My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Transcription Questions from the FAQ

[The following question has been changed from the standing FAQ. This is in response to a concern I received through Facebook about our accessibility. This is where my writing time went today, so I figured I would post it. ]  

5a- Why are you doing transcriptions of the posts?/Why do you often ask for transcriptions?

We're at over 1.2 million followers and I've been asked if it might be possible to level up our disability access so more people can enjoy. Many macros and memes are pictures of text or text ON pictures. (Things like screen grabs of Tumblr or Twitter, but even just macros.) This means they can't be read and transcribed with text reading software for folks who are visually impaired. 

Personally I am not going to have time to transcribe some of the longer macros or complicated visual images into text and/or I am often posting from my phone or posting from work where transcribing would be very impractical. So if I put "Transcribe?" (or some variation) with an image, it means that if anyone would be willing to do that, I'll cut and paste that text along with my sincere thanks and a shout out and add it to the text.

PLEASE CHECK THE COMMENTS OF SUCH POSTS FOR THE TRANSCRIPTIONS-- Eventually I get back to most of them and copy paste the transcription into the OP, but they may sit for hours before I have a chance to.

You can also send it to me through PM if you'd prefer no attribution and the transcription to be anonymous. I'll probably just use the first transcription I see that does a halfway decent description of the picture and text, so no need to keep going if you see someone else has. I'm not trying to slight anyone if I don't use theirs.

Feel free to use Google transcriber for the pure text macros (I sometimes do), but if I'm asking for a transcription, I probably am not at a proper computer where I would be able to do that myself.

5b- You could have just written the transcription in the time it took you to ask for one.

Chances are I'm on my phone or busy at work This may mean a couple of things:

1- I'm unable to see the image and what I'm typing on a single screen and going back and forth to make sure that it's perfect would take more time/energy than I have.

2- The transcription involves describing an image (not just rewriting the text) and that is what I don't have time to do.

Also don't be such a Judgy McJudgikins. I'm a fucking professional writer. Give me some credit. I know damn well what I can handle with speech to text at a stop light and what is too much.

5c- Why do you tell us what you're doing that you can't transcribe. Just ask for a transcription.

At first I did ask for a transcription. Then people got mad about that because (I guess because they thought I was being lazy?) and just asking was too brusque. Then I wrote an extensive explanation, and people either said I could have transcribed it in the time I took to write the explanation (see above) or they just thought I was being too descriptive. So then I offered these weird fake explanations about fighting terrorists or parasailing to Mars or something, and people complained about THAT even though it amused me. Most of the time these complaints were mostly polite, but their frequency and the rare aggression and threats to flounce (which is a one-strike-you're out no-no here and led to tons of drama) made me just want to abandon transcriptions altogether. So today I ask and offer a quick line or two for why I can't, and even though definitely not everyone is happy, I think I've found this tiny fjord of frequency and caliber of request that makes the fewest people complain. Basically someone always complained, this seems to be the thing that makes them do so the least, so I'm sticking to it.

5d- Why didn't you transcribe that post or ask for a transcription?/Why don't you transcribe all posts?

There are a few reasons.

1- If I'm sharing something from another page, I won't transcribe their meme. Folks can take it up with THAT page's admin if they want to. I'm usually just quickly sharing something I got a tickle out of. It also has to do with which text proliferates in the event of a "share." If that meme gets shared by lots of people, it will be the original post, not my transcription, that gets shared with it. It's not a pride thing, there's just a lot of work that is involved and it would have limited returns. Often with such posts I will ask if anyone wants to do it in the comments.

2- There are occasionally subject dense pictures (like a mural comic) that can't reasonably be transcribed. If we had UBI and I could find someone to transcribe images, I'd be happy to, but I am pinioned by a capitalist society in which I neither have time to myself or the resources to hire someone to do so. I am also reticent to ask for members of the community to spend what would probably be hours transcribing a single post. This is not a "fuck you" to the visually impaired community, it is simply a recognition that visual art sometimes is more involved than my ability to transcribe. My saying anything even remotely like this on the post itself creates no end of shitty replies in the comments, so I will just post the image to avoid the drama. Of course if anyone wants to try to transcribe the dozens of discrete images, they are welcome/encouraged to—maybe it'll be thought of as good practice.

6- Is the free labor of people doing your transcriptions exploitative?

