Oh, the lovely struggles of a writer’s life — bloodthirsty deadlines, toxic clients, lack of inspiration… These things come with the package, whether you like it or not. But did you know that you are the greatest enemy of your own work?
Out of hundreds of excuses — bad days, the dreaded writer’s block or simple laziness — you, as a writer, bear the sole responsibility for whether words appear on the page or not. It took me a while to acknowledge this and improve (a bit). Now I want to make it easier for you.
Take a look at these four signs and see whether you’re making the same mistakes!
I usually save the personal posts for my other blog, but I thought I owed all you LittleZotz Writing readers an explanation…
I haven’t written a post here since last October. And, as you could probably tell from my tone in that post, I was feeling very frustrated.
After eight years of writing about the same topic(s) again and again, I felt stuck in a rut. Like I had nothing new/good to say. So I just stopped updating.
Then the awards started coming in… LittleZotz Writing was named one of The Write Life‘s Top 100 Blogs for Writers and one of Positive Writer‘s Top 50! I was honored. And I felt like I had to continue! But…I still had nothing to say.
My name is Lauren Tharp. I started my freelance writing career as a teenager (over 15 years ago) and never stopped. On August 17th of 2010, I opened up LittleZotz Writing and I made freelance writing + editing my sole source of income.
Through LittleZotz Writing I’ve worked in the writing and marketing departments of a television mini-series, an online radio station, a designer headphone company, and countless small businesses around the world.
My blog for writers has won multiple awards and was named one of the best in the business by The Write Life, Positive Writer, and others.
I’m also the Managing Editor for Be A Freelance Blogger and the Editorial Assistant for Copyblogger — two of the largest blogs for content creators in the world!
As a freelance writer myself, I know the struggles that writers go through. As an Editor, I know what goes on behind-the-scenes in the blogging world and what it takes to get your pitches read — and your posts published.
My 5 Most Popular Posts (So Far!)
I ran the analytics on my site from August 2010 until today, and my all-time most popular posts are:
Those of you who follow me on social media already know more-or-less what I’m about to say…
Last week, I found out that the hosting service I had been using was going out of business. This required me to switch my sites — LittleZotz.com and LaurenTharp.net — over to a new host.
That shouldn’t have been a problem. But it was.
Both of my sites were down for several days. And then, when they came back, they were a mess.
LaurenTharp.net, my personal site, was completely wrecked. Tabula rasa. I have to start over. I’m deeply saddened because I had recorded a lot of important life events on that site — from coming clean about my mental health issues, to sharing how I stopped self-mutilating, to sharing the pure joy of spending time with friends, family, and classrooms full of young writers-to-be. But I’m trying to remain optimistic that the new LaurenTharp.net will be better than ever.
LittleZotz Writing — this site! — was sort of salvaged.
I had been making back-ups, but I guess I didn’t do it right because out of over 200 blog posts, only 70 of them survived. And, of those 70, only five were finished drafts. Eep.
My writing samples are gone, my FAQ page is gone, my Video Answers are gone… Nearly all of my pages: Gone. (If you click on the tabs in the navigation bar, you’ll be led to blank pages).
So here’s what’s going to happen:
LittleZotz Writing is a multiple award-winning blog and I will not let it die.
Over the coming weeks, I’m going to do what I can to make LittleZotz Writing just as good — if not better — than it was before.
This is going to take time. (But hopefully not too much time!).
There are a few things that need to happen:
I need to rummage through my external harddrives and find the missing 130 blog posts.
I need to go through 195 blog posts, put them in the backend, add illustrations, and — in come cases — refinish/rewrite them.
I have to try to figure out when the posts were originally written.
I need to rewrite all of the missing pages (Writing Services, Writing Samples, F.A.Q, etc.)
I need to install all the missing plugins (like Foobar, Social Wiggle, Magic Action Box, etc.)
I need to keep my chin up.
It’s going to be difficult to do all that and work for clients; however, I have faith that I can get it done by the start of 2016. Please, be patient, and understand that my site is going to look strange in the coming weeks as I reorganize.
New blog posts will continue to go up on schedule even as old posts are being salvaged. There will be no halt to the regular update schedule.
And, if you loved the posts I wrote this year, and want to show continued support for LittleZotz Writing, I would appreciate it if you nominated LittleZotz.com as one of your favorite blogs for writers over on The Write Life: http://thewritelife.com/favorite-writing-websites-2016/ (And you don’t have to just vote for me — you can nominate as many blogs as you like with a single comment!).
And starting January 7, 2016, I’m going to be hosting a podcast on LittleZotz Writing in addition to writing blog posts. You can listen to the theme song — by the wonderfully talented SIKORA — here: http://littlezotz.com/2015/12/lzp-episode-0/
These pages are gone and (probably) not coming back:
Video Answers (Very few people watched my videos and they were a pain to film, upload, and transcribe anyway. You can still watch the old videos on my YouTube channel if you really want to.)
The secret pages I set up for schools (I can now refer schools to LittleZotz Teens instead)
“So what’s going on with the blog…?”
That’s the question I’ve been getting most often! And here’s the dealio:
Everything pre-2013 is gone. You can see some of the super old (2010-2012) posts in LittleZotz Writing: Adventures in Freelancing. But the rest aren’t coming back.
Posts that were written from 2013-2015 are slowly being uploaded. I’ve been making it a point to upload a few of the “classic” posts each week. It’s going to take a while though because there are a lot of posts and all of them need to be reformatted and have their illustrations inserted.
Brand new posts are going up on schedule. Every other Wednesday, there’s a brand new LZW blog post. So keep coming back for fresh content as well as old favorites! 🙂
Before the actual show comes out on January 7, 2016, I wanted to share my awesome theme song!
I hired the amazing SIKORA to turn their song “Haters” off their EP Eye Kandi into my official podcast music.
I recommend listening to the full song on their SoundCloud; however, you can hear a lot of the lyrics that drew me to the song in my theme: Namely the idea of not letting anyone define you.
LittleZotz Podcasting is going to be about living a successful freelance life. And one of the main components of being a freelancer is being your own boss and learning how to define yourself and your business.
I also loved the idea of embracing your haters. Which I firmly believe is one of the key elements to being successful online.
Enjoy the song — show your support for SIKORA! — and come back in January for Episode 1!