Category Archives: 2011 Word Count Blogathon: 31 Reasons Why I Write

31 Reasons why I write – Top 11 Reasons Announced

As most of you know, I’ve been working on this little theme for the 2011 Word Count Blogathon.  Well, I blogged daily like I was supposed to for 19 days before I missed one.  Reason #12 was my last post.  In the spirit of finishing what I started, here I have added my top 11 reasons and posted the full list.

31 Reasons Why I Write:

31.  I can where my pajamas to work – nuff said

30.  I can talk about anything my heart desires – read my article about a new cancer fighter

29.  I can crank up the music while I work – good music = increased productivity

28.  I can make confessions (to myself) – writing is a great outlet and coping mechanism

27.  I can earn cool awards like the Kreativ Blogger award! – a first for me

26.  It’s environmentally friendly – keeping my ecological footprint small

25.  It’s a soothing release of emotion – great for preventing insanity!

24.  I can relax and be productive simultaneously – Wine and dine while online!

23.  Blogging provides a mental break from the daily grind – a fundamental skill!

22.  Creative Control – Haiku Day!

21.  Bragging rights – I take pride in defining myself as a writer

20.  I have a desire to connect with others – my words are an extension of my aura

19.  I can earn free money! – grant money is available for writers in certain fields

18.  I love wordsmithing – Check out my list of favorite words

17.  It’s social (my top 10 social networking sites) – So many cool tools, so little time!

16.  Job security (contracts, terms of service, and rights) – Read the fine print!

15.  I have something to say – I have a voice and others want to hear it!

14.  Repurpose, reuse, and recycle! – A way to reinvent my work

13.  Writing builds a bridge (A love letter) – a happy marriage of talent and passion

12.  A picture worth a thousand words – When I don’t always feel like writing: photo blogs

11.  It’s not easy – If it were easy, everyone would do it.

10.  It’s professional – Writing is a respected profession that is recognized globally

9.  It’s always evolving – Change is challenging and I welcome change

8.  Flexibility – I can work anytime and anywhere (or all the time, everywhere!)

7.  I’ve become a resource – I can inspire others and help them find ways to work at home

6.  I can work at home – Working at home saves me money

5.  Niche writing: Research reviews – Finding a niche is crucial for a successful business

4.  Entrepreneurship – I’ve launched my own website in an effort to grow my research and writing business

3.  I am reaching beyond my potential – A sign of leadership and entrepreneurship

2.  I use my hands, head, and heart – Every piece I write is handmade, carefully crafted, and heart-felt.

1.  It’s my talent and my career – Meshing my talents with my career = 100% satisfaction

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Reason #12 why I write: A picture worth a thousand words

After a long day at the zoo, I’m feeling less like talking and more like napping.  So for today’s blogathon post, I’ll let the pictures from our day today do the talking.  This is one of the perks of blogging – you can do a photo blog!

Reason #13 why I write: Writing builds a bridge (A love letter)

Before I was a writer, I was wedding-obsessed bride-to-be.
Before I was a bride-to-be, I was a Zoologist.
Before I was a Zoologist, I was an Artist.
Before I was an Artist, I was a Musician.
I’ve always been a dreamer
And I am still all of these things

Writing is perfect for me.  Writing builds a bridge between all of my talents and interests.   I can feed my love for music, use artistic freedom, share zoological discoveries, and nurse my wedding obsession.  To illustrate, I’ve written a letter.  A love letter.  The words come from song lyrics featured in John Legend’s “Ordinary People” and Dave Matthews‘ “American Baby.”

Baby,

I’m in love with you.  This ain’t the honeymoon, we’re past the infatuation phase; right in the thick of love.  I know I misbehaved and you made your mistakes.  We both still have room left to grow.  And though sometimes we get sick of love and sometimes love hurts, I still put you first.  Though it’s not a fantasy, I still want you to stay.  I am thankful for each and every day.  {John Legend, “Ordinary People”}

If these walls came crumblin’ down, we’d figure it out and make lemonade taste like a sunny day.  Stay, beautiful baby, I hope you stay.  You bring me hope, I’ll see you soon.  You lift me up and always will.  You could always make me laugh out loud.  Stay, beautiful baby, I hope you stay.  {Dave Matthews, “American Baby”}

All my love,
Me

Reason #14 why I write: Repurpose, reuse, and recycle!

Recycle It, Don't Trash It! Screen

Image via Wikipedia

It’s not something I do often, but when the time is right, I can rejuvenate an old article and post it in a new light.  When a blog goes un-noticed or seems under appreciated, a writer can revive the old timer with a few new tweaks.  This technique especially applies to those seemingly unfitting writing samples submitted to and rejected by potential clients.

Us writers have to put a lot of time and energy into crafting a writing sample perfectly fit for an attractive job lead.  We don’t want to mass produce anything – it’s just not in our code of ethics.  When that job lead ends to no avail, the time spent writing that sample may seem like a waste.  Not so!