1) Facebook pages don't actually make money. And the FB throttling algorithm was designed by greedy shitgibbons who literally fiddled with the knobs until they found the sweet spot between "That's a lovely outreach you have there. Be shame if someone.......THROTTLED IT." and "Fuck it. I'll just use Tumblr instead!" While I technically might make some Patron money via people from this page, most of them are donating money because they like my blog and my writing, not because I maintain a page that posts memes. (In fact, I often literally say when I post my Patreon something like: "If you're just here for the memes, don't worry about this, but if you like the blog I link to.....") While there is a symbiotic relationship and this page helps me promote my work, there isn't really a mechanic by which this page ITSELF makes me any money.

2) The particulars of transcribed posts are done for the accessibility benefits of folks who use assistive technology. For years there were no such transcriptions. I have been asked to do this, and I WANT to do so, but doing it all myself would be a tremendous addition of labor to what is already several hours a week on top of one job and a hundred side hustles I already have. I tried to come up with a compromise to saying "No. I'm sorry. I just can't do that."

3) I'm more than capable of transcribing posts, and often do so. However when I am flinging up a post quickly on my way to work or posting from my phone, I can't describe some involved four panel comic or essentially type out 250 words. I could just leave it without a transcription–possibly for hours–until I can get to it, but that seems to defeat the purpose, and the alternative is blowing some off.....and not in the fun way.

4) I'm not promising people exposure or ground floor opportunities or some slick ass bullshit to folks who help out. (I'm certainly not approaching professional transcribers and guilting them to think about the children.) If folks help, I assume it is because they want our page to be accessible, not because they think it will benefit them in some way. Everyone is free to help or not help. Sometimes no one steps up and the post just goes un-transcribed until I can get to it. It's not like anyone is being leaned on.

5) If I were making more money, I probably WOULD think about employees rather than volunteers. I pay my guest bloggers, editors, and others who help me unless they insist that their work is a donation, even if it's just a few dollars. However, I am down by half my income since cancer and THEN it was barely paying the bills. Perhaps the fact that I need another other jobs besides writing and innumerable side gigs will be indicative that I'm maybe not making as much off this page as people seem to think.

The community seems pretty supportive, but please let me know if you'd like me to revisit the question.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Facebook FAQ: Can I Send You a Meme to Repost?/I Sent You a Meme, but You Didn't Repost It!

Unretiring the threesome jokes?
The following will be added to the Facebook FAQ. 

Can I send you a meme to repost? When will you post my meme? Why didn't you post my meme?

In general, I love getting memes from y'all. I try to post several a day, and that means going hunting constantly. A meme from one of you that I can post usually represents an hour that I can just post something on the go from my phone and not be "on" all the time. Then I can go back to playing Horizon Zero Dawn without even pausing. But sometimes folks send me a meme and then ask me to post it right away or even get a little cranky if I don't. ("Hey man. I sent that meme to you out of the goodness of my heart. Are you going to post it, or what?")

There are a few reasons why maybe I didn't post your meme….

1- Check to see if I really didn't post it.  

Facebook has a very complicated algorithm that throttles the content that it shows you. It is threading the needle between so low that pages, desperate to be seen, will pay advertising money to get more engagement and JUUUUUUUST high enough that we don't give up on FB forever and take our content over to Tumblr. (And I'm sure that a small army of behavioral scientists are working every day and snorting lines of spice to find just EXACTLY that sweet spot for maximum profitability.) Even if you are engaging with every Writing About Writing post, you might only see half the memes I post if you don't click through the page, so please check. It's entirely possible that I actually DID post the meme, but Facebook just didn't put it on your feed.

2- You sent me something that I posted somewhat recently.

The world of writing (and writing-adjacent) memes is prolific, but not endless. I see a lot of repeats. Especially a year later when a viral post starts coming up in people's memories. Now, I'm definitely not above a repost—especially if it's been a while—but it might just be that you sent me something I posted only a few weeks ago.

I don't keep track of a specific expiration date or shelf life. If I see a meme I've seen before, I just kind of try to think if it's been recently or a while since I posted it. Very scientific. Much rigor. Wow.

3- I might like the meme, but it's possible it's not for this page.

I'm picky about my memes. 

I harvest only the finest artisanal memes from the Memeagne region of France, and perish the thought of subpar memes darkening my pixel stream.

I don't do the entire genre of memes that makes fun of people for not knowing "proper" English (which is just code for a classist, often racist, and slightly anachronistic elitism about a form of English that is taught in high schools without regard for nuance like linguistics or dialects). I know a lot of writing meme pages get off on that shit, like it actually makes them a better person to know when to use "less" vs. "fewer," but that isn't my jam. Funny signs because of a misspelled word? Sure. Making fun of PEOPLE? Pass. 

