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The Preoccupation of Writing
There are many different fields that an individual can endeavor to enter. One of the most rewarding ambitions is being a writer—a paid writer. Of course it’s great when your family or friends read what you have written and marvel at your skills but what about strangers or people who are not within your “inner circle.” This is when writing has the greatest impact on your life.
Deciding to be a professional writer may seeming like a daunting ambition. There are hundred of people who have decided this is the only way to make a living and it may on the surface seem easy. It is not! Determination, dedication and a very strong desire are necessary elements in succeeding at writing.
Let's explore the subject of writing ...
It’s About Timing
Some people can go through life never really accomplishing much while it may seem that others have grabbed that “brass ring” and found stardom. Yes, you have talent and you can write very interesting prose or poetry. However, if no one is reading it but you and your mom is that satisfying enough for you? If you contribute to any type of blog or social media, then the answer is definitely no!
Being at “the right place at the right time” has been the catalyst for many. Whether at a coffee shop or online blogging, it’s important to get just the right amount of exposure to be beneficial. You may have to engage in many different genres before discovering the one that brings your writing desires to fruition. Don’t be afraid of taking risks. You will never learn to swim unless you get into the water. Just don’t forget your life jacket.
Two Kinds of Writers
Basically, there are probably two kinds of writers—those who want to be published and those who do not. The former will be the ones who will take risks and strive to get their book, article or poem the attention it needs to be successful. The latter will write for the sheer pleasure of it. Their goal is just to fulfill an inner desire to put words down on paper (or the computer.)
If you’ve ever watched the series: The Waltons, the main character is a writer. John Walton Jr called John Boy by family and friends. John Boy started out with the irrepressible urge to write. Later, he shared it with family members and friends. It was only a matter of time before he began to send his short stories to magazines for publication. The end of the 5th season found John Boy’s novel being accepted by a New York publishing company. This example shows how writing can evolve from being strictly personal to acquiring a public audience.
Being a Professional
Writing for a magazine or newspaper can be a rewarding career. It can be even better when you can accomplish this in your own desired settings. Imagine sitting on a chaise lounge on the patio sipping the beverage of your choice (for me that would be raspberry iced tea) and writing your weekly contribution. More and more magazines have online versions so you would only need to submit it electronically.
Department stores, bistros and even hospitals have blog writers who inform the public of sales and services as well as educate us in things that are beneficial. If you have enough passion in what you are doing you will find such avenues. However, don’t expect it to come to you—be prepared to systematically research and network. Some establishments are willing to create a job when you can show them the feasibility of such an undertaking. Become a blogger for your local corner grocer—ask him/her if you can write about what is offered and interview some of the regular customers as to why they go there. Who knows how far that will take you!
Think about legends like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Michael Dell. They took their ideas a step further to create an award winning product. You can do the same with your writing! Explore the potential and do your research. If you want to publish that award winning novel—try it out on a friend first to see if it needs any fine tuning. If you can afford it, get a literary agent. If you cannot afford it, contact one of your teachers in high school or college to give it another critique. Then send it out to as many publishers as you can. You may even have to self-publish your first novel.
Donate some copies to your local library. Have your own book signing to promote that novel. It can take an investment of both time and money. There is an old saying that states: “it takes money to make money.” Let your immediate goal be to get exposure. Create a website for your book and make flyers directing people to that site. Talk to the news media to see if they have a public interest department for locals. Again, be visible.
If your desire is to write for an online magazine, why not create a blog about your church or other nonprofit organization. This can serve as your portfolio when approaching your established business. Take risk and don’t be discouraged by the word no. If you have confidence in your writing eventually more will want to read it.
The Best Way of Getting Exposure
What do you consider the best way of getting the much needed exposure?
© 2015 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS