Seven things I know about writing

Seven things I know about writing
Image courtesy of Praisaeng at

Two of my ChicagoNow buddies, Nina writer of You Know Neen, and Michael writer of Mysteries of Life, recently tagged me in a meme going around the ChicagoNow writers on Facebook. I decided that rather than share my pearls of wisdom with just my Facebook friends, the entire world could benefit from my knowledge about writing.

1. Writing keeps me sane. Seriously. Even when I’m not writing blog posts, I’m writing for myself or writing articles in my head. In fact, I do a ton of writing in the shower. Sadly, I haven’t found waterproof paper so much of it never makes it out of my head. I process what’s happening in my life through the written word. It’s a curse and a blessing.

2. Many of my best and most popular blog posts are ones I’ve written in 20 minutes and done very little editing on. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but it’s true. I’m fairly certain that’s why ChicagoNow holds a monthly Blogapalooza where we’re given a topic and 60 minutes to write. Participation is optional, and Lord knows I’ve opted out on a number of occasions, but when I do participate, it’s always worth it.

3. I don’t write a silly blog, I have a platform to help people. Sure that sounds really egotistical, but the vast majority of the messages I receive are from readers who find inspiration in my words or experiences, especially my recent health related experiences. It’s my job to be a good steward of this platform, not take my readers for granted, and not spew hate or falsehoods into the world.

4. Writers are some of the craziest, most creative, and most fun people I know. This may seem as though it contradicts #1, but it doesn’t. I can’t fully explain this, but it’s true. Just trust me. It’s entirely possible to be crazy and sane simultaneously.

5. I can’t please everyone and that’s okay. This might surprise you, but there are a number of topics about which I’m passionate. For me,  these topics have no grey. When I write about them, I sometimes piss people off and I hear about it. I used to take that stuff personally, but I’ve grown. As long as you’re respectful and refrain from personal attacks or threatening my life, bring it. Let’s have a discussion. You might sway my opinion. I doubt it, but maybe. In any event, multiple opinions are welcome.

6. Want to be a better writer? READ. Reading isn’t just fundamental, it’s fun. I love to read. I may not read as many books as I used to read, but read lots of newspapers online, many blogs, and just about anything I can get my hands on. Reading gives me ideas for my own writing, but I also learn about different writing styles.

My adorable cats, Sammy and Zoey  © Jessica L. Gardner

My adorable cats, Sammy and Zoey © Jessica L. Gardner

7. When all else fails, write about or include pictures of cats. Everyone loves cats. I’ve written about my cats, Betsey and Ross, and now Sammy and Zoey (and here), many times. I may write about them when I am stumped for another topic. Or not. I’ll never tell.

If you’ve read this far, consider yourself tagged. What do YOU know for sure about writing? Share in the comments or in your own post.

Do you enjoy reading Little Merry Sunshine? Of course you do.

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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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