In January of 2019, I found myself holding down a job that I loved. Not only did I work with people that pushed me to new heights creatively and professionally, but I also got paid a decent salary to become a better writer every single day.
Blogging, social media posts, eBooks, even a goddamn children’s book (one that explained tech concepts too complex for a children’s book audience, but hey, it was for a tradeshow full of adults who feared technological change, so baby steps right?), it was a great place to learn by failing. Learn by doing.
That practice translated into personal writing projects. A few novel chapters here, a couple of started screenplays there. I was only able to summon the energy to write them in fits and starts, but I know I was taking bigger strides as a writer than I had ever thought possible. …
I had the pleasure of taking in a screening of the new 4k restoration of Spike Lee’s 1989 masterpiece, “Do The Right Thing,” late last night. Though I had seen it many times before, this viewing yielded my most visceral emotional reaction to the film yet.
In a recent appearance on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, Howie Mandel stated that a big part of his success in show business has to do with “being comfortable with discomfort.” It’s so obvious, sure, but that verbalization of a simple truth really struck a chord with me.
In fact, I’ll take Mandel’s statement a step further (well, maybe it’s just a slight repositioning, but hey, I want to feel like I’m contributing too) and put this out there:
You need to be comfortable with failure if you want to become a better writer. …
Nearly 25 years after it first hit theaters in 1995, Michael Mann’s epic crime drama “Heat” is considered a modern classic. It also failed to garner any Oscar consideration in the run-up to the 1996 Academy Awards telecast.
Seriously. Not one single nomination to its name.
It’s a stupifying snub that outranks Best Picture almosts like “Pulp Fiction,” “Taxi Driver,” “Brokeback Mountain” and last year’s “Roma” as arguably the Academy’s most egregious oversight ever.
It’s not as if the pieces hadn’t been in place at the time either. You had: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, both of whom reached the apex of their 90s-era career resurgences with this film; a holiday season release date, typically saved for awards bait and Disney’s next Star Wars cash grab, and; a studio in Warner Bros. that had been on a Best Picture tear for nearly a decade (see “The Accidental Tourist,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Goodfellas,” and “The Fugitive,” to name just a few). …
As someone who writes for a living — we’re talking producing, editing and publishing tens of thousands of words every week — there’s one question I get all the time:
How do I do it?
More precisely: How am I able to just sit down and let the prose flow off my fingertips, onto the keyboard and into the open document in my word processor?
It’s a difficult question for me to answer for a few reasons. First, everyone’s writing style, habits and starting point will be different, as will their experience and/or educational background in this area. …
Making your first foray into blogging means stepping out into the dense jungle of content on the internet and trying to create memorable, engaging work. This translates into a lot of trial-and-error as you find your voice and refine your writing skills.
In other words, making mistakes is normal.
That said, blog posts that break down some common mistakes and how to avoid them are always at the top of my must-read list, so today I want to do my part to ease that learning curve for all the beginner bloggers out there looking to make a name for themselves.
In this post, I’m going to outline the biggest mistake I made repeatedly when I first started blogging regularly and how you can take steps to avoid falling into the same trap with your writing. …