Today I came across a blog by Lori Widmer called Words on the Page. Every year on May 15, Lori has declared it Writers Worth Day. 2009 marks the second annual Writers Worth Day. I spent some time on Lori’s blog and enjoyed myself. As with any writer, finding a good blog or web page that will help with not only the technique of writing, but also one that will appreciate the value of a good writer is A-OK in my book. Kudos to Lori for creating such a day and blog about just that.
It’s kind of coincidental that I came across Lori’s blog today, considering I was mulling over my own prices as a writer. If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will. You’ve heard that millions of times walking on the road to adulthood. This simple way of thinking is what gets rich people rich, and makes normal people extraordinary. It’s natural to be attracted to positive things, and in turn positive people. Happiness is a drug as far as I’m concerned and people crave it. I steer clear of people who have lots of negativity surrounding them. I don’t want to catch any of it. I’ve always been an upbeat person and I believe that is what turned me into a professional writer and editor. That and years of college, oh, and LOTS of reading and writing.
Like with any drug, if you surround yourself with it 24 hours a day…you’re going to become addicted. If you surround yourself with negativity, you’re going to become negative yourself. When I say negative, I’m also enveloping everything that comes with it. Mood swings, depression, lack of energy, lying, stealing, et cetera. Granted, all of the aforementioned may not come to pass simply because you’re having a bad day. But, have numerous bad days in a row for long periods of time, and the likelihood of becoming negative yourself is simply waiting for you to shake hands with it. And once you invite it in, it’s hard to kick it out.
Alas, the same goes for being positive. Surround yourself with positive people, things, feelings, items, writers, et cetera and you can’t help but be a positive person. And like I stated before, people CRAVE happiness. They run to it like a kid runs to an ice cream truck. Serenity of the soul is extremely liberating. Knowing what your worth as a writer, opens the flood gates to getting top jobs, becoming friends with top editors, and overall, being paid what your worth.
It’s important for me to steer you in the right direction, however. If you know that your writing is mediocre then don’t ask for $1 a word. Most people can smell a rat miles away, this includes your clients. Writing is an art. And with all artistic endeavours, you’re either good at it or your not. If you want to improve on your writing, my advice is simple…READ. It’s not all you can do but it’s one of the most important. It seems that people just don’t sit down with themselves anymore and read. Reading is and has been one of my favorite activities to do while I’m alone. That doesn’t mean going to a drug store and grabbing a Cosmopolitan or Glamour mag. It entails going to Borders and hanging out in the Literature section perhaps, and picking up a classic like Le Morte d’Arthur. Read it slowly and really try and understand WHY Sir Thomas Mallory is canonized even today in high school and college classrooms world wide.
Granted, you don’t have to pick up Mallory’s book during your Borders visit, you can choose whatever you like. However, I enjoy finding out WHY people and their accomplishments become iconic. So naturally, as a writer and an English major, the classics beckon me constantly. I’m always rereading books to understand why they are considered classic literature.
This can be applied to why the good writers and journalists are getting paid the big bucks and why mediocre writers are barely making it. Either they weren’t good writers to begin with, or they just don’t believe that they are worth more than a residual income. To bring it back to my original point, if you don’t believe in yourself then no one else will. Know that if you’re a freelance writer (or a writer on any level), chances are you’ve chosen the profession because you like to write. Take some time to revaluate your worth as a writer. In the process of revaluating your objections on your job, you can’t help but revaluate yourself as a writer as well. And that’s what Friday on Lori’s blog was all about. A Writer’s Worth.