6 Degrees Writer: Vignettes for August

The new monthly feature from 6 Degrees Writer with short vignettes that are part of the “Day in the Life’ Blogger series…Here’s a few timely entries

The Writing Cabin or She Shed

The Writing Cabin is dubbed “She-shed’ by the influencers and young whipper snappers. It was a regular shed that has wonderful windows for me to see the bird feeder that was outside. In recent months, the rats have been helping themselves to the bird seed as much as the beautiful cardinals.

So at night, true to battle form, I’ve been taking the feeder up to thwart Rat # 2 or 200, but who’s counting..?

Writing Classes

I remind myself of Sonny Drysdale (Louis Nye) from The Beverly Hillbillies who was lamenting the end of his 19 year college career! My lifelong learning has been over 20 years now, with classes and workshops on writing and editing, on Marketing and Media, on craft and on newsletters, on Pinterest and Social Media. They have become quite specialized of late.  There are classes for Google Analytics;  for SEO; for Affiiliate writing,  there are classes on Content Strategy and always…back to Marketing!

…I edit online magazines weekly, with over 11,000 followers in total, so I suppose I am also a Content Editor and manager. It seems we are creating new titles for new fields and for the field of mass media management. (Marshall) McLuhan talked about the compartmentalizing nature of what the mass media world is…and it seems to be just dubbing new words to try and explain what the old world has become!

On How to accept Rejection: Break Glass!

The first part is about overwhelm. I have to take a pause from time to time to just acknowledge the overwhelm. I have a special file for “In case of Discouragement, Break Glass” and I’ve had to go to it often of late…The new pitch class has a segment on how to accept rejection. For a writer, the only good way is if there is constructive feedback on what they like and don’t like about your work!

If people just say no and don’t give you a ‘why’, there is no point in dwelling on misery. It is the place where they give you pointers about how to get to ‘yes’ that actually helps you!

Helpful Rejections

We have all been rejected. For Harper Lee, she wrote the version of her classic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” that was put in the drawer for years.  It was the one with the older Scout telling the story of Atticus.  That book was re-tooled to bring out the younger girl’s narration of the story of Atticus Finch and became the beloved: To Kill a Mockingbird-the one we all know and love.

And Marjorie K Rawlings had a fantastic editor in Maxwell Perkins. He helped her draft her work and told her to go back and write about the characters of Cross Creek.  And he encouraged her to write about the marvelous array of characters that shaped the story in The Yearling. And it brought her to the non-fiction “Cross Creek’ that told her story in her voice- of the people and the place and time that was so timeless.

Those are the things that help you to craft a story and write a narrative that sells. There’s a piece in my Flipboard writers magazine where you have to ‘think like an editor.’ Think about what they want to see, as they in turn think about what you, the reader, want to READ!

…I am the type of writer that wants to be head-down and just let ‘er rip with writing about certain ideas or items that just spring unedited and unformed right out of the head!

My Marketing Skills

Unfortunately, many of these ideas are what is technically known as ‘no good’ or as helpful editors sometimes add- Who cares? These are reasons that some of my work is destined for the dustbin of history.

And my marketing skills are at best, questionable. My Marketing Class would be titled: “You don’t really want to buy this from me, do you?”

From the list I keep, I see that all of the projects are overdue. I do have an outline for the MCU project. That is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where I am going through the different ideas and characters that were made famous in the latest series of hit films.

This is one of those rare times where my own writing on film is coinciding with an idea that other people really DO care about

The Non-Political (but political) undertones of all who write…

I don’t talk about political events specifically, but somehow politics will keep rearing its head into our lives. As we are living in a politically toxic environment, there was a lot of hope after the election that has turned to just emotional angst.

Many people are stirred up and there are threats of physical violence that make this a type of work environment for writers to be anything but safe. It is  a place where I have just recommended the re-read of “Travels with Charley” from John Steinbeck.

About Travels with Charley…

Steinbeck wrote famously of the Dust Bowl in “The Grapes of Wrath” but this book, an autobiographical travelogue that is fascinating in that there is something for everyone. It’s a ‘coming of old-age’ story for those of us crossing the line into the Golden Years of Retirement that last decades now. And it’s a story of an awakening for him as he sees the Civil Rights movement in full force and encounters racism in the South.

This is one of his best books, in my opinion. So it’s a must-read for lovers of his work or anyone who is making the transition to old-age or any age for that matter! For we all know that if we live long enough ‘to comb grey hair’ as Ted Kennedy quoted at his nephew’s funeral, then we all encounter the same thoughts and problems and challenges and adventures as we travel through old age.

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