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 — Time and Readership

Last week I discussed how to start your blog or website. This week I want to talk about how to keep it going and build a fan base who will follow your content. There’s one thing you must be in order for your site to succeed: loyal.

Loyal: adj., (3) faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product

(Source: Merriam-Webster.com)

In order for a blog or site to succeed, contributors must be loyal to their content, fans, and themselves. If you decide to write, you must commit to the cause – whether it’s to make a name for yourself or share your creativity with the world – writers must put in the time and effort.

Felder recommends challenging yourself to stick to a schedule. When RevPub started, we decided we would each do a post a week, make it the best we could, and have fun. Whether it’s a post a week or a post a day, a schedule will help you find and make time to add content.

Building a Fan Base

One you’ve created a topic list and set a schedule, how do you build a fan base? Here are some tips from the book and a few others we recommend:

  • Be a credible source. One new tip: don’t overload your writing with keywords. If you write naturally, your keywords will be there.
  • Keep content fresh. Don’t reuse your content. If you run out of ideas, try writing exercises or guest bloggers.
  • Include a bio with photos. Your readers want to know who you are, so tailor your bios and photos to the type of page you want.
  • Have an About page. What is your site about and what are you trying to accomplish?
  • Encourage feedback and comments. Negative or positive, comments help you gauge your readers, make improvements, and get people talking.
  • Be passionate. Give 100 percent every time you post. Use your passions to fuel your creativity, or keep an open mind so you find new ones. The results are up to you.
  • Use social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, etc.; it doesn’t matter. I suggest starting with one, and as your site grows and you make more time, take on more social media platforms. You may even find people who will help you push out your content.
  • Talk about your site with peers, coworkers, and family. The support we receive is overwhelming, and I learned this is just as effective as social media. People can see your excitement and thrive off of it.
  • And most importantly, commit. Make a commitment to yourself and your readers to make each post as awesome as it can be. The Avengers grossed $1.5 billion this year, and at one point, that was just an idea. Loyalty can go a long way.

I learned a lot from chapter 12, and I look forward improving our site and adding a new category, which will premier this month. What do you think? Is there anything you would like to see on RevenantPublications.com?