Writing/Blogging Lessons From The Food Industry by Elaine Stock
Gasp. Shudder. I work in the food industry while waiting for my dream job of a writing career to get the Green-Go-Ahead sign from God. No, I do not ask hungry people if they want fries with their meal, but there is nothing wrong with that. However, I do wake up on a work morning at 3 AM to slog off to a job that the American society attaches a stigma to, and yes, even in novels. But, like the budding actress who waits on tables in-between auditions, I’m making a living, earning needed benefits, cat food money, saving for writing conferences, and learning a few life lessons that I want to share with you.
Lesson #1: People are more than their hungry self. A hungry customer can only think about his empty belly. Once fueled, he or she returns, usually, to a more caring and sometimes, even more, dynamic and fun self. A character must have an internal self and external persona he or she shows. This will vary based upon familiarity. When I interview an author or contributor for my blog I try to respect who they want to show to the public. Not everyone wants to broadcast every life detail. It’s necessary to respect this.
Lesson #2: Some of my co-workers ask “may I help the next guest?” Treat characters like guests, allowing some to exert themselves and others to hold back. Everyone is an individual. Same goes for interviewing a guest for a blog. Let the guest lead. It’s sometimes necessary to step back and let the guest take a different route in responding to a question, even if it’s not the one you anticipated. Be cordial. Inviting a guest onto your blog for an interview or appearance is the equivalent of asking one into your living room. And on that note . . .
Lesson #3: Like a hungry customer, characters in a WIP or guests on a blog have added issues in their private lives. Rightly so, they may not explain why they’re refusing to pour out from your typing fingertips and onto the computer screen. Or, if a blog guest, why they aren’t staring at the blog waiting for the second after a viewer comments in order to reply (do you expect your guest to do this? Really?) Again, be cordial. Don’t harp on them. Thank them. Try to make it easy and fun. Promote them! Encourage them!
Lesson #4: There are characters in a novel, and guests on a blog, that like the hungry customer in a restaurant, will stick to “the usual” and then those who will be daring and eager to try the “something different.” Work with your characters. Work with your blog guests. Develop a feel for the unique person your guest is. Remember, that’s why you’ve asked them to appear on your blog to begin with. Or, in the case about creating a fictional world around your special character, it is what fascinated you about the character and the story premise to begin with.
I titled my blog Everyone’s Story. Everyone truly has a story. Everyone is a blessed individual. May we return the blessing by honoring them and giving our fictional characters and blog guests their deserved spotlight.
Elaine Stock--Writing to encourage others through difficult times.
Everyone's Story http://elainestock.blogspot.com/
Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement.