Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Why Writers Need A Day Of Judgement


Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews around the world is upon us September 27-28. It means Day of Atonement, a day when Jews are supposed to assess their lives, reflect on their deeds of this past year, and to commit to do more good, to do better, and to turn away from the sins that plague all humans. Perhaps there should be such a day for authors, one in which they reconsider the path they have followed, to put their work under a microscope, and to commit to being better writers.

For Jews, they show, symbolically, an attempt to change and a sacrifice by spending about 25 hours in a state of contemplation, prayer, and sacrifice – no food, no television, no work, no sex, no recreational drugs, no anything.

For writers, they should spend a day not reading nor writing, nor editing nor researching. No social media, no news media, no books. No trips to a bookstore, library, or museum. No brainstorming sessions to map out the next book. Just a day for reflection, self-analysis, and commitment to making the changes necessary to being a better writer.

To be a better writer has a few components. One is to in fact be a better writer. This means you find a way, through your vocabulary usage, training, discipline, editing, researching, or whatever it takes, to become better at practicing the art of writing.

The other component is to be a better writer-citizen, to commit to being a writer that contributes to society. Ask yourself, what will you do to:

Change the world through writing.

·         Impact the life of even just one person with your work.

·         Empower others to act, based on your words.

·         Enlighten others so they can feel and live with greater awareness and understanding.

·         Educate others with your words and sharing of knowledge.

·         Entertain others and make them laugh and feel good about life.

·         Allow others to escape their lives so that they can dream and fantasize about worlds and lives, created from your words and ideas, that could lead to a world of peace, love, and democracy.

Change is often not a complex act, but it is the most difficult thing for humans. Our lives need change, and certain changes lead to improvement, Let go of the past, accelerate beyond the present, and assert a new way of living in the future.

Writing can be a deeply personal act, one born from fear, experiences, desire, and imagination. We envision a better world and believe someone will benefit from what we have to say, that our words will mean something. The truth is, our writings mean only as much to others as readers permit. A great writer can do a lot to help the reader see, feel, understand, and appreciate, but it is the reader who makes the final judgment as to what your words mean and what purpose they shall serve.

But words have their limitations. They can’t always talk someone out of doing bad things, making terrible mistakes, or harming themselves. As great as some writers are, and as powerful as some books can be, to the closed, inebriated, scared, angry, or uneducated mind, some writers, and books just won’t be able to break through. This is a burden all writers live with, and yet it energizes and drives them to find new ways or words to puncture the minds, souls, and hearts of those who need to see truth and understand life with clarity. The writer, in a bid to help or even save others, always needs to help himself just as badly.

So how can writers use a day of judgment to evaluate and fix their ways?  

1. Commit to a day of review, reflection, and redemption – both for how you live life and how you approach your writings. Be harsh on yourself.

2. Honestly evaluate your writings. Are you as prolific as you want to be? Are you as impactful as you hope to be? Is your writing the best it can be? Determine steps for improvement.

3. Have you understood why you write? Is it for ego? For fame? For money? For therapy? Do your writings serve others? Do you write with a passion and purpose, with a goal of making your readers’ lives better?

4. Are you a great writer, but a bad person? How can you find balance, so that you pursue your writings, but not at the expense of health, relationships, work or other aspects of a balanced life? Seek to be the best writer that you can be in the context of living the best life that you could possibly live.

5. Are you a responsible writer? Do you steal the ideas and plagiarize the words of others? Do you pirate copyrighted material? Do you use words to harm others, even to lie, cheat, and steal?

6. Do your writings contribute to a better world or the downfall of society? Is your keyboard an instrument for good or evil?

7. Have you committed to becoming a better writer by taking writing courses, reading about writing, improving your vocabulary, getting editing help, double-checking facts and sources before sharing them, separating fact from opinion, reading more content to become more aware and intelligent, going the extra step in your research, and filling a void by writing on what is needed and where you can do the most good? Or are you lazy about writing? Are you a commercial sellout? Are you unethical in the concepts, events, ideas, or people that you write on?

We all could benefit, not just as writers, from a day of reflection and meditation of our writings and writing career. We must commit to improving our skills, knowledge, and networks so that we can think, edit, write, and create a little more or better than we have.

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      Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo.


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