If there's a deliberate slur, I probably take a pass. People who are marginalized in our society can reclaim certain words in tweets or memes, and I think that's rad, but they're not my words to use and even hitting "share" can be fraught with some complication. 

3.5-There might be casual -isms or -phobias. 

Look, I can't make a MILLION people agree with my linguistic understanding that our language both reflects and normalizes deep seated prejudices and institutional oppression, but words like "crazy" or "stupid" or other casually harmful words will generally steer me away from even a pretty dang funny meme.  I'm not perfect, and some stuff gets past me—especially when I maybe don't think about how a particular kind of sarcasm is going to land—but I'm definitely not trying to create that kind of environment. Sometimes an otherwise awesome post has an ableist slur in it, and I take a pass.

I've tried putting these things up with content notifications so that folks will consider that maybe that wasn't the best choice of words, but then the comments just turn into a cesspool of "I don't see anything wrong with it! You're too sensitive!" And you know if legions of white dudes can't see what the problem is, there certainly couldn't possibly be one….because if anyone knows what marginalization is, it's those who never have to deal with it!

So…anyway, now I don't bother.

4- Someone I like just posted it.

There are a few meme pages out there doing essentially the same thing I am with basically the same philosophy about social justice and social harm, and I don't want to compete with them. These are great people and I hope we all succeed. If a page like Tara Wine Queen Writes or Tales of a Kitchen Witch have just posted something, I want them to get the clicks and engagement for at LEAST a few days before I come along with my bigger platform and steal their thunder.

5- Someone I DON'T like is responsible for it.

Sometimes shitty people say funny or poignant things. I'm not here to amplify them or their platforms.

Sometimes I actually know the source does not like to be scraped because they have announced as much publically. Sometimes my platform size means something I post will get back to the source, and they slide into my DMs. Some people thank me. Some ask me for credit (which I am thrilled to be able to give), some ask me only to share their stuff—not repost it (which again, I'm happy to do), and some ask me to die in a fire and never post their stuff again. 

I tend to remember those people. 

6- It's in the queue.

The search for memes is a feast and famine game. Some days I'm scouring the internet in real time for the next post. Some days I seriously have days and days worth of memes saved up on my phone or laptop and I've got them in sort of a mental queue. There's an art to shitposting. You want the sweet and then the salty. If I drop ten of the same flavor of meme, it'll get old pretty fast. So it could be that I have every intention of getting to your meme in the next few days. So, with all the love in the world….keep your pants on. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

May Newsletter. Big News. Patrons. And more.

So I have big news.  

Big enough news that I'm going to shake up the usual Patreon rewards. THIS will be my April newsletter, which usually only goes out to my Patrons. However, this month I'm going to be publishing it on the blog to share the big news. All my other rewards will "red shift." The folks who usually get just the newsletters will be seeing some selfies. The folks who are up for early access will get to see The Inside Scoop (a sort of deeper and more personal newsletter).

April waved as it drove by. I'm not even exactly sure what the hell happened. One minute I was sitting down hoping that I didn't get any unkind pranks and the next, people were wishing me a happy Beltane. It was an entire month of "blink and you'll miss it."

If you've been following my story, you know that one of my partners, Rhapsody, lost their boss and friend in a violent robbery in early February. She stepped up to run the bakery with the owner gone. That's it's ENTIRE own harrowing story of overwork, stress, and difficulty, but what it meant was that I stepped up in a lot of ways too—with everything from extra childcare to grief support. Three months passed with a strange effect of being both ten years and about a week. 

And that was just the latest absolute shocking tragedy in a string of huge setbacks and life events.

It's been months now—years really—of just one thing after another. A big move complete with massive emotional adjustments on the part of four people—two of them kids, a miscarriage, cancer, surgery and recovery (including PTSD), a huge health scare from my mother, a very impactful breakup and then this. And if I'm going to be perfectly honest, there have been some good moments in there that ALSO distracted me from my writing. I let myself get caught up in some new relationship energy when I met Rhapsody, and I kind of avoided work for a couple of months. And every time I've felt a LITTLE better these past couple of years, I've first tried to reconnect with my personal relationships instead of diving fully into the grind. There have been ups and downs, but it wouldn't be fair to say that my productivity has always been low because of the bad stuff.