Put that piece to work and claim the credit for the time you spent.  It may get posted on another paying site and eventually earn you a few bucks.  The trick is to be inventive.  Never give up.  And live in the now.

Right now, the buzz is all about going green.  Why not apply that to your writing?  This is a sure cure for writer’s block!  What have your repurposed, reused, or recycled lately?

Reason #15 why I write: I have something to say

A common computer icon representing a speaker

Image via Wikipedia

Writing is easy – so long as you have something to say.  I believe you have to be somewhat opinionated and vocal in order to be a writer – or any type of artist for that matter.  Not only do I have something to say, but others want to hear it.

I am a writer because I can say what others won’t.  I am a writer because I can say what others can’t.  I am a writer because I have a following.  I am a writer because I want to make a difference.  Whether we’re talking about global climate change, abortion, or relationship issues, I prefer not to censor myself.

Opinionated? Yes.  Arrogant?  No.

In my past corporate jobs, my confidence and laid-back attitude have led to misconceptions of who I am.  People have thought I’m arrogant when I say I’m just confident.  People may think I’m naïve but I say I’m bold.  People have criticized my spontaneity but I say life is more fun that way.

I bet most of you who are reading this are thinking, “it’s not always what you say its HOW you say it.”  Ha!  I tell my fiancé this all the time when he delivers criticism with a negative tone.  It’s even harder when you’re a writer to make sure you “sound” the way you want to.

My short and sweet email responses sometimes are misinterpreted as rude and blunt.  So, what’s the fix?  I fluff.  I’m not a “fluffy” person though so this is a hard one for me.  I’ll admit though, a little extra on the p’s and q’s goes a long way.  The last thing I want to do is offend someone when I really meant to provide a quick and straight-up response.

That’s all I have to say, for now.

Reason #16 why I write: Job security (contracts, terms of service, and rights)

Tonight’s blogathon post is inspired by my dear friends at Good Blogs.

Freelance writing is generally performed on a contract basis.  This part, I like. The part I don’t like is actually reading the contracts.  It is an important part of being a successful independent contractor.

I get a sense of security when I sign a contract.  Often times, this sense of security is greater than the one I used to get when a new employer has you sign the “at will” statement during orientation.  You know, the statement where they make you acknowledge that you can be fired at any time for any reason?  Yea, I’d rather be in a binding contract that says exactly who, what, where, when, and how everything should shake out.

Each client, website, and magazine you write for will have a different approach.  Some may want to retain the exclusive rights to your content – these sites should pay you more.  Other sites may allow the writer to retain the rights to republish the content – these sites should pay less.

I’m learning a lot about contracts, terms of service, and who gets the rights to my content.  I’m in this business because I like to learn something new everyday, so I don’t mind taking the time to read through each client’s proposed “rules” even though it’s not my favorite part of the job.  The one thing you don’t expect though, is for a client/website/magazine/etc. to change the terms you agreed to without notifying you. 

Case in point: Good Blogs

Good Blogs (GB) is an online community of blogging members who vote on blogs each of them deem to be “good.”  The blogs that receive the most praise and make it to the home page earn a $20 paycheck for the blogger.

A group of us have been blogging there for the past month or so and we’ve really enjoyed it.  The community is great, most of the blogs are good, and scoring the $20 is a great reward.  Just tonight, a conversation stirred among us Good Blog groupies that revealed an apparent inconsistency in the terms of service each of us agreed to when we joined the site and posted our first blog.

These inconstancies are a big deal – at one point, GB did not retain the rights to the blogs posted on their site.  Some time later, when most of us signed on, GB did retain the rights to everything we posted on their site.  We’re still researching and comparing notes to see if we’re missing something, but these are two very big differences in the terms of service. 

If you’re a budding writer and perhaps entering your first freelance contract agreement, be sure to examine the clause(s) about who gets the rights to your content – them or you.  Keep in mind that a low paying job should not require you to surrender your rights to republish while a high paying job may be different.  Take the time to read the fine print.  Always.

Reason #17 why I write: It’s social (My Top 10 Social Networking Sites)

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...

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Writing is powerful, sometimes more powerful than you expect.  If you’re a writer trying to communicate a message, you have a slew of tools at your disposal to help you get your message out there.  You can create a following, promote your fan page, participate in contests, and so much more.  Here’s a list of my top 10 favorite social networking sites.

