Thank you, friend.
Writers are information hogs. We wallow in books, blogs, forums, and groups – in search of learning something new. Our hunger for knowledge is what makes us good at what we do. It can also deliver a shot to our own writer’s worth. How? By allowing someone else to determine our worth.
Pen of Expertise
Each of us is unique. Your business and life experience is different from mine. Mine does not match yours. And that is something to celebrate. Imagine the world full of people with cookie-cutter lives. Pretty boring. What would we talk about? What would we write?
The words you write come from your personal pen of expertise. No one can duplicate that and that makes you unique. When you wander outside the pen to learn something new, carry the knowledge you are already special. What you learn does not change your writer’s worth. It complements it. Otherwise, it is not worth considering.
I love the generosity of other writers. Lori’s Free Advice Friday is a perfect example. Supplementing that generosity with the books and training of writing colleagues is a great way to expand our personal worth as a writer. Peter Bowerman’s Well-Fed Writer was one of my early favorites.
Professionals like Lori and Peter would be the first to tell you that you are the keeper of your pen. The advice they offer comes from their unique experience. The difference is in the sharing, not telling.
Acorns of Truth
If you follow my blogs, you see frequent references to my dad’s southernisms. One I heard often while growing up was:
Even a blind hog picks up an acorn every now and then.
When we start our freelance career, we relate to the blind hog. We pig out on advice and information, hoping to root out an acorn of truth that puts us on the path to a successful career. Lord knows, there are plenty of experts with platefuls of opinions. You may allow them in your pen but remember – it’s still your pen.
Experts may say your pen stinks or it isn’t big enough. You need to earn more, charge more, dump more. You decide if there is an acorn of truth in the advice, based on your pen. Your pen of expertise is your solid ground to build on.
And there are all kinds of pens in the world. There are those who love city life and others who go the rural route. Writers are like that. The diversity makes for a good read. Discover what you’re passionate about and find a way to bring the passion to your pen. You may need to sort through a few acorns to find the one that works, but when you do, you’ll be in hog heaven.
Continuous learning empowers your dream. So, there is nothing wrong with listening to the opinions of others. Gather up the information and maybe even try it on for size. If it doesn’t fit, move on. Be confident that your pen of expertise will guide you.
Some may think a hog’s world is a strange vehicle for a discussion on writer’s worth. I never said I wasn’t strange. My dad’s southernisms have spun many a literary web. It works for me. The expression of your writer’s worth is found in who you are.
Some of us need bigger pens to play in. Others are content with our own corner of the world. Dare to define your own hog heaven. Embrace your pen of expertise and seek out the acorns of truth for your writing world.
Cathy Miller has a business writing blog at Simply stated business. Her blog, Why 60 Miles, is in the early stages and inspired by her passion for walking 60 miles in 3 days to support research for finding a cure for cancer.