Insights from a Third-Year Online Writer
Number of Years Writing Online?
Socially developed three year old children know how to share1 but not how to compete. That social capability is also healthy for a third-year online writer.
On my third anniversary, my aim is to share some insights, unaware of how mine compares with that of other writers. Hopefully, other writers will share theirs, so we can learn from each other.
The growth objective2 for a three year old is also applicable to a third-year writer:
“What is important is not how [one] compares with others or with a standard for her age, but that she is moving forward at her own pace and that she is well and happy.”
So, here are five areas of potential growth and happiness as the third-year online writer moves forward through the next year and beyond:
Real names (not necessarily full names), and pen names in profiles tell the readers that the writers identify with what they write. Names like Dirt Farmer and LambServant are also good because they give the readers a clue of what to expect. Even if the meaning of the name is not readily obvious to the reader, it helps the writer to have some significance attached to whatever name he or she chooses.
MsDora the Writer-Explorer is my full name description on my landing page. For me, it conjures up a woman who is exploring or searching for the essence of life; and making the effort to share in writing whatever she finds.
Three years ago, my assignments with a temporary placement agency began to dwindle. In my frustration, I googled “Writing for Pay.” I posted my first article three days later. It did not take long for me to realize that the pay could not be my primary reason for being an online writer; but the habit had already become a feel-good catharsis.
As the number of readers increased, and some of them repeatedly made comments, I felt obligated to share my heart with them as purposefully as I shared with the people who heard me speak. For a while, my articles lived up to the claim in my profile: “My articles explore healthy relationships, positive living, morality and other life challenges.”
However, along the way, I began to lose focus and made several posts just to keep posting. That was not really satisfying to me. Over the last few months, some comments have made me refocus, and my original purpose remains. I think that I am back on course.
"Lord, . . . make me . . . the pen within your hand." - Van Trapp
It is amazing that the words I write may be the words someone reads first on rising in the morning or last before going to bed at night. My words can influence someone’s dream, decision or direction. Such is the power that writers hold in their pens.
There is a comment on my article, The Perfect Gift to Say ‘I Love You’ which gives me joy about this kind of power. It was contributed by a young man writing about his fiancée. (I hope that some writers have gained similar satisfaction from my comments.)
She wears the same pair of socks to bed every night (jammy socks) because she says they make her feel happy. Those were my first gift to her. Thanks a lot for this post MsDora. Those socks were your idea :)
Such comments remind me that word power comes with the responsibility to write something true, something useful, something inspiring. Not that I can only write happy sing-song sentences; it is also my responsibility to expose injustice and suggest correct behavior.
No matter the tone, honesty and personal conviction are fundamental to the writer’s power.
Some Help for My Online Peers
- The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing
This easy to use writer's guide to online success gives you what you need to go from writing creation to writing completion on your road to success.
Life is about relationships. The beauty of online connections is that they allow us as much physical space as we want. Nobody comes knocking when we’re taking a nap.
Our fellow writer and readers are our peers. As in any other area of life, the Golden Rule applies. We give the respect and support that we like for ourselves. We make positive contributions to our networking groups.
Most of the time, I enjoy and learn from the work of my fellow-writers, and the encouragement of my readers, especially those who leave comments. I am sincere when I express gratitude to God and to them for the opportunity to communicate with people who share my interest. Living alone most of the time, I do not take this privilege for granted.
So, how does an online writer form the habit of posting articles for other people to read, but not read what anybody else writes? Just wondering. I know the benefits of interaction.
Moving forward, I intend to make twice as many friends. My aim is to add another 100 articles by the end of my fourth year. That would be a major improvement for me but three year olds have great imaginations!
Let Randy Pausch Motivate You
As a writer, which of these areas do you feel the greatest need to clarify for your own benefit?
The power of words was mentioned above, but here the focus is on the purpose of the words, going forward.
- What else do I have to write about?
- Who else do I want to read what I write?
- How do I want my readers to be affected?
Barrie Davenport3 reminds us of Randy Pausch, professor at Carnegie Mellon University who, knowing that he was dying from pancreatic cancer, wrote The Last Lecture? In September 2007, the professor wrote his speech specifically for his three children. He died at age 47 in July 2008. By then six million people, including me, had been inspired by his speech.
Davenport suggests that we write with the seriousness that our time is limited. He is not suggesting a morbid mood, but rather that we can be motivated by the desire to write everything we want to say, to all people we want to read our message, if we imagine that our time is limited—and it is!
That for me is greater motivation than a goal of so many articles, so many accolades, and so many dollars. What matters most hereafter, is that I write what I have to say. The topic may be as simple as "Why I Love to Smile" or as serious as "The Next World War." I need to keep writing.
What do you have to say? How long before you write it?
1. Child and Youth Health: Child Development 3-4 years (visited 05/26/2014)
3. Davenport: Barrie: Write to Done, Write to Serve: Giving Deeper Meaning to Your Craft (visited 05/28/2014)
© 2014 Dora Isaac Weithers