Still, almost every time I'm feeling ready to get back into the saddle, another round of something awful hits—and it's usually something next level. It's not like a bad day on Facebook kind of stuff. Sometimes I feel ready to write and the schedule goes bananas. Sometimes the schedule is forgiving, but I'm struggling with anxiety and barely able to keep my mind on one thing long enough to write a post a week. It's been unrelenting.

Fucking Nandor!

But there is news. Great news. (No, I don't want to jinx it. I'll just call it BIG news, and we will look nervously at the sky and refuse to get excited.) A great shift is coming to my writing time. I will have SO much more of it. 

Since early February, I've stepped up to help. I held space, cancelled plans when shit fell apart (some of which were writing plans), took on more with the kids, and generally threw most of my time into trying to get through the moment. I don't want that to sound like a victim narrative. I chose to be there for my partner. I chose to step back from my writing career for a little longer, even though I had lost so much time from the cancer and all the trials and tribulations before.

But bakery was hurting her—killing her really, in a non-hyperbolic sense. Our culture has a socially acceptable form of self harm in work and productivity. We let our mental health suffer for "the hustle." And the situation was untenable and unsustanable. So Rhapsody made a decision to step away at least for a while, take some well needed time "off," and then decide if she came back what her role would be. (That's "off" as in full time parent of two kids and a custody schedule that really only gives her one full day off every two weeks.) She is going to be home for at least a couple of months, able to handle so much more of the kid time and not be on the knife's edge of debilitating anxiety, dealing with daily panic attacks, and needing serious drugs just to function.

The shift should seem almost instantaneous given how much time I suddenly have to write. And there are other plans and schemes afoot (although to get in on those early, you really WILL need to become a patron), but this feels like the best (nope, not gonna jinx it) biggest news that's come to my writing schedule in two years.

And for those of you who didn't know what my writing output was like before two years ago…

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Business-Ish Stuff (Updated for 2023)

I've been updating this for the past week or so and posting parts of it piecemeal, but here is the whole thing. Support Writing about Writing (even if you don't have money)? Our mission statement (yes, we have one)? Disclaimers? Update schedule? The comment policy? It's all here.

First and foremost: All written content on posts on this blog are copyrighted. If you would like to use any of my material, please quote a paragraph or two and link back to the URL, or contact me if you want to use a more extensive quote or cross post something (I'll probably say yes if it's not a brand new post). I consider any more than this a breach of copyright law. 

Pay the Writer- Do you want to get some money to the writer? My income is entirely donation based, so it's the only way I keep writing.

Mission Statement- Why is Writing About Writing even here?  What am I hoping to accomplish. And why am I so generous about giving all this free advice?

Disclaimery Stuff-  Am I using an image that belongs to you?  Did you find a grammar mistake?  Do you hate my computer-illiterate layout and formatting errors?

Update Schedule- How often can you expect an update? What gets posted on which days? Why was there no Wednesday post and just Chris doing Jazz fingers?

Comment Policy- Please check ahead of time what the policy is on comments--both why I may simply delete them and why I may put feature them in a future article. And why mean abusive anonymous comments get mocked more than mean signed ones.

Advertise on WAW- Technically speaking, I don't do advertisement, and it's going to take a pretty sweet deal to get me to try. I turned ads off as soon as my crowdfunding income could cover the bills (sort of––I still have a nanny side gig too). The sorts of ads Blogger and Google would stick on my page made me feel a little dirty. To date, I've only gotten spam offers, but if you actually have a product that I actually might be willing to endorse and a generous enough offer to make it worth my while, I will "sell out" a little. 

Monday, March 27, 2023

Guest Appearances (Updated for 2023)

There are three links in this post. One is if you want to blog for me. The other is if you want me to blog (or write) for you. Plus one for if you want me to do podcasts/panels/classes/lectures/interviews/etc… 

Guest Bloggers Wanted

I'm always looking for someone to give me a day off from this accursed job. (Even though the time "off" usually doesn't start until/unless someone has been blogging for me for a while.) Be sure to read the post about guest blogging thoroughly. I don't make enough to pay my guest bloggers more than a few dollars before I see how their article is going to do, but if it does well, I won't keep the fruits of your labor either.

I Would Love to Guest Blog for You

The same mostly goes for blogging for you, although I have a slightly different set of requirements for that since I'm the one doing the writing.

Other stuff (Podcasts/Panels/Classes/Lectures/Interviews)

I'd probably love to do your thing, but check in on the requirements. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Mission Statement (Updated for 2023)

This was my original mission statement:   

The Mission of this Blog is to provide a place that will facilitate my ability to:

1-Be able to say, “I was just writing about that in my blog” in that really pretentious way that only bloggers can do. Preferably while holding a snifter of brandy and looking at someone through a monocle.

