“Writing is boring.”
I’m sure every writer has heard the above phrase uttered at least one time or another by a friend, spouse, classmate or coworker. They may have not meant any ill will, but deep down the comment struck a chord.
On last Tuesday I had the opportunity to address that comment, among other things, to a group of English majors at my alma mater, North Carolina A&T State University. When I arrived for work that morning I had no idea I’d be speaking to a group of fellow Aggies about writing. Of course there was a story behind it.
I was on the front desk covering the phones when I got a call from a university English professor asking to speak to a “Jevon” Dove. I’ve heard enough people butcher my name much worse throughout my life!
I told the professor that they were indeed speaking to “Jeuron” Dove. They went on to explain that they were hosting a program that evening about careers in writing. Two of the original panelists had to back out due to various circumstances and their spots needed to be filled immediately. I then learned that a former professor of mine (who currently teaches English) had recommended me for the spot.
I enthusiastically agreed to it, despite the fact I wouldn’t necessarily label myself as a public speaking guru.
I was joined on the panel by the English department chairperson and an editor from Press 53, a Winston-Salem based publisher. I appeared to be in some heavy company and was a bit intimidated. I represented the panel as a journalist, since that is what I have my degree in and the style of writing I have the most professional experience with.
It did feel somewhat strange being there since my current job description is that of an administrative support specialist. I previously worked as a staff writer, so I still had lots of real world advice to pass onto the students. Plus I’ve found myself taking on more writing responsibilities at my job as of late.
The program went great. We spoke to a room of about 15 students about the importance of writing in our careers.
One point we repeatedly stressed was that writing is everywhere around them and solid writing skills are essential to be successful in any corporate environment. More than ever, employers are looking for people to effectively get their message across to the wider public through the use of written communication.
We elaborated on how all forms of entertainment stem from writing. Nothing just pops out of thin air. A group of people have strategically written out a concept for the things we see so prominently in the mainstream. Whether it’s a movie, jingle or commercial, it all starts with writing. The program ended with a Q&A session and the students seemed genuinely appreciative of the time we spent with them.
Now back to the opening quote.
The power of writing is evident every time you see a scintillating headline about a political figure or celebrity on your MSN or Yahoo homepage. Its power is evident every time you log onto Facebook and Twitter. With social media giving access to anyone with a broadband connection, there has never been a period in history where writing is so important to almost every facet of our daily lives.
Writers have power. That goes for any journalist, author, blogger, screenwriter, copywriter, editor and other occupation heavily centered on writing. We have so much power and play an immeasurable role in shaping the perception of society.
Whenever I blog, my main objective is to convey my thoughts onto some soul within the blogosphere. I consider it pretty awesome if any post I write gets even one like or comment. It means that out of the millions of blogs in cyberspace, someone actually took out the time to read what I had to say. Whether I’m discussing the latest happenings in wrestling, politics or my daily life, I’m just trying to convince one person to think a little deeper about the world around them.
The world is a blank canvas and writers are the ones that paint it bright. That my friend is what makes our job anything but boring.
One great thing about being a writer is that you’re never at a loss for finding encouraging words. This quote is true of every writer.
Hi guys and gals. It’s been over two weeks since I last posted. Definitely a blogging no-no!
I hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season. I’m sure mostly everyone in this country is doing one of two things right now: enjoying what they got for Christmas and feasting on leftovers. I’ve done too much of the latter. I go back to work on Jan. 2 and am using this time to relax as much as possible and enjoy the little things in life such as sleeping in as late as possible.
When I look back at 2012 I will remember it as a year of change. In a sense, I guess every year is like that since I’d like to think I’m always growing in some form or fashion. I left behind my part-time job, went back to work at A&T and got engaged. The freelance writing goals I aspired didn’t take off the way I envisioned, but there was still a lot success in my writing this year. Plus I made some very important author connections which I’m eternally grateful for.
My top goal for 2013 is to take serious strides in finding a full-time job that I love. My current job is great, but I can’t necessarily say that I see myself doing that kind of work for the rest of my life. I’ve been given strong hints that a more favorable position that I’m very qualified for may be opening in my department very soon, so I’m just going to continue to ride out the wave and give my best effort as always.
My writing goals for next year are pretty much the same as they were this year, except for more persistence. I think my blog would have to qualify as a huge success. I officially reached my personal goal of 50 followers a few weeks ago and now I’m looking towards 100. Another goal is to do a revamping of the blog’s Facebook page. I don’t want it to only be a place where people can read my posts, but I want it to provide something unique and different from what the blog offers. Writing more essays and creative nonfiction and entering contests are definitely on my to do list.
And while I’m talking about goals, I want you all to know that this blog isn’t just for me and my thoughts. As I set out to complete my goals in the coming year I want each of you to do the same. Life isn’t any fun when enjoying success alone. Therefore, I want to hear about all of the awesome things you achieve over the next 12 months.
