Makers Gotta Make 1

Five tips for makers who want to write or blog.

  1. Start with a truth, even if it’s a small one. Describe where you are sitting down to write. Share something that happened recently, focusing on the details. Convey an emotional truth (not everything need be sunshine and roses, even makers are human beings, after all.) But if you begin with a truth (again, even small ones), the rest of the story that you are trying to tell or the information you are trying to share will flow naturally and honestly.
  2. Use your five senses. You experience the world from your own unique perspective and through your senses. By writing about these experiences and using your senses, you will create a world through words that is entirely your own and yet relatable to your reader through the specifics. “I ate a cheese sandwich for lunch” is not the same as “I sated my hunger with a piquant cheese and two slices of stale oat bread.” Details and specifics will make your language come alive. Readers will return to read about your real life, lived, concrete experiences.
  3. Focus on your craft and creations. Honor your work and creations by allowing them to be the focus of your website or blog; writing should be in service to your craft, not the other way around. If you are trying to sell what you create, your shop and images should be the focus. The blog and the words (unless you are a writer selling your writing) should support your true craft from the periphery. They should help keep a reader on your website and help them learn more about you, your process, and what you are creating. They should not be the sole reason someone comes to your website.
  4. Write to learn something new. Make it an adventure. Step outside of your comfort zone. A commonly heard phrase amongst writing students is “write what you know.” This is utter nonsense and it makes for a boring writing process and boring reading. Start where you feel most uncomfortable; ask yourself “what is the last thing I want to write about?” and begin there. Start with a question that you want to answer. If you end up producing something that exposes parts of yourself that you’d rather not bring into the light of day: there’s always the delete key. You don’t have to click “publish” on everything. Think of your drafts as a sandbox, a place to mess around and play and be creative. If you end up with something worth keeping, do so; otherwise, let the rain wash it away and begin anew.
  5. Don’t be afraid to hire a copyeditor or content editor. I get it. You’re a maker. You’re independent and capable and you are oh-so-very used to doing everything yourself. But there is no shame in realizing your limitations and hiring someone else to deal with details. This will allow you to focus on your creations and your process. As much as the creative process might be parallel across disciplines, do you really want to eat up time and brain cells discerning and memorizing the difference between “lie” and “lay”? (One is transitive; the other, intransitive.) Or would you rather spend time working on your craft and your creations?

2 thoughts on “Makers Gotta Make 1

  1. Knitting ? Totally useless – but I learned to be very good at balling my gran’s yarn….

    I’m still reflecting on some painful writing advice…

    Why painful ? Here it is : ‘You’re just not a writer.’

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    1. Makers gotta make.
      Knitters gotta knit.
      Writers gotta write.
      Haters gonna hate.

      Unchecked jealousy– in and of itself rooted in a painful place — often causes people to say hurtful things. My older daughter had a similar jealousy-fueled run-in with a basketball teammate. My daughter’s response? She scored the next basket. I always think about her handling that comment directed at her with that kind of grace. I try to follow her example of rising above it.

      The person who made that comment to you had it wrong. You’re a writer (in fact, it’s the only way I know you). But you’re also not just a writer. More importantly: you’re a human being. And thank you for being such a generous reader. (Also: it’s never too late to learn to knit. And balling the yarn is a crucial step in making beautiful, warm things.)

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