2-Satisfy my writerly exhibitionist need for feedback without the constant irritation of things like letters of rejection.

3-Be able to say, “I’m published” at cocktail parties as long as they don’t press too hard on how exactly I’m using the word “published.”

4-Be passive aggressive towards people who have slighted me in an internationally accessible medium. Also preferably while holding a brandy.

5- Have fans hanging off of me no matter where I go. Bloggers are the new rockstars.  That's what the dude at the Moleskine Journal Store assured me.

But I found this to be just a little bit too honest for most, so I’ll go with my second round of reasons. So here is the new and improved mission statement.

The mission of this Blog is to provide a place where I can (each is its own link):

1-Control What People See When They Search for You on Google

2-Share My Experiences in Real Time

3- Impart what little wisdom I have gathered over the years

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Writing About Writing Disclaimers (Updated for 2023)

A few disclaimers 

1- Variations: they may occur in your mileage.

I'll try to hit the nuance when there is some. (Like the tension between the ableism of prescribing writing daily but the unlikelihood that one could be a working writer without doing exactly that.) But sometimes I'm answering the question that is right in front of me and not accounting for every person's very special (if absolutely legitimate) circumstances. Sometimes people––who maybe had a very legitimate and traumatic high school experience in a cookie cutter public education system in need of systematic and systemic indictment, and maybe even had a shitty teacher or eight––are not the people with the expertise to know HOW to teach or why literature pedagogy is what it is. And for fuck's sake almost everyone ever who insists that writing every day doesn't help have never actually tried it.

I'm THRILLED that there are a few MFA programs out there who've incorporated speculative fiction or that someone published their NaNo novel, and don't be afraid to chime in. But please remember that I've been doing this for DECADES, it is my DAY JOB, half my friends are working writers, and the presence of a few outlier cases does not undermine the broader points. 

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I usually know what I'm talking about.

2- I'm not very careful about images. 

It's hard to watch every other blog in the universe be cavalier about movie screenshots and copyrighted images (sometimes even going viral with movie gifs) and then use a picture of an old flip flop for your great Avengers quote because that's what Googled turned up as creative commons.

I've got a few places I check first, like the Creative Common Licence Flikr page or the "free to use (even commercially)" image search on Google. Some images seem to be allowed to be proliferated if properly cited on a non-profit blog. But I'm not as careful as I would be if I were hosting ads and making millions. Unless they are a picture OF me (or something around me), they are absolutely not mine, and I will never ever claim that they are. I put copyright info when I post commercial images and/or any time I can tell where they're from. I try my best, but the internet is a tangled thicket and not every image is watermarked (WHICH I WILL NEVER USE) and things are stolen and restolen so many times that it is sometimes impossible to know where they're from.

So if I'm using an image that is yours (or your client's), please just tell me how you'd like me to handle it. (I'll take it down. Give you credit. Make it a link back to your page. Apologize for my impudence. Write a post about how awesome you are for not making a federal case of it. Whatever*.)

Just don't expect me to fall for the licencing scam. This is not my first rodeo. I've got too many blogger friends at this point; I know that it's JUST a scam wearing a suit. (Amazing what you can find out with a quick search of the BBB.) You go ahead and take me to court and have fun trying to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a judge how much of my poverty-wage crowdfunded income from writing is due to your ONE image on the ONE post rather than my writing (or conversely that where I got your image from was clearly labeled as requiring a licence fee). I'm absolutely sure that will be worth it for you. Oh and by the way I'll be invoicing every hour I spend dealing with you at my top tier freelance rate for a counter-suit. Won't this be fun!

I really do try to avoid any image with a big flaming "Don't use my shit without permission" sign on the web page or a clear copyright watermark, or from companies I know don't give a crap if you give them proper credit, but sometimes I end up with such image through an intermediary with less regard. If I've used a image that I didn't know was stolen, I will do what it takes to make amends. And I will never pass off work that isn't mine as my own.

3-There will (probably) never be ads, but I might remind you of the tip jar and my Patreon once or twice a month-ish.

