What makes Verblio (formerly BlogMutt) so awesome? Our writers, like Ruth Buchanan, of course!
But because they’re ghostwriters, they don’t always get much recognition. For that reason, we’ll be spotlighting a standout writer at Verblio each month who deserves a big kudos. The first Verblio Freelance Writer Spotlight is on the inimitable Ruth Buchanan.
We’re impressed by the way Ruth writes about many different topics across a variety of industries. Whether it’s dentistry, real estate, or snow removal, each post that Ruth writes is well researched, professional, and polished.
Not only does she write a lot of great content for Verblio customers, it turns out that she has many other awesome projects she devotes her time to, including managing a Goodreads page, where she records and reviews about 200 books per year. Yes, you read that right: 200 books per year!
How does she do it all? We don’t know, but we hope Ruth will consider writing a post on productivity for the Verblio blog, as it sounds like we could all learn a thing or two from her.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ruth, read on for our interview with her:
1. How did you get started as a writer?
During my time as a high school English teacher, one of my responsibilities was to direct the annual spring play. When I couldn’t find the type of play I wanted, I wrote one myself. The result became my first published play. I’ve written, produced, and published other scripts since then, but that first one still holds a special place in my heart. When I eventually transitioned out of full-time education, I took up freelance writing on the side. And here we are.
2. Do you have any tips for beginning freelance writers?
Rather than bowing under the weight of criticism and rejection, learn to see critiques as opportunities for growth.
3. What’s your favorite subject to write about?
I’m not tethered to any particular topic, but times when I can leverage a historical angle, I’m all over it.
4. What is your strategy for writing about subjects you are not an expert in?
If I can’t understand the subject matter well enough to explain it clearly, I research the lives of the key players and work up a human-interest angle. Thus, I’m more likely to produce an article titled “The Secret Life of Tadashi Nakajima” than “Recent Developments in Japanese Astrophysics.”
5. What’s the most challenging aspect of writing well, and how do you overcome it?
For me, the most challenging hurdle has been learning to overcome my personal writing tics. We all have them: lazy structures and phrases that we overuse and abuse. I’ve been fortunate to have some reliable readers, clients, and editors who have taken the time to bring these to my attention and suggest helpful strategies for overcoming them.
6. Do you write for fun? If so, what do you write?
Every Monday, I post to my personal blog. I’d like to refer to the site’s theme as “intellectual pot luck,” but the word intellectual would be misleading. These posts run the gamut from devotional meditation to nonsense poetry, with the occasional spoof thrown in for good measure.
7. What is your favorite quote or piece of advice about writing?
I’ve benefited greatly from Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland. Never ones to pull their punches, they remind writers, “Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one much cares whether you do, and for which there may be neither audience nor reward.” Talk about managing expectations!
8. What is your favorite book?
I have too many favorites! A few authors I’m into right now: Nathaniel Philbrick, Hampton Sides, Dorothy L. Sayers, Tim Keller, Nabeel Qureshi, Connie Willis, and Flannery O’Connor.
9. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m currently training for a half marathon. (The fact that it’s on Halloween only makes it that much scarier.)
10. What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you have a schedule and set goals?
I definitely keep set writing hours. Learning to consider this schedule inviolable has done much to foster productivity. In the past three years, I’ve published two scripts, drafted three novels and one nonfiction book, published forty essays on my own personal blog, and completed nearly a thousand freelance projects—all while holding down a full-time job. My next release will be the first in a trilogy of comic suspense novels slated for publication with Pelican Book Group. Keep your eyes peeled for Collapsible: A Novel of Broken Bones, Friendship, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder.
Learn More About Ruth Buchanan
Follow Ruth on Instagram @Ruthette, and on Twitter @Ruthette, or just subscribe to her incredibly engaging blog, Catch the Sunshine for helpful posts like “10 Ways to Make Mornings Easier“. I needed that one this morning.
Thank you, Ruth Buchanan, for being such a great writer and for being part of our team, Ruth!