I tend to write in bursts. I'm terrible at being creative on a schedule. Is it even possible to be creative on a schedule? It probably is, but that has never been a real thing to me. I just create whenever I do.
There's nothing really inherently wrong with that. That's why I don't want to have any expectations tied to any of my creative work - because I'll always find some excuse as to why I fell short. It's pretty much my own expectations, really. They're rough enough. I don't need someone on top of that asking me if I'll have something ready by so-and-so date and time. That's why I am so personal about my creative stuff.
I'm not an "official" poet, even though I've written hundreds of poems and most of my poetry is published online. The reason why is actually pretty simple. If you're a "poet," people will ask you, hey, can you write a poem about so and so? Can you come up with some corny verses about such-and-such? Not only do I find that demeaning, but I'm not an "on-demand" poet. Some people can do that crap.
I usually will just be laying or sitting around and a verse pops in my head. Then another, and another, yet another. I usually write 3-5 poems at a time. Sometimes even as many as 10. I think my record is a dozen in a day, but I'm really not keeping track. Heck, if I were that prolific I'd be a millionaire right now just self-publishing little collections and selling them for a dollar or two a piece. Alas, I am not. I don't really care about that part anyway. I don't care if my poems make me a cent, really.
The problem is I do care if some of my more serious writing earns nothing. Sometimes my only motivation to write about certain topics is purely for financial benefit. I've been fortunate enough to get on rolls with assignments most of the time. Even if I'm uninspired to begin with, I can usually run with an idea. But when I have to force it, well, you can imagine how it turns out.
So what gets me on a roll? Just a thought. It just has to be the right thought. There's really no secret sauce or anything like that. You just run with it when it comes. If it's a lot in one day, okay, well, just go ahead.
It's often suggested to not batch too much together. But if you're writing stuff that's going to be just as relevant ten years down the line as it is now, go right ahead. Some people work better on schedules than others. There's no right or wrong way to work as long as you find what works for you.
So hay, I'm on a roll...
Sorry, I just had to.
But while I'm at it, I'll just keep at it.
It’s quite enlightening to realize others recognize fine skill in composition. It’s even better to find those that appreciate the fine details woven through even the most basic of stories. Writing is not simply a form of communication or just used for recording purposes. It can be such a wonderful way to tell the world so many things.
Some use writing simply as a way to satiate their ego. Perhaps that is why I write, sometimes, to satisfy my own ego. Of course, it’s true that I am the all-powerful narrator in my writing. I can say, do think, and feel anything I wish for anyone or anything depicted through my words. It is a beautiful, liberating feeling. It can be highly intoxicating, too.
I can write forever on pages and type forever onto various digitized media. But when it comes to sharing these words, I am often at a loss in proceeding to do so. What I do hope is that there’s something to gain by having my thoughts mirrored into words. Namely, I hope it can be better understood that everything I do in the course of my day out in society is an experiment.
I look for reactions - causes and effects. The world is like my laboratory and I am studying all that is in it. I may at times write “gems of genius.” But all too often, there are thoughts I have which are so difficult to put into words. They fly by so quickly in this brain, and if I don’t catch them, they’re gone for good.
It’s a writer’s life for me.
There wasn’t one particular moment when I decided to become a poet. About the time I was leaving junior high I decided that I would try my hand at writing some lyrics. But as they have never been put to music, outside of the occasional ditty in my head, they became mere poetry. Some people say that I do well at poetry. But I have never really considered myself a full-blown poet. Still, that hasn’t stopped me from writing hundreds upon hundreds of verses. Some of them are much better than others. A few were actually worth publishing.
Truthfully, I’ve always leaned towards focusing on writing prose. The poetry comes and goes, often in big spurts. But it’s not something I’ve ever dedicated myself to, as much as I appreciate the art of both conventional and unconventional poetry. Writing verses was once a passion of mine, but I longed to be a songwriter, not a poet. Then again, those two things are probably one and the same in essence. Poetry, too, especially of the unconventional variety, can be so very free-form.
Strangely enough, I’ve never been much good at free-write exercises. My attempts at free-form exercise often become somewhat unfocused essays with muddled theses. Occasionally, I end up making a decent article out of some of them. I merely don’t free-write. I just follow whatever my mind wants me to write at a given moment. So I try not to give much thought to why I should write about this or that.
