Soul / Writing Challenge

#1: Branding Yourself as a Writer

I feel guilty not writing in so long. It is, in fact, due to my hectic work commitments, but at the end of the day, no matter how busy a person is, if they want to do something, they will find time to do it. If I can bloody well Facebook an hour a day, I can most definitely use that time bettering myself by writing.

I turn 30 in roughly a month. So in honour of that, I’m giving myself 365 things to accomplish in 365 days starting from my birthday. One of the items on the list, is to fulfill a 365 day writing challenge. Basically it’s a bunch of 30 day writing challenges combined and today, is day one.

While looking for 30 day challenges on google search, I came across this 30 day challenge on this blog. It was really interesting and unique, but there is only a part one which lasts 10 days. Nevertheless, I chose to start with this because instead of jumping into creative writing or random “getting to know me” challenges, to become a better writer, one would need to know oneself first, namely the “writer self”. So while I get to know me, you get to as well.

Day one is branding yourself as a writer. Many would assume that people would immediately jump and say “Creative!” or “Artistic!” or even “Unique!”. As much as I’d love to say my brand would be artistic or creative, these words (especially in this day and age) are overused and its meaning has been diluted in the ocean of hipsterism and modern-day yuppies. Every other person claims that they are “creative” or “artistic”. Quite honestly, they’re not.

I teach Mass Communication students. One would think that if you’re in the field of Mass Communication, you would naturally be creative. A lot of my students think so. Sadly, out of the 100% who consider themselves “creative”, only 5% are truly so. Roughly 20% would be more technical, while the rest are “dreamers”, or more aptly “idealistic”. This means that they attempt at being creative (and occasionally believe they are), but the end product just ….. falls flat.

The word “Creative” also has lost its true essence. What exactly is creative? To me, being creative is doing something that is fresh. It could be a presentation, a film, a lecture, a treatment method, a research area, or even a science experiment. Creativity doesn’t belong to those in the arts or in communication. I’m deviating. Here I am going on and on about being creative and creativity, but what at the end of the day is my brand, if it’s not that?

That would be my brand. As a writer, I don’t create things from mid-air and present them. I observe my surroundings, be it people, media contents, or situations and I analyze the who, what, when, where, why and how. As much as I’d love to be a fiction writer, I am not as descriptive as I should be and spending months writing about the same story could drive me insane. Instead, what I love is writing reviews, which I hope to hone my skills in with this 365 day challenge. Be it books or film, pop culture or politics, I need to train my mind to analyze as many topics and areas of interest out there to find my niche and then go at it like a charging bull. As for the strategic portion, I’ve been told by people I look up to that I’m good at strategic thinking, which I hope to include within my writing (once I figure out what exactly that is and how I can incorporate it within my writing).

If you’re interested in joining this challenge, check out the rest of the nine challenges on the blog linked below and share your posts with me so I can read your progress too. Till tomorrow, goodnight!

Writing challenge link: Pleasantly Practical James

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