On a more serious note, I’d like to offer my sincere condolences to everyone who suffered the loss of a loved one this year. When I look back at 2012, I will rememeber it as being the year that so many people I know were affected by death. Within the last two and a half months my childhood pastor succumbed to lukemia, a friend’s wife passed from breast cancer, a friend died suddenly from a seizure and this past weekend, a college friend lost his grandfather to a heart attack. I’ve learned that death is very real.
And that’s not even mentioning the national tragedies we’ve experienced in Connecticut, Oregon and Colorado. Please take out the time to pray God’s comfort and peace for those experiencing their first holiday season without a precious loved one.
Since this will likely be my last post of the year, I want to wish you all a happy New Year. Bring in 2013 like a rockstar!
Hey everyone. Being that we’re all bloggers, there is one fundamental trait we each have in common– we like to write. Regardless of our age, level of expertise or interests, we each use this platform to convey our thoughts to the world. If we just wanted to play it safe and share our thoughts with anyone then we would just talk to our friends and family. The fact that we’re bold enough to put our most intimate thoughts, beliefs and fears out there for all to see shows we have a desire to share our worldview with a global audience. And by doing so, we may become fortunate enough to make a difference in someone’s life. I believe that if one person connects with your blog, then you’ve already accomplished a noteworthy feat. Blogging truly gives each of us a unique voice in the global community.
I blog because I love writing first and foremost. There is no greater feeling than to get on my keyboard and type away on whatever topic crosses my mind and then click the “publish” button and know that my work is out there for all to see. Receiving feedback is an added bonus, but I like to think I’d still enjoy this even if no one ever commented on any of my writings or followed my blog. However, I’d love more subscribers!
I want to pose a question to every blogger who reads this. What motivates you to blog and what do wish to gain from the experience?
Hello everyone. It’s been eight days since I last blogged, but it’s not my fault! I entirely point the finger of blame at You Tube. I’ve wasted countless hours on the popular video-sharing website for years, but this past week I finally discovered the true addictive nature of You Tube lies in uploading your own videos. I thought blogging was an adrenaline rush, but the feeling of making my own videos and getting great (for my standards) levels of feedback to them is like a drug I just can’t get enough of!!!
Fear not though, I haven’t lost my passion for blogging. Actually, my writing is going to another level this year. My main goal in life is to still become an author, but I’ve also developed a hunger for freelancing. I believe my specialty is in creative nonfiction and I’m making great strides to get my foot into the door. I spent last night and the early part of the morning researching some literary journals where I want to submit my work. I have plenty of great ideas in my head, now I just have to write them out. Most journals and periodicals (magazines) set their publishing schedule months in advance, so if I plan on seeing my work published this year then I need to start writing immediately.
Towards the end of last year, I developed a list of New Year’s writing resolutions. I’ve done a few of them already, but the key will be to remain consistent. There are more, but I believe these are the most important areas I need to focus on for now. After all, consistency is the key to achieving great success in any area of life.
Jeuron Dove’s Plan for Writing Success this Year
1. Blog at least 1-2 times per week- Blogging is an easy and fun way to express my emotions without the professional restraints of writing for publication. Plus it keeps my mind fresh.
2. Contact various local university publications for freelance work- I used to work as a staff writer for my alma mater’s alumni publication. Every major college and university has one and I’ve already contacted one local institution and sent them a resume and a few of my clips (published articles). They didn’t have any freelance work available at the moment, but at least they know who I am now and will keep me in touch for future assignments. Luckily, Greensboro is a college town and I have plenty more options to choose from.
3. Read and practice from The Elements of Style and English Grammar for Dummies Workbook on a daily basis- Always need to sharpen up my skills. Plus, The Elements of Style is a book that all writers should have in their collection.
4. Aggressively interview women for book idea- I plan to write a book which revolves around women. I’m still fine tuning my concept, but I do know this much for sure. Since many of my best friends are women, I need to find the time to go and talk to some of them in order to gather information. I’ve interviewed a few so far and I’ve talked with others about arranging a time to meet. The quicker I conduct my interviews and research, the quicker I can begin writing a rough draft.
5. Join a writers peer critique group- There is no better way to sharpen my own wiring than to be around other writers. One of the big mistakes with new writers is that they believe their writing is perfect. It’s always good to be around others with more experience who can give an objective critique on my work. Besides, I’d rather face constructive criticism and numerous revisions from my peers before I submit my work to a major editor.
Hey everyone. It’s your favorite blogger! I’m about to head out of town for a couple of days so this will likely be my last post of the year, since I won‘t have access to a computer where I‘m going. I don’t have any major news or anything real important to write, but I would just like to say a simple thanks. Then again, giving thanks is very important business!
I’d like to thank every person who glanced, passively read or subscribed to my blog this year. Resuming this blog was a big challenge for me and I’m proud to say, that three months later, it was well worth it. For me, the best part about blogging (or writing in general) is the feeling I get when I realize my words connect with a reader. If anything I wrote this year made you laugh, think, or just go like “man that guy can really write!,” then I accomplished my goal. As long as there are interesting things to discuss then I’ll keep writing about them.