Perhaps, I’m a poet, even if I’m not. Poetry by definition is not merely just metrical writing. The word can also mean a couple other things, according to Merriam-Webster:
“Writing that formulates a concentrated imaginative awareness of experience in language chosen and arranged to create a specific emotional response through meaning, sound, and rhythm.”
“Something likened to poetry especially in beauty of expression “
The English language is funny sometimes, with all its many meanings of singular words. But clearly, poetry is more than just rhyming verses. Any form of expression can be made into poetry. I suppose what it comes down to is that I write simply to express something and try to make it beautiful. It may not even really matter what that something actually is. Merely writing something isn’t always enough for me.
The art of writing is so important to me. Simply composing articles to inform and perhaps entertain is not all there is. There’s a clear sense in my mind now that perhaps writing poetry is both easier and harder than most people think. Poetry is about finding the beauty in something, then finding the best way to express that something.
So while I never thought myself a poet, I probably am anyway...
by Phoenix A. Desertsong, The Perpetual Prose Machine
Writing online is a highly competitive game - that’s for sure! But if you think you have something new or unique to bring to the table, it’s never too late (or early) to start! It doesn’t matter how young or old you are! I see writers as young as 12 (and there may be even younger, especially on YouTube.) Then, I see writers well into their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s! As long as you’re a competent writer and have something useful to share, then writing online is well worth a shot!
Starting Young as a Writer
When you’re younger, you obviously have not only time on your side to build your writing portfolio and your personal brand. You have youth itself on your side! This is both good and bad. There are those that will think it’s “cute” or “adorable” that you’re starting so young! It may be hard for some of your audience to take you seriously.
But for those of us who have been in the game for a bit, we have a deep respect for young writers. This is because it takes a lot of time and dedication to build a successful online presence with writing. Yes, many kids have more free time than most of us adults, but there’s more to it than just time and energy.
You have to have a certain maturity to be a successful writer - something many adults don’t even have - to be brutally honest. You have to have a plan and know how to take the steps to execute it. Having a blog, for example, even if it doesn’t do particularly well, is a great learning experience for any writer.
At the very least, writing online can make you connections. These connections can prove quite valuable! We’re more than happy as fellow writers to build up the younger members of the community. After all, you guys are the future of our industry! Sounds corny, but it’s true!
Starting Older as a Writer
Somewhat interestingly, the advantages of time that you have when you’re younger can be the same advantage when you’re an older writer. I’ve seen so many retirees pour all of the time they would have used in their day to day jobs into their blogs and other online writing efforts. The effort really shows. Some of them make a decent side hustle from it!
The other advantage older writers have is that they tend to have a fairly substantial network of friends, family, and former colleagues to get the word out about their new endeavors. Also, life experience is a huge advantage when it comes to content. While most of us younger writers are still learning how to put the pieces of our lives together. Retired writers can give us perspectives and stories we can only dream of one day sharing.
It really is never too late to start writing, and it’s so easy nowadays to get started with your own blog or website! Also, it’s an awesome hobby, even if you don’t care about actually making money from it. We really love the elder members of the writing community and we’re always happy to welcome more to our ranks.
For Those of Us Writers in the Middle
A lot of us writers are twenty-somethings or thirty-somethings trying to make online writing our primary work. Many of us have regular 40-hour or more a week jobs on top of the dozens of hours we dump into networking, promoting, and the writing itself. Younger and older writers definitely have an advantage when it comes to time.
But for those of us in the middle that are turning to making online writing our primary gig, it’s important to realize that any kind of writing is a full-time job in and of itself. If you’re looking to get into the writing game, realize it’s going to be a 40-hour a week commitment, and often more. Much of that commitment needs to be about building one another up, young, old, and in between.
Whether you are looking into online writing full-time, part-time, or just as a hobby, it’s all worth it. But as with anything, you get back what you put into it. Think of writing as starting your own business. It takes the same blood, sweat, and tears. Even if you aren’t writing as a business, you still have to treat it like one, even if it’s not-for-profit. In the long run, you may not get rich, but you can definitely make a living from it.
It’s never too early or too late to start writing online!
~ Phoenix <3
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of Brand Shamans & the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, we are your brand healing, soul healing, & content superheroes to the rescue!
Running our network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is our top priority.
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