If You Want to Write: Do It

Occasionally someone asks me ‘why’? Why I contribute to RevPub, why am I a proofreader, why I write – why, why, why? The answer is simple: I want to.

Chapters 2 and 3 in If You Want to Write discuss starting creative projects because you yearn to see your ideas come to fruition. It’s very easy to talk yourself out of a new project or change. There will be problems, you may risk security or money, and you may never be famous. My response to those arguments is: And?

People I Know

I am friends with many creative types. I have one friend who would be an excellent writer but will not push himself/herself to start a blog and put his/her stuff out there. I know others who don’t see the value because they can’t immediately make money doing it. One author I know is debuting his first novel soon and said to me, “I don’t care if it sells. It’s done, and I can move onto the next, and the next, and the next. Is it ironic he is the only published author?

There is something that stirs inside creative types. An overwhelming desire to tell your story to the world, or whoever will read it, burns in your chest and brain. If a person really wants to write, draw, paint, etc. they will because they cannot fight their passion. It’s not about the money, it’s not about being a best seller, it’s about getting a project out there and moving onto the next one.

Ueland says, “[Creativity] is like a faucet: nothing comes unless you turn it on, and the more your turn it on, the more comes.” The more we nurture our creativity and strive to release that passion, the more that comes out. When you love someone, you don’t ignore them – you show them, so why not do the same for your passions?

Our Story

I called my partner while writing this to ask him why he was doing RevPub? Completely taken off guard, he stuttered for a moment and said, “So I can do my … stuff.” I lovingly made fun of him, and after a good laugh he said, “So all of these ideas I’ve had in my head for one, maybe two decades, have a place and are out there.”

James created Revenant Publications years ago, and it was my crazy self who said earlier in 2012, “Let’s just do it. Let’s get back to our site, have a schedule, post about whatever, and produce the first issue.” My fearless nature coupled with his abilities (and patience), mixed with our drive to do something more lead us to where we are today. We may or may not make a fortune with our projects, we devote a lot of time to them, and we enjoy almost every moment. We have a strong support system and a growing fan base because people can see that we love what we do, and we do it because we are not afraid.

Don’t be afraid of what may or may not happen. People will try to discourage or manipulate you into thinking you can’t achieve your goals. Don’t listen to them, and at the very least, prove them wrong. Do whatever you can to achieve your goal, because at the end of the day, they are not living your life. If you want to start or continue a creative project, then do it. If you want to make a life change, then go for it. The only person who can really hold you back is yourself.

For a special treat, check out my friend, Kevin Litwin. We send a huge congrats and look forward to getting a signed copy!

Writing for Web: Blogging – Getting Started

“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell

So, you’re in the shower and you think, “Wouldn’t it be cool to start a blog or website?” The answer is yes. It is very cool and totally doable with the tools and technology available.

This week’s chapter is all about blogging, but I would like to add a little spin. Let’s talk muse, too.

Felder gives some great ideas for getting started. The first decision to make is what to write about? Some questions you can ask yourself are:

What makes you mad?

What makes you smile?

What hobbies do you enjoy?

What is your passion?

Is there a topic you can talk about for hours?

What do you want to learn more about?

Now take those questions and pick a topic. Then decide if you can write a lot of content about it. If not, expand your topic. For example, if you like haunted houses you may want to extend that to all places haunted, which may include lighthouses, castles, asylums, prisons, etc.

Make a list of topics (these will later be blog posts). Write them down for as long as you can, and always keep a pen and paper handy. A friend gave out a tiny composition book during a blog session a couple of years ago, and it is still in my purse just in case.

We at RevPub like to have a stockpile of ideas too because sometimes you just don’t feel creative or want to work a lot on something. In those instances, what should you do? Here’s where the muse comes in.

 The Muse

Muse: The source of your inspiration that gives you new ideas and topics.

Most people have something that inspires them. It can be a child, job, lifelong dream or goal, best friend, or successful people in the world. It doesn’t matter what your muse is or how you find it; the important thing is to find it, hold onto it, and let it guide you.

If you feel your muse has abandoned you, don’t worry. Felder suggests taking a walk, listening to music, aromatherapy, and even eating chocolate. Other strategies I found are TV shows like Shark Tank and Supernatural, yoga, and hanging out with people who have similar interests. In fact, most of my Writing for Web posts are done with a horror movie in the background. All of these can get your mind moving in the right direction, so just pick what works for you and go with it!

Now that you have a category and topics, it’s time to research a little. Felder advises looking at other sites and blogs about similar topics, making notes about what you like and don’t like, and deciding how to make yours better. This is an interesting exercise and allows you to improve your writing and style before you write your first post.

With all those in mind, get started. Pick a site to blog on – WordPress and Blogger are both free and very popular. Be sure to check in next week when we’ll discuss scheduling, content, and readership.

In the meantime, tell us this: what is your muse? Do you have tips for others on how to find inspiration?