I Am a Writer: Tribute to a Fallen Wordsmith
“I’M A WRITER.”
It is somewhat interesting to see reactions and hear responses to that statement moments after being asked such questions as, “What do you do for a living?”
At times, the reaction is filled with excitement, intrigue, curiosity and awe. Unfortunately, the opposite end of that spectrum is nowhere near as pleasant – especially when the reactions lead to:
Confusion – What do you mean you’re ‘a writer’?
Condescending – That’s just a hobby… I meant, ‘What is your real job?’
Questionable compliments – Well, okay. That’s… (something else, brave, noble, etc.)
Misinterpreted laziness – I wish I could get paid to stay home and do nothing, too!
There is a drastic change in the tone of the reaction for successful published authors with the recognition and prestige that comes within that realm of writing. However, it may seem farfetched to give the same level of reverence and admiration to the ones working behind the scenes to create quality content day after day.
The technical writers hired to create the standard operating procedures and protocol handbooks spread throughout the corporate world. The copywriters brought onboard by major companies and clients to assist in captivating and closing sales. The writers and bloggers responsible for the engaging content that fills popular news sites and clutters social media feeds. The ghostwriters hired to write many of those articles, books, and blogs from scratch who go unnoticed as their clients get the credit for work they funded & financed instead of finessed & finished.
If only they knew the truth.
*DISCLAIMER* Before you read any further, please do not take this as a complaint post or emotion-filled rant that rages against “the machine” or “the system” or “the man.” It is honestly none of those things.
On the contrary, the purpose of this post is to show our appreciation and respect for the artistry of content writing. As is the case with any job industry, content writing has its own “rotten apples” that threaten to ruin the whole bunch. Finding a quality content writer, on the other hand, means that you have found much more than a “freelance contractor.” You have found an artist!
“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse
Matisse was a French artist known mostly for his painting. However, to label him as a “painter” would be an understatement since he was also a talented sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker. His quote about creativity speaks volumes about the courage expressed by content writers daily. They strive to create artistic masterpieces day after day either for their personal brands and blogs or their clients.
As is the case with any entrepreneur or aspiring business owner, it takes courage to build a consistent income based on your artistic talent from scratch.
Like any type of painting, content writers always start with a blank canvas. They start with a blank canvas of prospects when trying to find their first sale, but they face a different blank canvas at the start of every project when trying to find their first sentence. There is no such thing as an overnight success in this industry, which is why even more courage is needed to remain persistent and passionate about your art even when the income stream does not flow as freely as you might like (or need).
Knowing that the quality of your art, the satisfaction of your clients and the persistence of your passion will pay off helps to keep that fire of courage and creativity burning.
“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” – Edgar Degas
The concept of “anyone can be a writer” is theoretically correct, but you could say that about anything. Anyone can be a doctor. Anyone can be an astronaut. Anyone can be a business owner. Anyone can be an athlete (especially when you consider the wide variety of sports today).
The point is that not everyone can be a great writer. Chances are that you have read blogs, articles or even novels that were creative masterpieces that deserved to become museum exhibits. However, you have also read blogs, articles and novels that were chaotic messes that did not deserve to be printed at all.
“If people know how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t
seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo
Artistic content is a rare treasure buried deep within a deep sea of chaos and clutter.
Quality content creators and marketers know that there is a strategy, a science and a system that must be followed closely. Countless hours of thorough research are spent to acquire the knowledge, insight and references needed to reflect expertise and engagement within each piece. Writers spend even more time polishing their skills to enhance their craft – adapting to the changing climate of the digital age with each passing year. This does not even include the time and effort spent rereading, revising and rewriting involved to make sure that the artistry meets the needs and exceeds the expectations of each client.
There is a lot more involved with painting that just putting colors on a canvas. The same principle applies with writing quality content even though many people assume it is just as simple as putting words on a page.
“There are painters who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who, thanks to art and intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.” – Pablo Picasso
The quest for excellence is an ongoing journey for most artists that is achieved by relatively few. You can get the job done with a quality content writer. Every now and then, though, you may have the pleasure of experiencing the work of a master content writer.
A writer who can breathe life into their work with a degree of uncanny excellence that requires you to read it twice just to experience it again. The legacy of most artists is not appreciated or honored until after they have passed away, but those who witnessed their journeys firsthand show their respect for that work while they are still alive.
The next time someone tells you that they are a content writer, do not rely on the above-referenced responses to grab the baton of that conversation. Take the time to show your sincere respect and appreciation for that individual – especially if you know that they create quality content for their clients.
At the end of the days, a quality content creator is a lot more than just a writer. Therefore, when the phrase “I am a writer” is used with pride and passion, take a moment to read between the lines because there you will see the phrase:
“I am an artist.”
This post is dedicated to the memory of our peer, Ian McPherson who has passed away this May. He was one of the best, a curious spirit always ready for the next challenge, an accomplished writer, a wordsmith. An artist with the written word. He will be missed. Thank you, Ian, for sharing your passion for writing with us!
May your mighty pen never run out of ink
With forever respect,
The Iris Team
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