  1. Facebook – This is best for finding friends and family but also has great internet marketing potential
  2. Twitter – I’m new to the “Twitterverse” and its “Tweeps” but it appears to be a stellar place for internet marketing
  3. Stumble Upon – In a nutshell:  random cool stuff
  4. Digg – This is a great place to scan news headlines for all types of information
  5. Reddit – Similar to Digg but slightly less visited
  6. LinkedIn – The professional version of Facebook
  7. MySpace – I’m not using MySpace but I believe it’s worth a mention on this list
  8. MeetUp – This is a great place to connect with other moms, yoga lovers, or what have you – I highly recommend this for people moving to a new city looking for friends
  9. Flickr – This is a network based on photographs with a TON of followers
  10. YouTube – you on TV.  ‘nuff said.

Reason #18 why I write: I love wordsmithing

Never heard of a wordsmith?  Neither had I, until I got my first writing job.  I was introduced to a whole new world of people who love words, hate indecisive reviewers, and consider writing to be a form of art.  Now, I am one of them.

My blogathon post for today provides a small snap-shot of my favorite words.  There are some cool words and some practical words.  Some are adjectives and some are great for transitions.  I use these word tools often to help me write.  Oh, and don’t ask me why I like these words…I just do!

Please feel free to add more!  Revist this list often and I’ll keep this stash of favorite words.

  • wordsmith (duh!)
  • guru
  • stash
  • formulate
  • inspire
  • regulate
  • fuel
  • ignite
  • conjure
  • mix
  • spice/spicy
  • indulge
  • stink
  • gifted
  • talent
  • whimsy
  • musical
  • funky
  • saucy
  • mirror
  • delve
  • lively
  • uber
  • gaga
  • superb
  • tight
  • stellar
  • score
  • optimial/optimize
  • ambidextrous
  • magical
  • alternative
  • sporadic
  • typical
  • general
  • mini
  • maximum
  • action
  • puff
  • fluff
  • mush
  • sparkle
  • wizardry
  • dreary
  • glitter
  • sunshine

Reason #19 why I write: I can earn free money!

dollar,symbol,money,shadow,3d,render

Image via Wikipedia

As part of my developing writing career, my goal is to become a certified medical communicator.  The American Medical Writers Association offers a comprehensive yet specialized certification program that caught my attention almost 6 months ago.  Since that discovery, I’ve been researching ways to find grant money for women starting businesses in the research industry.

Lo and behold, there are several ways to get free money if you’re looking to start an educational- or research-based business.  There’s even more money for those who have the coveted double XX chromosome pair.  The small business association (SBA) does not offer loans or grant money directly to female entrepreneurs but the SBA can authorize funds through its education and training programs.  For more info on these funds, check out the SBA’s website.

Thanks to Mysti, a new writer friend of mine, I’ve been exposed to a great website known for finding funds for writers.  No matter what kind of writing you are interested in, there may be free money waiting for you to grab.  It takes a little effort to search out and apply for the right grant programs but it can be done.  Who knew?!

Reason #20 why I write: I have a desire to connect with others.

Heart

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My words are an extension of my aura.  Today, my aura is shadowed by heart break.  My heart is breaking because of an imbalance in my home.  I have put these words together as a heart-felt attempt to restore balance in my relationship with myself and my best friend, my fiancé.

Love, honor, and respect These are the things I am missing in my life from the person I cherish the most.  Without love, honor, and respect, I feel insecure, disconnected, and put down.

Love – With each passing day I feel like I learn more about love and what it means to be loved.  When love is thriving, everything else seems to be easier in a relationship, especially during times of change.  Love = support.  At times, I feel like I have the most supportive partner in the world and other times I feel like his support is fading like dust in the wind.  I support whatever he wants to do so long as it makes him happy but I don’t feel the same level of support is reciprocated.  Does this mean that I love him more?

Honor – Honor comes into play whenever we meet new people.  I am truly honored to be by his side but when he introduces me with a condescending comment like “this is Valerie and here’s her computer,” I can’t help but feel put down and dishonored.  I am making my dreams come true with each passing day and I feel honored when I meet and connect with other strong women and female entrepreneurs.  Why does he feel the need to add the condescending tone to my introduction?  This makes me feel anything but honored.  Is this too a reflection of lost love?

Respect – I’ve always been taught to respect your husband, no matter what.  Even if we agree to disagree, there is a level of respect there that is acknowledged.  Perhaps he’s lost some trust in my ability to follow through with what I say I’ll do because I can be a lazy procrastinator at times.  I hope to restore his trust soon by following through on my goals and promises.  This should restore the lost respect in our relationship but regardless, I am the mother of his son and I deserve to be spoken to with respect.  His disrespectful tone is being learned by our son who occasionally fires off rude comments to me like it’s no big deal.  This is an important issue that must be resolved despite where our future lies as a couple.

I hope I’ve connected with a few of you with my words.  My words are coming from a place of hurt and confusion.  I doubt my fiancé will ever be my biggest fan but I would be happy if he would just be proud of me.  His lack of support, honor, and respect has caused me to question the deepness of his love for me.  The last thing I want to do is let him down but at the same time, I have to follow my heart – wherever it leads me.