Putting Words On The Page

So I’m not a rich and famous author.

Not yet, anyway.

I do write for a living, however. At least, it’s part of what I do.

In my day job, I’m a digital marketing specialist. Mostly, that means SEO (search engine optimization), website design and development, online advertising, lead nurturing, email marketing, and more.

An important part of digital marketing is content. You may have noticed that every company has a blog these days. Your dentist probably has a blog, where they post little articles about dental health and teeth. Your chiropractor. Your lawyer. They’re all blogging.

Well, not really. Because they don’t have time. They hire companies like mine, with people like me, to do their blogging for them.

Almost every day, I write. Blog posts about the risk of contracting botulism from Botox injections, or discrediting the research that tries to claim you can get cancer from your root canal. Yesterday, I published a blog post about Google Analytics and removing spam referrals from your reporting.

They tell you to write every day, so I have that taken care of. And even though writing for business blogs is quite a bit different than writing fantasy for fun, I do think it’s making me a better author. Here’s a couple reasons why:

1. Blog posts tend to be short, between 300 and 1000 words, and highly focused on one topic. The idea is to be brief enough that your audience, with their short attention spans, will actually read the whole thing, but comprehensive enough to be considered a worthwhile article. Writing succinctly but meaningfully is critical in fantasy, too, though you might not know it. In my opinion, most fantasy authors are needlessly verbose.

2. Writing is a skill like everything else. You get better at it the more you do it and, for myself at least, it wanes quickly from disuse. I see a significant difference in the quality of my writing when I’ve been doing a lot of it compared to when I’m coming back to it after some time off.

3. For every topic I write about in my day job, there are already articles online covering them. I accept that. I’m not setting out to reinvent the wheel. I’m simply trying to make the very best one. The same is true of my fiction. There are many fantasy novels out there I haven’t read. I doubt any of my ideas are totally novel, but I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about that. Somebody else may already have written a book that has an order of monks that are able to control their bodies at a microscopic level when meditating, but that’s ok. I’m not trying to write a book that’s never been thought of. I’m just trying to write a great one.


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