Writing About Writing is and will always be free. And these days we don't even have any ads. (Although technically I might put one up for a product I actually endorse.) But I'm a pretentious artisté and I dream of writing paying for a small space to call my own. Twice every month-ish (once as a blog post and once as a post directly to social media), I'll write a post reminding people that if they want to support us, or if they want to get more and better content, we need to cover the bills without a 20-30 hour-a-week side gig. Through the generosity of readers, I've been able to quit teaching, stop driving all over the Bay Area to pet sit, and have some boundaries about how much I will nanny small children, but I'm still beholden to more hours of side giggery that could be spent making with the clackity clack. And beyond that, I would love to make improvements like professional design and admin help. As little as a single dollar a month (just $12 a year) through Patreon helps me to write more and gets you in on some private conversations about future projects.

4-In this blog, I mostly talk about creative writing, specifically fiction.

While the concerns of other genres of creative writing dovetail with fiction somewhat, and all writing in general has a few things in common (like words and periods and stuff), they are also quite different in form, content, style, and execution. Fiction is not journalism, and neither of those is technical writing. So if you are making a pretty goddamned decent living gritting your teeth through the boredom while writing instruction manuals for digital cameras and food processors, and wonder what the hell I'm on about when I talk about the high passion and low pay of a writing career, it's not because I think you're not a "real" writer. (You absolutely are!)  It's just because "Blogging about Fiction Writing" isn't as catchy of a title.

5-I am not very good at computer stuff.

Actually, that's like saying I kind of like pizza a little. I may have links that go nowhere or images that don't load. I can usually fix that stuff if you bring it to my attention. There are sometimes some weird formatting errors where it looks like some of the text is the wrong font or font size, and I can't seem to fix it, no matter what I do. I suppose there are people who know enough HTML that it would be no trouble for them, but I am not one of those people.

Some day when I'm making enough that I'm not side gigging to afford brand name peanut butter, I'm going to hire someone to clean things up. 

6-There might be some satire in here somewhere.  Maybe.

You should probably take a satire class if you don't know how to recognize it when you see it. The Onion offers some online correspondence courses that are top notch. I highly recommend them.

7- I try to keep to my update schedule but I also write in real time.

When I'm doing super awesome, I have a couple of articles in the hopper for days where I can't really get in front of the computer for hours. (Just so we're clear, of the crystalline variety, the last time that happened was 2013.) The pandemic has me further behind than normal, and a series of unfortunate events has befallen me in the last 18 months or so, so I'm hanging on by a thread most weeks. Some days there is an emergency  or I get sick or I'm just getting my ass kicked by my childcare hours. It's just me here and I still need a second job to pay all the bills. I'm doing the best I can. 

8- The Unforgiving Reality of "Making It" as a Writer

I write to a broad audience. Certain advice here at Writing About Writing (such as writing every day) is a panacea to all of the most common difficulties for which people often request advice. While questions about how to monetize a blog or publish a short story might have specific answers, general questions like how to "make it" or how to "improve" [which I get multiple times a day] all have the same basic answer. In fact, this question has the same basic answer in any of the arts (or any entertainment): practice. Musicians, sculptors, painters, actors, and writers––they all practice…often for years before they go public. And while gains can be made in any discipline with periodic or even sporadic practice, professional artists almost unswerving try to practice daily (or very nearly so). 

While I make every effort to acknowledge the ableism of prescribing daily writing without caveat, the grind of capitalism to make finding time to work on one's art difficult or impossible, or the absurdity of arbitrating the title of "real writer" on anyone, I cannot alter the fundamental realities of how demanding the journey will be to get better at art. Certainly not if the goal is to quit one's day job and survive capitalism by doing art, and absolutely not if one's goal is to be well beloved by, in the case of writing, the reading community. No one in any career––athlete, surgeon, chef, actor, or writer––will achieve the status of renowned in their field without a lot of long hours and probably more than a few weekends. Many household name writers write every day (or six days a week). [Just as many musicians practice every day and many painters sketch constantly.] Call it harsh advice or a hard pill to swallow or just a reality check. I can acknowledge that the obstacles, but I can't change the world in which those are the people who have what many would-be writers want. 

Please don't assume that I think everyone should or even CAN give this much dedication to their writing. I just don't know of any shortcuts to the things so often cited as goals. (Comfortable careers as working writers or legions of fans.) Also, most writers absolutely need to hear (over and over and over again) that their main problem is that they're NOT applying their asses to a chair and they further need the splash of cold water that they're not going to achieve those career-caliber dreams if they're putting in weekend warrior effort.

9- Comments are moderated. 

This is not the wild west. You are not entitled to say anything you want. Check my comment policy for more info. Even though that's technically for Facebook, it should give you an idea of how to comport yourself here.