I’d like to send a special thanks to each of my 16 subscribers and anyone who has commented on my page. Many bloggers with huge subscription bases don’t personally take the time out to reply to every comment left on their page. However, I will continue to reply and interact with my readers even after I reach 1,000 subscribers!
I’d like to wish everyone up here a very happy and safe New Year. To me, it still seems like 2011 went by way too fast. Well, catch you all in 2012!!!
First, I would like to give a special thanks to each of my subscribers. I truly appreciate you taking the time out to read and comment on my blog. Even though blogging is a personal outlet for me, it’s great to know that there are people who actually care about what I write. Ever since I began getting serious about this a couple of weeks ago, I have come to discover that blogging on a consistent basis has helped to sharpen my writing skills in numerous ways. Here are some of the lessons that blogging has taught me thus far:
Discipline- As a writer for my college newspaper and alumni magazine, I’m used to writing on deadline. When you’re writing your own stuff and not getting paid for it then it can tend to not be too high on the list of priorities. My first two attempts at blogging ended after I produced so much content while not receiving any feedback or even feeling that anyone was reading my work. My mindset is much more disciplined this time around. As any writer of any degree of experience will attest to, it takes discipline to sit down and write anything. Sometimes the ideas come to me in an instant and putting them onto paper (or the computer screen) is as easy as ABC. Other times it can seem as if everything in the world will try to distract me once I’m ready to write.
Yesterday, I had originally written an article on a wrestling-related topic. I had worked on it for two days and just didn’t feel right about it. Instead, I trashed it and wrote something on an entirely different subject matter. In my opinion, the second piece I wrote (which ended up being yesterday‘s post) was much better and I felt it appealed to a broader audience since we all, at one time or another, have thought about what our future holds. For me to write nearly three pages about one thing and then completely switch my thought process to another shows a real sign of how far my discipline as a writer has grown.
To Analyze Events in my Life More Clearly- This is especially true for any blogger. I tend to pay much more attention to what happens during the grind of everyday life. The more clearly I see things then the more clearly they will be to put into words. My blog about the Simple Pleasures of Life came directly from things I and thousands of others have experienced. None were earth-shattering events, but each meant something and when you combined them all together it came out to create a very interesting read. A lady from my church told me she thought it was very funny.
The same thing happened with my story about Ron Clark. I was inspired by the movie and then all of these thoughts began running through my mind. I was able to produce a review/commentary piece about it, while using my own personal experiences to add more substance to it. Whenever I do something as average as going to work or watching a television show, I’m always trying to figure out which angle I can look at the situation from in order to write about it in a way that others will understand.
Writing at Times When I Don’t Feel Like It- Despite the fact I love writing, it can be tiring at times. I keep a notebook where I jot down all of my ideas and random thoughts. There are moments when the ideas come so frequently that I find myself writing multiple ideas during the course of an hour. I could be out running an errand and see something that gives me a story idea. I’ll drive back home trying to remember it until I can get to a pen and paper. My handwriting is not the best and sometimes I have trouble even reading what I wrote. Sounds fun, doesn‘t it???
Writing is something I know I can do well. I’ve written for several publications and wrote a weekly wrestling column for a well-known wrestling news website for about two years. Each week, I would get feedback from fans around the world and from people involved in the industry. Blogging is an entirely new chapter of my writing life. I’m starting from scratch and really feel as though I’m using some real grassroots methods to promote my blog.
At times, writing feels like a habit I can’t kick (not anything illegal. Lol). When I’m doing it I experience a rush like none other. At times I may have to take a break just to regain my composure and sanity. But while I’m away from it something begins to tug at my heart. It’s calling me in and like a fish attracted to a line of bait, and eventually it reels me in. Well, that’s a weird example!
What I mean is that the times in my life where I’m not consistently writing are the times when my heart tells me I should be doing it the most. Every time I finish writing something, it’s as if this calming force comes over me and I feel as if I’ve accomplished something for that day. That is the unique power that writing has over me and it’s that reason why I will always strive to produce the best content even at times when I may not feel like it. When the day is over and I lay my head to sleep I truly believe that all of this writing is part of a journey that will get me to where I want to be in life.
As a writer at heart, I wonder if any other bloggers ever have a hard time producing content. Or rather, is it discouraging to write when nobody reads your stuff. This is my third attempt at blogging. I started blogging in 2005. It was mainly about my interests of professional wrestling and anime. I kept it going for a couple of months, but after pouring my absolute best into each post without attracting any of a following, I decided to call it quits. I got the bug a few years later, but it was even more short lived than my first experience.
I’m back at it again and I’m committed to see it through to the end. Regardless of whether I get one comment or one hundred, I will not give up. Writing is my passion and I believe there is someone out there who can relate to my work. Most importantly, I need to get into the habit of writing daily so I am really helping out myself by doing this.
For those reading this blog, I can assure you that it won’t be a waste of your time.