Get Out There
Canadian author Kelly D. Smith has penned a guest post on Ryan Lanz’s blog, A Writer’s Path. This titled “20 Ways to Get Yourself Out There as a Writer” which are 20 tips about how writers need to get themselves noticed. “Get out there! Meet people, and don’t be scared” is her opener. Blogs, guest writing, reaching out to bookstores, handing out excerpts, getting help from friends and family, are all part of getting better known. “Use websites like VitsaPrint to print off promotional material” (such as bookmarks) is a good way to become better known. The key here is in meeting people. e.g. get out from behind that computer screen, something I must do more of.
How will you get yourself out there? We all start as a bud, which can then develop and open. As they say to do it, create an action plan.
How The Chicago Reporter Made ‘Settling for Misconduct’ from The Source is all about the work of an investigative journalist looking at lawsuits made against the Chicago Police. I select this piece because it says much about the process of investigation. Something a blogger could do well to learn from. Part of the challenge was to “connect issues of police misconduct to fiscal accountability.” You should get the vibe that research is vital to this process. I get the impression that it took time to build their case, enabled with the aid of a computer program. Real investigations take time and a lot of patience.
Many on-line writers fail to do adequate research and have a tendency to rush to publish. Charts and tables do aid presentation of findings, they help you persuade those that doubt the truth of what you are saying. The journalist’s experience teaches us that we should avoid the rush to publish.
Journalists know how to get out there in a way that perhaps frightens other writers. They investigate and find the real story.
Callie Oettinger asks the question many writers should ask Should Writers Be Paid For Everything? Here is the question – “You argue that writers shouldn’t work for free, but isn’t that exactly what they are doing when they spend time on social media? What about their blogs?” She answers the question in terms of gardening. “my yard might be crap, but in a few years it could be a glorious masterpiece due to all the work put into it.” It is not wasted effort!
Many writers are advocates of giving away work as a way to reach new audiences. There is of course something said for this, but if your blog carries advertising or affiliate links then it is the writer’s hope that their readers click on the link and purchase some things along the way and in that way they get some income. She has a point when she say that if you are going to build something then you o it for yourself before you do it for someone else.
Blog writing is as much a career choice and any other. Why can’t bloggers make money? It is simply a case of putting in the right effort in the right place.
Tag Lines Get you Noticed
Marilyn L. Davis in “Tag It, Track It, Tweet It: Blogging Tips” from the Two Drops of Ink blog discusses tag lines (and other things), you know that statement that drives business in. Such as Nike’s famous “Just Do It!” The reason “a great tag-line stays with your readers because it gets their attention, and if you’ve sent the message well, they will return the next time they need information.” So a good tag line can clearly benefit the writer.
She is right in saying “if they don’t remember you, they’re not coming back.” Life is tough for the independent blogger. Being remembered is vital, which is the reason we must expand our network and expand the number of people we touch. Another reason to get out there and get noticed.
“How to Know You’re Finally Finished Rewriting: When Is Enough Revision Enough?” This is the tough question asked by Jerry Jenkins. It is true “in the old days, when we used typewriters, every change meant erasing or whiting out words or starting an entirely fresh page.” Changing your text becomes so much easier today with the word processor. This allows you to edit, re-edit, move it all around, then change it all over again. You may never finish.
“How do you know when a sentence is the best it can be?” This is a good question to ask. Each writer, or editor, will probably give different answers. I have talked before about reading your words aloud and this is something suggested by Jerry.
“Cut out all prologues.
Burn all adverbs.
If you don’t plot, you’re a mess.
If you do plot, you’re a robot.”
So says Cathy Yardley, from Writer Unboxed, in “The Number One Subject to Study for Writing Success.” Then the first thing she does is apologise for the “clickbait title.” Although she does give some sound advice through this piece. I like the twisted path she carves, but she does have a point, a writer’s life is not easy, there are no hard and fast rules. Well there are, but there are (almost) always alternatives. This is both in terms of grammatical rules and the tone adopted. If one way of writing is badly structured then there is another way to do it.
“If only they do everything right, then their path to writing success is assured.” Well as we all know life doesn’t come with a guarantee. I have found Cathy’s piece so enlightening. I look to do more things right than wrong, in some respects that is the best we can hope for. The biggest take away this month though is “get out there”.
Web Explored is:
- Writing with Scissors and other Great Pieces
- Hashtags, Write for your Life, Etc.
- Brighton Rock, Slumdog, and Flashbacks