the courage to use it.
I strongly told myself, “Hey, keep your head and ass in the game! Stop this stupid thinking. You are here because you have arrived. You have arrived to hold your printed voice to a blank page . . . Because of your words, your Grandmother Juanita Rea and Great-Grandmother Christina Perez would have been so proud of you.
So proud of their mija who went to college, who overcame crappy obstacles, who is stubborn and doesn’t give up. For them. . . there was no blog, no voice, nowhere to go to express frustrations or celebrate victories. For them, there was a kitchen, cooking, sewing, cleaning, washing clothes, hanging them out on the clothesline, raising children, backbreaking work, and sitting on the back porch with a cold beer at night… thinking about how their lives could really be. So, get your head in the game because you’re supposed to be here in this beautiful ballroom. Take it all in and share your experience on behalf of other women who don’t have what you have. Use your blog, your writing, your strong voice to inspire and lift others because they did not get to use their voice….this tardiness you have to NOT use your voice is no longer acceptable.”
That was my personal ass-kicking chat I had with myself and I have not looked back.
This is the short story that I mentioned earlier as to why I blog. There are many more reasons why I blog, but this story pinches and pulls on my heart strings the most.
Now, if that did not motivate you to want to do something bigger….then, you can just stop here and read no more – – Goodbye
However, if reading this lit a little fire under your ass, then we are going wonderful places together! [virtually speaking…]
As mentioned earlier in this post, I am going answer this question:
- What is a blog? My simple definition: a public notebook or journal regularly updated ~
My 4 secrets tips for writing: [especially if you struggle to create content or interesting stories]
There is no one-size-fits-all plan for everybody. I can simply share a few my secret tips for writing. If I was to share everything I know, it would be a book. Hey, you know that is not a bad idea! …O.K., let’s focus and get to these 4 secret tips:
Tip #1 Think process, not product
“…traditionally, the artist/writer has been trained to regard her creative process as something that should be kept to herself…” quote from Austin Kleon, Author of Show Your Work!
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]We live in a time where showing your PROCESS and SHARING your work actually attracts people who share your interest.[/Tweet]
I have chosen to show as little or as much of my PROCESS whenever I want. My PROCESS is MESSY… and I believe this is what attracts my audience. I get emails from my readers who say they are glad I put my sloppy work out there in the digital land! They have seen my writing improve and it is thought-provoking to share and see how it is all just PROCESS.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]”You just have to get started. Just start writing. Write every day.” @SharonLeeZapata[/Tweet]
Also, great writers read a lot. If you came to my work area… dude, your eyeballs would do cartwheels – I have hundreds of books. By putting my writing out on social media for the last 24 months, I have attracted a small following now of about 10,000 people [combined social media platforms]
Your readers/followers get to know you because of the stories you share; they’ll come back to listen to your voice.
Tip #2 Solitude creates that unique voice that speaks strongly
My best writing, and, in fact, the best of anything I’ve done, was created in solitude. When I go running or simply lay down in the grass to gaze up at the clouds, I have found this solitude very productive. Just a few of the benefits I’ve found from solitude:
- time for thought
- in being alone, we get to know ourselves
- we face our demons, and deal with them
- space to create
- time to reflect on what we’ve done, and learn from it
- isolation from the influences of other helps us to find our own voice
Tip #3 Good writing playlist (use headphones)
It easy to get distracted, especially if you office from home. Writing requires constant attention; so whether you are working from home, or a coffee shop, get a good writing playlist together. I simply use Pandora.com and get my two favorites playing: Nightmares on Wax and Jamiroquai
Tip #4 Keep a Thesaurus / Dictionary browser open
Keep a thesaurus/dictionary tab open. Because there are only so many ways you can say “fabulous -fantastic – marvelous” without sounding like a parrot repeating yourself. Plus + during times of intense focus and craziness of work, you may need to get whacked by the creative stick. Working with a Thesaurus/Dictionary has been one of the many tools I use to get creative!
Plus + during times of intense focus and craziness of work, you may need to get whacked by the creative stick. For me, listening to great music works as a creative stick! Working with a Thesaurus/Dictionary has been one of the many tools I use to grow my vocabulary.
[Tweet theme=”tweet-box-shadow”]during times of intense focus and craziness of work, you may need to get whacked by the creative stick! AKA music![/Tweet]
Let’s wrap this post up! Here is one of my favorite books I’ve read this month [for the 2nd time!] Pick up a copy. It is short, powerful, and full of unbelievably simple ways to Show Your Work
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I simply like writing from my experiences on BUSINESS. LIFE LESSONS. SMARTY ASS QUOTES. And you’ll find some COCKTAILS occasional INTERVIEWS with INFLUENCERS!
Where do I start?
If you’re new to this blog, I highly recommend starting with these posts: