- Books, Literature, and Writing
Show People Who You Are As A Writer
The Human Connection
I do not follow the latest technological advances; thus, I am fairly ignorant when it comes to what a computer can and cannot do in the year 2014. I suspect, although I have no proof, that computers can now “write” an essay without human intervention other than the coding necessary to make it happen. I also suspect that computers can write articles about transmissions, sewing, painting, and the environment.
If that is true, then what is the value of a writer? What differentiates a writer from a computer code?
The answer, of course, is the human connection. As writers, we are able to move beyond the technical and add our own unique voice to the craft of writing, and that is a point we should never forget. In fact, if we have a brain in our heads, we really must cultivate that fact in order to progress in our endeavors.
For those of you out there who have visions of one day becoming a published author, or of seeing your blog site one day visited by hundreds of thousands, it is vitally important that you allow readers to know who you are as a writer. You need to take your uniqueness and allow others to see it. In a world with millions of writers, the one thing that makes you different is, in fact, you. Use that to your advantage.
I follow a great many writers on sites like HubPages and Bubblews, and I also follow quite a few blogs. However, from the hundreds of writers who I do follow, there is only a handful that I know as real people. The rest are simply names and words on a page. What has that handful done that makes them stand out in my mind?
Do Not Hide Who You Are
Writers are people. Besides being writers they are parents, sons, daughters, children, homemakers, engineers, teachers and a myriad of other things. They all have triggers that make them happy, make them sad, and stir their loins with passion. They all have five senses, and those senses come alive when introduced to certain stimuli.
One of my greatest disappointments as a reader is that Harper Lee, the brilliant author of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” was so reclusive. After writing one of the greatest novels in history, she followed it up with…..practically nothing. No follow-up book happened; rarely did she give an interview; in other words, I knew that Harper Lee was the author but I had no idea who Harper Lee was, and I felt cheated by that fact. Here was a woman who obviously had passion, and who obviously felt very strongly about injustice….but beyond that, I was left with practically nothing. I think that is a shame.
Yes there are millions of writers out there in the cyberworld, but there is only one you. Allow your readers to meet you as a real human being. Write a dynamic profile. Allow your likes and dislikes to shine through your writing. I promise you that there are literally millions of people who have similar likes and dislikes, and those connections are what will appeal to others.
Allow Your Passion to Shine
What is your passion? Once you answer that question then assume that there are many readers out there who share that passion.
Write a mission statement that clearly defines your passion as a writer AND as a human being. It will help you to focus on what is important to you as a writer. Once you have done that, then let that mission statement be your guiding light in your writings.
I shudder at the thought of a computer writing a short story. I would rather have my fingernails plucked out with pliers than read something that has no passion.
Learn to communicate with your audience
Make Yourself Accessible
Give your readers as many opportunities as possible to meet you as a real person. Do book signings. Teach writing classes. Do online vlogs and videos. Include your website address and your email address whenever possible, and make it known that you are interested in interacting with your readers.
This writer has gone so far as to include his cell phone number and invited his readers to call him. Am I nuts? Maybe, but I’m also a writer who truly wants to make a human connection with my readers. I write because I have a passion for writing; I reach out because I have a passion for human beings.
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If you are passionate then show it. Get on Google, get on Facebook, get on Twitter, visit forums, and advance your passion. Start your own blog about your passion.
I have one friend who is passionate about healthy eating. I have another who is passionate about the environment. Most of their writings reflect that passion. Most of their Facebook postings reflect that passion as well.
Focus on your passion and advertise it. Focus on your passion and get people talking about it. Eventually it will be like the old word association exercises. Someone will say “environment” and the first person they think of will be that writer who always advances the environmental cause.
Share Your Journey
I have said this before but it is worth repeating: I am willing to bet that if I decided to take a cross-country road trip, I could find a fellow writer who knows me in practically any city I visited, and that fellow writer would be excited to have lunch with me. Why?
It has nothing to do with my writing ability; it has everything to do with the fact that I have allowed my readers to see me as a real human being, someone they can relate to….and because they can relate to me they would be interested in meeting me in person.
I have made no secret of my past. I have not hidden my weaknesses or my mistakes or my other human qualities. I deliberately opened myself up for public scrutiny because I want my readers to be able to see me as a living, breathing person who is every bit as “human” as they are.
Share your journey with your readers. A blog is a wonderful vehicle for this purpose. Little sidebars on your articles are helpful tools for doing this. Again, this is all about making that human connection that I believe is so very important.
Do you feel your readers "know you" as a real person because of your writings?
One Final Word
Yes, I am passionate about writing, but I am even more passionate about my fellow human beings. I think it is so very important that we reach out to others. As writers we have been given a gift. We can not only put nouns and verbs together to make an intelligent sentence, but we can also add adjectives and adverbs to make our message dazzling and meaningful.
As a society we are losing the ability to communicate person-to-person. We see text messages and instant messaging by the millions hourly, but how many phone conversations are happening at the same time? It is easier to text than drive over and speak to a friend face-to-face. There is a growing trend towards anonymity that bothers me. Faceless entities transmit messages with all the personal appeal of a turnip.
Let’s reverse that trend right now. I want to know who you are and I know that your other readers feel the same. Allow them that; open yourselves up and become more than a name on the computer screen. By doing so you just might find success as a writer that you didn’t know was possible.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”