Friday, October 28, 2011
A writer is multi-talented, multi-directional
Most of the time, a writer has a book in mind. Period.
I want writers to think differently. They also have research for that book that might merit a magazine article. Their trials and tribulations in penning that story can result in a how-to piece. The first chapter might make a grand entry for a contest. The subject matter might help qualify the writer for a retreat, where he can pen the rest of that beast. The experience or researched material may serve as blog fodder. And just possibly, that book might qualify the individual as a full-time writer, to land a job with an employer with real benefits. If not, the writer may contract his work, working gigs in copywriting, consulting, or education.
Don't think one dimensional about your writing. It's three dimensional, and you're in charge of whether you're wearing the 3-D glasses or not.
The categories in FundsforWriters and TOTAL FundsforWriters have been around for twelve years. Contests, grants, publishers /agents, freelance markets, and jobs. Any writing opportunity falls in these categories. And every writer can make his work fall into multiple categories, not just one.
FundsforWriters is a major chunk of my platform. I used it to garner the attention of an agent. I also entered novel contests to gain her attention. I also used my degree in agriculture and past employment experiences to prove I could talk-the-talk of my protagonist. My freelance article credits proved I had credibility as a writer, and a handful of awards showed acceptance of others in my field. I used my freelancing, job, contests, and education. None of them can stand alone to prove I was serious about writing, but pool them together, and the result is a more powerful image.
Today, the world is all about entrepreneurialship. What do you have at your fingertips to market to the masses? Do you just have a story? No. You have experience, talent, and knowledge that grew in the process of creating that story. You are 3-D, are you not?
Let's take teachers. Like writers, some of them don't think outside the box either. However, those that do, find quite the interesting journey. Teachers can speak, pen books, write plays, consult, tutor outside the classroom, create blogs, and advise in extracurricular activities. They can run summer camps, help the illiterate, and mentor students in projects of their own. We think of teachers as one-dimensional. They know better. I read educator blogs all the time.
Doctors, plumbers, real estate agents, police, dentists, the list goes on. They don't have to just go to work and
follow the job description. They can dabble in endeavors outside the norm. These are often the professionals we hear the most about - those who strove to step out.
Anybody can write. Not everybody can write well. And not every good writer can sell. The more diverse you are with your abilities, the more you take your focus and spread it on blogs, jobs, freelance gigs, contests, grants and periodicals, the larger your platform becomes. And if you haven't learned by now, platform is everything. It's all about who you reach and who wants to reach you.
Suddenly just writing a book seems just too one-sided, doesn't it?