Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the word player 2.0

This past weekend, a friend said "So, I see you don't post very often on the blog anymore."

This is true. I feel like I'm lacking enough subject matter to post with any regularity, and waiting for inspiration to strike only provides me with sporadic bits and pieces to chew on.

"Inspiration is for amateurs," someone once said about writing. I agree to the extent that you can't rely on it on a day-to-day basis. It is, however, invaluable in creating a keystone around which other pieces of the puzzle can coalesce.

I can't bring myself to write movie or record or book reviews due to the sheer glut of material already out there on the subject. Besides, I want to continue progressing as a professional writer, and the paid critic is a dying breed.

When I started this blog, more than anything it was a new channel for me to funnel and explore my creative impulses after hanging up my screenwriting boots. For over five years straight I'd been constantly working on one script or another, often taking more than a year to "complete" one. I really, really enjoyed the immediacy of completing something short and sweet in one sitting. Blogging not only flexed new writing muscles, but I quickly discovered that it kept me limber in other valuable areas as well.

After a year or so, however, I got the feeling that I was writing only for myself and a small handful of friends. If you'll permit me to speak frankly, I'm at a stage in my writing development where I need to either be writing for an audience or writing for money. Writing for neither is simply unsatisfying (sorry amigos), and gives me the unshakable sensation that my time would be better spent elsewhere.

So here's the crossroads where I find myself today, the fifth Wednesday of 2009. In the four years I've been seriously pursuing copywriting, it has become the first career path in my life where I can genuinely see an intersection of ability, confidence, earning potential and job satisfaction. I love doing the work, I just can't seem to find enough of it on a consistent basis. In the last 10 days, I've had three jobs that I thought were in the bag fall through. Two of them were because the client decided to call in favors with friends of theirs who are writers and try to get the work done for free.

I can't compete with free.

I am promoting myself as a copywriter as best I can using other more traditional channels, but as of this morning (hell, as of this hour) I am determined to exploit this forum more vigorously and inventively. I need to draw more attention to myself in order to reach the pivotal demographic of people who have money to pay writers to write. This is not an easy pill for a mellow introvert to swallow, but them's the breaks.

Now, I realize that blogging about the internal workings of my mind (what I've essentially been doing since the end of the "Bend Me, Shape Me" series) is never going to draw a crowd (and is probably boring as shit to most of you). I also know that I have now reached the end of this post without inspiration striking me with a swell solution to my dilemma (damn).

So, over the next week or two I will brainstorm here "live" for an hour every day I can. I'll see if I can come up with a new central conceit for this blog that will not only engage me creatively, but also have a realistic chance to draw a much larger audience to the site than the one I currently enjoy (an average of 45 page visits/64 page views per day).

I encourage you to chime in. If you've never been here before, a quick glance at the Labels running down the right-hand side should give you an idea of what sort of subject matter I respond to historically.

I market myself as a concept-driven copywriter, so I should damn well be able to come up with a marketable concept for myself.


We'll see what the process creates. Lacking inspiration (so far), it's time to turn to perspiration.


Matthew Hennessey said...

Welcome back to the game, Word dude.

Remember, things could be worse -- you could be an actor.

Anonymous said...

indeed, welcome back. I want to hear about your neighborhood. like, details.


Mr. Word Player said...

Thanks for the encouragement amigos. Mr. CFA, I'm not quite sure what you mean about my 'hood. Are you talking about the Equestrian District and the horses I see? Or maybe a one-man Neighborhood Watch angle?

petie k said...

No pressure, but however small the audience is, we're happy to see more. Thanks for mentioning me!