From Writing to Publishing

Homework for Bloggers

image

Here’s a confession:  I had no idea what to do with a blog. Yes, I have one and I do post frequently, but I didn’t really know what I was doing (or why) in conjunction with my writing career. As usual, Jeff Goins gave me direction.

What are the 5 platforms for building an audience? He describes them, then tells you to pick one.
The Journalist
The Prophet
The Professor
The Artist
The Star
(Sign up for his newsletter if you would like to learn more at Goins Writer.)

After listening to his explanation of each, I found myself gravitating to the one I would have never expected – The Professor.

The whole time Jeff was describing it, I was thinking “Nope. Not me. I’m not a teacher.” But then I looked at my blog. “A writer writes about writing.”  Isn’t that exactly what I have been doing this whole time? Teaching?

The Professor

At the end of each video, Jeff gives us homework. My homework is to pick one of those categories and build a platform.

Well, ladies and gents, I have some more tutorials coming for you. As I build my platform – Le Professeur – I will continue researching in the direction of querying a writing agent. For all those interested, stay tuned. We’ll get through this together.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Raw

Finding Your Calling?

The clarity we seek is a myth. —Jeff Goins

I just finished reading this blog post by my mentor Jeff Goins, When Your Calling Seems Vague and Unclear, You’re on the Right Track.

Vision, calling, dream, these all seem vague and illusionary ideals, nothing we can grasp and turn over to inspect, dissect, or evaluate. What do you do with an idea?

Jeff aids people in searching and pursuing that which gives satifaction to our short lives. A lot of people know they need to do something, but they just don’t know what. And many are afraid to try.

I look back on the last six years of my life. I graduated high school with those teenage fears, excitement, and wonder about the future. What was I going to do? The possibilities seemed limitless and yet untangible at the same time. What the heck was I going to do?

I remember floundering around with the idea of becoming an English Grammar or Creative Writing teacher. I wanted to help people. Most people are mesmerized with the idea of helping people. But I hated school. Hated it. There was no way I would go back to school after so recently getting out. Alas, no college, no teacher degree.

Well, what the fudge then?

I remember the day clearly. I even remember her name. Virginia. I was sitting in her chair at Cost Cutters. She gave me a terrible haircut. T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E. But I didn’t notice at the time because she had captured my attention with what would later become my destined career – my own Call.

“What does it take to be a hairdresser?” I asked. Why not? I had nothing to lose by asking. I was already frustrated from seeking but not finding scholarships, searching but not liking schools, and I was getting a bad haircut anyway.

“I went to cosmetology school for a year and then got my license,” Virginia said, snip-snip-snipping away at my poor hair. She wasn’t even paying attention. She kept looking toward the door as if waiting for someone. But she had my attention.

“A year? That’s it?”

“Yep,” she said. “There’s a school here in town. I went to the school in Beloit. I don’t know if it’s still there.”

My mind was racing with the possibilities. Only a year of school? Doing hair? I loved playing with hair! I could totally do that.

And do it better than Virginia…

“All done!” She declared. “Anything else for you today?”

I looked at my reflection in the mirror. What did she do to me? Lots of layers but absolutely no style. I think people used to get this cut in the 70’s.

“No,” I said. “It’s good.”

I was way too polite back then.

Fast foward six years. I’m now working in a family-owned barber salon. I have a growing clientele and everything from haircuts to colors to perms and roller sets just comes natural. It feels right.

And best of all, I am helping people. Clients walk in frustrated with their hair and leave satisfied. Sometimes, they come in after the worst day, week, month of their life. They’ve lost pets, loved ones, jobs, and they’re overwhelmed with life. I help them relax. I offer a listening ear. And when we’re finished, they feel more confident to face the world.

BACK TO JEFF…
He focuses highly on action, about moving. What good is a dream if you don’t do something?

As soon as I left Cost Cutters, I got online and searched out this cosmetology school. I found the one in my town. I called the manager. I scheduled a tour. Then I told my mom. I was so excited, there was no question of can I do this? There was only Mom, I want to do this. She helped make it happen; getting my financial affairs in order and helping me with the paperwork. I was enrolled for the next class in only 2 months.

What if I had gone home, sat on my duff, and complained about my hair? What if I had never taken that first step?

Clarity comes with action.

You don’t really know what you’re doing until you start doing it. As soon as you start walking, you’ll know if you’re on the right track. Because that’s what a dream is, you see, it’s instinct. Humans have a natural born instinct to do something. For me, it’s hair. For you, something else.

“Wait, wait, wait… I thought you were a writer, Fanny.”

Very true. Who says you can’t have multiple passions? Writing is my hobby. I want to do it so long as it’s fun, entertaining, and fulfilling. But this is the 21st Century and who wants to be a starving artist? Cosmetology is my career, and I will work until such a time as I am retired or unable to or God calls me elsewhere. But for now, this is my Calling.

This has been,

Fanny T. Crispin

Raw

Writer in the Raw

image

Nostalgia.
Hollywood seems to believe we are a nostalgic generation.
Maybe we are.
Maybe we long for the world our parents (or grandparents) grew up in.
My gentleman friend recently told me, disparingly, “I don’t have any good old man stories.” Well, dear, that’s because you’re not an old man yet.

Nostalgia.
I scrolled back to my very first blog post on WordPress. It was the day I switched webhosting from Google blogs to WordPress.
I started reading the “raw” blogs, the ones pertaining to life and not art.
In reading, I realized I missed writing about life, but found I still struggle with the lingering self-doubt of, “You can’t write life. You write fiction. That’s all!”
But even in the posts where I admitted that, the life-writing was still interesting. At least to me.

Nostalgia.
Being reminded of the past – of the good things – triggers the nostalgic soul in all of us. It brings us back to a time when we were happy, and happiness is something we all strive for.
“The Pursuit of Happiness”.
But sometimes the memory isn’t happy. It’s actually quite sad. And nostalgia rises up anyway, reminding us we got through it. We crossed the ocean and didn’t drown.

Nostalgia.
I think blogs are great. Most of the time, bloggers won’t generate a huge crowd of followers. But sometimes that’s okay. There’s still something wonderful about taking a deep breath and putting yourself out into the world. The diaries on my bed stand may never get read. My blog posts may never be seen. But that’s okay. Sometimes you have to write for you, because you can be your own most captive audience. And sometimes you go back and read about yourself and you’re reminded of the past. Whether good or bad, it’s always a nostalgic read.

This has been,
In The Raw
by

Fanny T. Crispin

Books and Affiliated

What are you Reading?

Because reading is essential to every writer.

image

What are you reading these days? Are you exploring outside of your comfort zone? Or are you revisiting old friends? I’m reading a little of both.

Science fiction isn’t my strong point as a writer, though I do enjoy reading it. Frank Herbert’s Dune series is one of my favorites. It has been compared to the scifi equivalent of The Lord of the Rings. The masterful world-building, culture settings, political and religious vices, and, most of all, character development, has me hanging on every word. I first read Dune while I was still a young teenager. It took me a year to get through it, and I really only read it because I loved the movies so much. Well, there are no more movies, but their ARE plenty of books. Like 10+.

I recently discovered that not only did Frank write more, by his son Brian also took over some of the manuscripts and completed what his father started. Their writing styles are similar, and you can tell Brian loved the world as much as his father did.

So here I am. While I wait for Brian Herbert’s prequel trilogy (Dune; The Butlerian Jihad) to come in the mail, I’m revisiting the original world of Dune. And I’m hooked. The best form of science fiction I’ve ever read.

What are you reading and why? Comment below.

Fanny T. Crispin