This week, we have Brant David. Although he’s a new addition to the Content BLVD team, Brant isn’t new to writing at all. Like many of our best writers, Brant’s explored the full gamut of writing formats and he can’t stop. Writing is what Brant does.
We appreciate his commitment to delivering interesting content with a sense of humor, as well as his ability to draw writing inspiration from just about anything. I know I gain valuable perspective every week by asking these questions. I hope you enjoy them too.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I would say that I’ve been writing since I was a little boy in the mid-1970s. I submitted my first poem to my high school literature and arts magazine at age 15 or 16. It rhymed, and it had a definite meter to it. (Not much for free-verse, not even back then.) I decided the Summer before I went off to college, at age 18, that I wanted to be a writer. I had read Richard Bach’s ‘Illusions’.
My earlier teenage writing was inspired by Neil Peart. As to what inspired my boyhood writing, I guess it was just natural creative impulses.
When it comes to doing this full time, you can trace that back to June of 2005. But I had gotten involved in b-to-b creative marketing back in late 2000. I sometimes took part in creating storyboards and videos in those days.
What in your background/daily life/interests helps to inform your writing and make you good at what you do?
My short answer: “Everything.”
Elaboration: I have integrated or woven writing discipline into my life so thoroughly that I regard even those experiences or tasks which are the most counterproductive in immediate time to be able to inform writing research and ideas later on, at some point. George Bernard Shaw wrote: “Given sufficient time, everything happens to everyone.” I think about that a lot.
Tell us about what you read for fun and enjoyment.
I suppose you mean, what I read when I am “relaxing”. Ha! Do I do that?
That would have to be Sci-Fi/Fantasy by anybody who writes something worth reading, or nearly anything by Neil Peart, Richard Bach, John Hershey, or Barry Lopez. I love reading great poetry by anyone, too.
But really, most of what that I read that’s philosophical or read for research is “fun” and engenders “enjoyment”, too. I love libertarian economics literature, technology stuff, and so on.
What do you consider your writing specialty (blog topics, other media, other types of content– anything you write)?
Irony here — I would consider that specialty to be poetry. I regard myself as being excellent at serious minded long-form journalism, too.
But, really, from blogging to word-smithing articles to fiction short stories to authoring novels, I consider myself as a writer who’s up for all of it!
What do you do to get your creative juices flowing?
In no particular order–
*Wake up with, or just before, the dawn.
*Eat breakfast. (High protein.)
*Just start writing, even if I feel “empty-headed”. (Drag down the Muse instead of waiting for her.)
*Go for a run.
*Go for a hike in mountainous country.
*Read. (Notebook at the ready.)
*Listen to pod casts/e-books.
*Listen to/practice music.
*Work the ab-wheel. (Look it up.)
*Play mentally stimulating games (chess, Entanglement, Civ V, etc).
*Drink some caffeine.
*Drink some alcohol.
*Light and stoke a fire in the fireplace.
*Go to bed early (between 9 and 10 PM) except on very special occasions.
*Keep a dream journal. (Terrible at it. But I’m practicing to improve.)
*Play with my Ball of Whacks. (Look it up.)
What do you think makes a really good article?
Craftsmanship. Intimate feel for knowledge of the topic, even if much of it is researched instead of experienced. (Because awesome writers can research and then write about anything!) Letting your own style shine through the words (but never at the cost of craftsmanship). Writing “who you are” instead of “what you know”.
Since you asked for a specific example, here’s one.
What do you like about writing for Content BLVD?
I experienced the misfortune of working for “content mills” as a writer, for five years. I worked at one in particular for four years, giving it my loyalty because I came to have faith that the proprietor, with whom I developed a friendship, was going to transform it into something just like what I found Content BLVD to be.
Well, he didn’t.
But when I stumbled upon Content Blvd, I knew that I had walked into the fulfillment of my own personal ghost writer vision for “that other place” where, before, I barely made enough to survive even though I worked perhaps even harder at producing superior content for clients as I now do here.
At Content BLVD, we ghost writers find ownership which sincerely works to get us writers paid as much as is possible. We find clients who comprehend that in order to make money you have to spend some money. We find fascinating topics to research and write about. We find personable management ready to spend a little time on a weekend to get a foolish new writer paid in full, and do that with friendly smiles on their faces.