by Kari Diane Pike
It's still Thursday...at least in the West. Between writing copy, doing laundry, kissing grandbabies, baking cookies, and making a fast trip to Paul, Idaho to hang out with more grans, I have enjoyed an eventful couple of weeks.
During the drive home this afternoon, I thought about all my writing projects sitting on the dusty shelves in my room. It has been months now since I paid attention to them. I started beating myself up for not being disciplined in my writing. I mean, come on. If I really consider myself a writer, then I should write every day. Right?
That's when a little voice spoke up and reminded me that I have been writing in my journal almost every day. I write a letter every Sunday reporting on all the goings on and discussions in the lesson in Relief Society and send it to our home bound sisters and those serving in Primary and Young Women. I have been doing a ton of research for a paper for school. And lately, I have been writing a lot of copy.
It occurred to me that writing copy has improved my writing skills in many ways. When I write copy, I have to know who my audience is. Period. I have to know what kind of people are most likely to purchase the product and write something that will convince them that if they don't buy that product NOW they will miss out and suffer for it. And I have to write in such a way that will keep that potential customer engaged long enough to be enticed to click on that "purchase now" button. Some of the copy I write is more about editing than actually writing new information. I do quite a bit of changing transcribed dialogue into prose for free reports and white pages. It's more like editing on a nuclear scale.
Keeping my audience in mind is just as crucial for my book projects. I need to determine what the market is going to call for (oh for a crystal ball!) and I need to write in an engaging manner. And that editing thing. Sigh. It's all about the rewrites. No matter what I write.
I've decided that my writing career is not so different than my life's journey. Every goal I set, every path I travel, every lesson I learn, helps shape who I am becoming. Sometimes the path is smooth and level. Sometimes the path is rocky and steep. And once in awhile, I have to pull over and throw up. I don't always end up in the place I thought I would be, but it is always the best place for me at the time. And for that I am very grateful. Besides, every time I get to the top of a hill, the view is spectacular!