My Kingdom for a Comment!

A horse! A horse! My Kingdom for a horse” – Richard III, Shakespeare

This oft recognized quote from Shakespeare’s play is shouted by King Richard during the battle of Bosworth Field when he is knocked off his horse. Ultimately the King meets his demise in a duel against Richmond. It is Richard’s proclamation, made during the climax of the battle, that reminds me of the tactics we bloggers  succumb to in desperation for comments, likes, shares, etc.

Perhaps, like a king in battle, you are confidently riding on the field with your soldiers at your side – social media, SEO tactics, design. And you’ve even managed to keep a strong horse – a steady following with decent interaction on your posts. You feel strong and confident. You’ve even rallied your troops – sent out newsletters, tweets, updates, publicized to countless peers and colleagues.

But suddenly, your horse is weakened, and even taken from under you. Your soldiers are retreating, and it seems your battle cries are largely ignored. You cry louder for help – attempting to draw attention to yourself and your blog as much as possible – the sound of defeat and desperation filling the very air around you, becoming your only companion.

Now your enemy approaches, and your Achilles heel is marked with a bullseye – you’ve ignored your training in weaponry – the practice of creating new content. In all the effort, you realize that your sword has become dull from lack of use, and it’s no longer fit to fight off the enemy or protect your kingdom.

Unlike Richard, you have a chance to train. It’s a matter of partaking in the daily discipline of writing. If you are spending the majority of your time promoting your blog instead of writing, you are doing it wrong. Keep your strength and don’t give up! Make sure you are on top of all of your training, especially your swordsmanship (content), so when you are alone at the pinnacle of battle (writing),  set backs won’t leave you defenseless.

How much time do you spend promoting your blog, and how much time writing? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

 

Image Credit: oceansbridge

Fair is Foul – Switching Voices for Client Work

IMAG2227-1If you are like many modern writers today, you probably find yourself switching between several client projects a day. This might be a simple task for the less dedicated, underdeveloped writer, but not you. Your painstaking attention to detail and commitment to cohesive voice forbid you from blindly bouncing about projects like some hyperactive kangaroo. Nonetheless, you are a professional and the keys must type on.

Fair is foul and foul is fair” -Macbeth, Act I scene i

This famous quote from Shakespeare’s play reminds me of the practice of writing for different clients. One minute you’re writing for “foul”, the next minute for “fair”. But unlike the play, we don’t have witches casting spells on us to switch our mindsets.  So what can we do to rinse out the “damn spot” of the projects we’ve been working on and come back fresh and in tune with the current assignment?

Take Five

Much like actors rehearsing a play, take a five or ten minute break after completing an assignment and before switching to the next. During this time, don’t stay in the same spot. Stretch your legs, walk around, step outside for some fresh air. Let yourself literally leave your work behind. Consider it “done” – even if you have more work coming for that project.

Get into Character

You’ve probably heard of the crazy lengths that some of today’s actors go to in order to “become” the character they are portraying. Consider this your time to soak up everything about the business or project for which you are writing. Just absorb the company voice by reading over its existing copy. While you’re reading, keep in mind the overall goals of the company and its audience.

Rehearse

Start tying it all together and just write out your thoughts. Consider creating an outline to help direct your thoughts into a simpler form, then expand from there. Remember, it’s just your rehearsal, the rough draft. Revision comes next.

Break a Leg

Make your final revisions and send it off to the client. If you don’t get a standing ovation, don’t worry. Plays are performed more than once, and each night is a new chance to make it the best.

 

What do you do to refocus when you switch between projects? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

A Pound of Flesh for Your Article

528996968_5e81615594_o

We are seeing a shift in the nation’s appreciation for relevant content online. New job titles are appearing in the form of “content writers”, “brand associates”, “content marketers”, and more.

It’s a celebratory time for those whose craft is word smithing. A once under appreciated talent is now being put into the spotlight as “king”. But despite an appreciation of good, cohesive copy, the work behind the results is often misunderstood or overlooked.

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. -Ernest Hemingway

How deeply does this quote resonate with you, the modern writer? I find myself embodying this quote every time I sit down to write. It’s a terrible mixture of passion and torture.

My thought for you today is this: If you are writing an article that calls for a pound of your flesh, are you bleeding for it?

Image credit: Althewebmaster