Archives for : Writing

Not a Reset – A Resolution and Declaration

Back on May 22, I started a 30-day writing exercise. Today, I declare it:

I am a writer.

Great Writers DeclarationWhen I started the 30 days, I described it by saying I was working on improving my writing. This is still absolutely true. But today, I’m no longer calling it an exercise. It’s what I believe I am.

Professionally, I have always been dedicated to communication with various media. All of those media embody writing as their core strength, except for photography. But even my photography is typically part of a larger message that depends very much on strong writing to be successful.

So, up there in the title, I call today’s message a resolution. It’s not a New-Years-resolution resolution. I am resolving the contradiction between writing for other activities and being a writer.

I am also a photographer, video producer, and virtual tour expert. But those titles describe activities. “Writer” describes, I believe more accurately, the calling of a person to be an artist, using words to craft his or her message.

Integrity (and attention to detail) forces me to also note the following: In this 15-day challenge, I will be participating in “15 Habits of Great Writers,” as defined and coached by Jeff Goins. At the conclusion of it, I will determine whether or not to complete the earlier 30-day commitment. I have a feeling it will be an unnecessary formality, but we’ll see.

If you want to join me, it’s not too late. See for the details.

When I started the 30 day exercise, I thanked Erik Deckers and Jeff Goins. Today is different. I thank my sister, Wendy Hoopengarder, for insisting for years that I was already a writer. Thanks, Sis. I guess you were right.


The Flashlight

It’s well past midnight on the 5th day of my 30-day writing challenge. Turns out that it needed to be dark outside for me to realize something helpful – an analogy for an important lesson.

Recently, I met with someone to take a big step forward in a project we’ve been working on together. I’m producing a video segment that she will use in a series of presentations on her topic of expertise to a number of public and civic groups.

I had decided that, rather than approach the meeting from the position of communications expert, I would assume that she is the authority in her subject matter, AS WELL AS the person to determine the correct approach for communicating her material to the chosen audiences.

In other words, I set personal pride aside, and determined to do my best to help her communicate the ideas she wanted to show and say…in the way ~she~ wanted to do it.

Now, I made some suggestions about her material, and we brainstormed some ideas for ways to help the message reach more people. But, for the most part, I tried to keep my “hands off” of her information. She really is an expert in her field.

Yes, I’m a communications professional. I have pride in my skills and accomplishments. But proceeding from that standpoint would have been very dangerous…

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Day 1 – Writing Daily for 30 Days – 5/22/2102

Why should I write? Geez, that seems like a tired way to start my first post on getting serious about writing.writing materials

Actually, fear is probably a much more honest excuse to NOT create my first post using reasons why I should write. I don’t know everything about ANYTHING.

So the temptation to quit, right here and now, is very strong. My first blog was fairly successful in my mind – I had about a dozen semi-regular readers. I posted on all the things that were important to me: faith, family, photography, music and my marketing business.

Then, I started another blog. I wanted to write solely on faith. My first post asked the question, “Are God’s qualities of love and strength separate qualities, or inseparable?” My first post was SHREDDED by a person that I had never met. That stung so badly that I gave up on that blog immediately.

Subsequently, I went back to the main blog, “Exactly, J.R.” Several months later, I created my company website. The conventional wisdom then and now is that your website should be the home of your blog, where you expound on all the wisdom and ideas that you have gained in your profession. This is supposed to establish you as an expert – someone whose opinion can be trusted.

That’s this blog. You are here.

I have not updated this blog on a regular basis, unless you can call “at least once per quarter” a regular basis.

And so far, in this initial effort to become serious at writing, I have not yet provided a single reason why ~I~ should write…just reasons why I haven’t written consistently. The excuses stop now.

The Reasons.

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