Christina: Hi Cody. Welcome to Mandy’s Pages. It is my honor to showcase you today at Friday’s Stars. You are a prominent writer at Mandy’s Pages, having sold many articles through Mandy’s Market. I am told you were on a writing marathon in November last year, where you wrote five articles or more, non-stop one day, on mobiles and broadband. You tend to be quiet and we rarely see you active at the forums and writer’s groups, yet when there’s work to be done, you’re prompt at delivering them. Please take the time to tell us who you are.
Cody: My name is Cody Hodge and I describe myself as a very straightforward writer. I like to get to the facts as soon as possible. I also consider myself someone who likes to keep things simple. If things are too complicated, your reader may not understand what you are trying to say.
Many writers know they were cut out to be writers. Many aspire to be writers, and work their way up the writing ladder, so to speak. How has it been for you? Have you always wanted to be a writer? Can you describe the first time you decided to write? What was the feeling?
It was actually by accident. I was doing an online search and happened to stumble upon Helium. My first feeling was that I might be able to put my degree to good use. It was a relief to know that I had an opportunity to showcase my skills to a broader audience.
So, if a prominent writing career has started by accident, would it be safe to assume that you find your ideas everywhere?
My ideas typically come from conversations that I have with people. I may ask myself or others a question and do some research about that particular topic. Then, I branch off from there and see where the journey takes me. Sometimes I get ideas simply from an article going in a different direction than I originally thought it would.
What do you mostly write about, Cody? Any special preference? Any motivation to make an impact?
Mostly, I write about business and finance. I try to include politics and sports articles whenever possible. Those are subjects I am both interested in and feel are important topics to touch upon because they impact everyone. You won’t be successful in life unless you have good business sense, financial literacy and at least some political savvy.
So, do you face writing blocks, or everything is coming up roses?
All writers do that. I find that it is mostly due to a lack of focus or just trying to put too much pressure on myself to get too much done at once. As soon as I start concentrating on the task at hand, I find that my work tends to get done rather quickly.
After having written so many articles for several online content providers and clients, would you consider yourself an expert in your field?
Yes and no. You certainly won’t find me being quoted in the papers, but I do like to think that what I put in my articles is sound advice and can be followed without hesitation. I would say that I know what I’m talking about at the very least.
Do you face challenges as a writer?
Sure I do. There are some days when I think that I’m the best writer who ever lived. Of course, there are other days when I struggle to find my voice or feel so burned out that I may be simply regurgitating something I wrote in another piece instead of offering fresh analysis.
Ok, tricky question now: if a publisher were to review your work, how do you think they will grade you on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?
I would rate it at least a 7 out of 10. I think that my ability to structure content in a coherent way, ability to produce substantive content and ability to create material that readers can get value from are my strong suits. However, I would say that my grammar and style may not always mesh with what a particular publisher would be looking for.
And now, tricky question number two: how would you rate ‘your’ quality of writing from 1 to 10?
At least a 9. I feel like my strongest asset as a writer is my ability to create meaningful and interesting content that a reader would enjoy reading again and sharing with others.
A rating from 7 to 9 definitely shows that you are a confident and skilled writer and highly knowledgeable in your fields. What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Work hard, work smart, work quick. It takes time for a writer to become anything special. Writers who don’t have a passion for it will fail. Writers who can’t adapt to different mediums of writing will fail. Above all, find your niche and never undervalue your work.
Would you like to share your aspirations for the future? What stands out for you?
I’d say it’s the variety of opportunities available to writers these days. As my writing improves, it gives me a chance to branch out into other fields as well. I hope to be able to improve lives by teaching others how to write and expand their minds through literature.
That was an inspiring interview, Cody. Thank you for your time and for sharing a part of yourself with us. On behalf of Mandy’s Pages, I wish you all success and fortune with your writing. Cheers!
Image Credit: Cody Hodge
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