Successful blogger, signed author, speechwriter- what can’t Leo Babauta do?
Babauta parlayed a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English into over 18 years as a journalist and freelance writer. His credits include editorial and reporting stints at a local Ganett paper, speechwriting for the Governor of Guam and editorial direction of the Guam Veteran newspaper.
However, it’s Zen Habits that Babauta is most well known for. Babauta's wildly successful Technorati Top 50 blog earned him over 36,000 subscribers in just a year, not to mention a successful ebook, Zen to Done, and a book deal with a major publisher.
As if that weren't enough, Babauta has reached out to the writing community, establishing a great new blog, Write To Done. Sure to be a hit in the writing community, Write To Done has already established itself as a leader with solid content aimed at writers of all genres.
Take a look at master freelancer (or should I say Zenmaster?) Leo Babauta.
How do you feel journalistic and blogging audiences differ?
Blogging is much more immediate and personal -- your audience can leave comments immediately after you publish, give you feedback like a newspaper or magazine audience never could. You get reactions from other blogs, positive and negative. And it's you on the line, not a newspaper publisher -- your heart is laid bare for the world to pick apart. At the same time, blogging is much more rewarding -- I've never before received the kind of unbridled enthusiasm or incredible encouragement that I have in my last year as a blogger. I love it. I also love being my own editor, choosing my own stories and writing my own headlines and being accountable to no one but myself and my readers. It's very liberating.
Do you recommend blogging to aspiring freelancers?
Unquestionably. It's practically required in these days of writing -- if you're a freelancer without a blog, you're behind the curve and at a disadvantage. A blog shows off your writing like no resume or clip file ever could. It highlights your strengths. And it is aimed at an audience that's worldwide instead of local or national.
What was your motivation for beginning Write to Done, your new blog on writing?
There've been a lot of things I've been wanting to write about in this past year, about writing and blogging and overcoming the fear and pain of writing, and pursuing the joy of writing ... but it doesn't fit my audience at Zen Habits. So I created Write To Done as an outlet for my writing passions, and to share what I've learned with other writers -- professional and aspiring.
Who is your target reader of Write to Done?
Anyone who wants to write, who loves writing. Freelancers, journalists, novelists, non-fiction writers, bloggers. If you love the written word, you're my target audience.
What can readers hope to glean from Write to Done?
Everything about the art and craft of writing. I will talk about how I've built my successful blog and how to write for a blog audience. I'll talk about freelance writing and the business of writing. I'll talk about how I got my book deal and what I'm learning as I write my book. I'll talk about the language, crafting your message, writing for your audience, being a productive writer. I'll interview other bloggers and freelancers and authors, and have great guest writers on the blog too.
Zen Habits is obviously a huge success- do you anticipate- or even hope for- the same success as ZenHabits in Write To Done?
Not at all. Write To Done will likely never be nearly as successful as Zen Habits, because while Zen Habits is aimed at the wide world in general, Write To Done's audience is much narrower. But that's OK with me. I don't need two wildly successful blogs. One is more than enough for me. I'm just hoping to have fun writing for Write To Done, interacting with the writing community in general, and sharing things I've learned so that I can help other writers.
Any parting thoughts for new and aspiring freelancers?
Don't expect overnight success. Like anything else, writing and freelancing takes practice. I've been doing it for almost two decades, and I'm still learning as I go. Work on honing your craft, make every piece a challenge, pursue writing that you love and be passionate about what you do. Love the written word and enjoy one of the most wonderful professions ever!
Thank you kindly, Leo!