Write, Get Published, and Promote

By: Joyce Shafer

The title of this article is the reality of writers culled down to five words. You want to see your article available online or in print or hold a copy of your book in your hands. The next desired reality is to see a response to all the energy, time, creativity, and passion you put into what you’ve written.

As a new or aspiring writer, you can feel delightfully excited about writing or feel stalled about how to start. Once you get going, fingers fly as thoughts and ideas flow through you. Maybe you know the technical side of writing that involves punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, formatting (including dialogue in a novel), plot or theme development … and maybe you don’t. One of the easiest ways you can familiarize yourself with these aspects is to read what someone else published.

You get through the writing stage and feel proud of what you’ve done, and you should. What many new writers don’t realize is there’s another, more critical stage that comes next: editing and rewriting. This is the “brutal" part. It’s brutal because you have to be honest with yourself or engage an editor who is honest with you on your behalf. James Michener said it well, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter." Rewriting is the most creatively challenging part of writing. It’s where you get to make everything smooth, flowing, and effective for readers.

At some point, your focus must shift from satisfying your desire to write to making it a quality experience for readers. An important step in this process is to walk away from what you’ve written for a period of time so you return to it with a fresh perspective.

If you’re an article writer, your next step is to look for venues to publish and distribute what you’ve written to as many readers as possible. Book writers seek to get published. The number of free article sites on the Internet is huge. A search will lead article writers to more venues than they might imagine. Book writers face the choice of whether to find a major publisher willing to take a chance on a new writer, to invest in vanity publishing, or find the right self-publishing option. This is the stage that needs research; but once you’ve moved through it, you’ll know what to expect the next time you aim to publish.

Now in print, it’s time to promote. Every writer is different. Perhaps you’re ready to hit the road to do book signings, willing to set up speaking engagements or seminars, send out press releases, or explore the myriad ways you can promote yourself. One thing writers discover is if they want to see real income from their writing, it takes more than just having a book or article in print.

Then there’s the matter of promotion. You can’t start planning to promote too soon. Many book writers wait until the book is in print and anticipate that once this happens, sales will start rolling in without their having to do anything else. This isn’t realistic. There are many options to plan and strategize how you will promote and when to get started. As a writer, if you haven’t looked online for the numerous free e-zines and Websites for writers, this is something you should do, even if for a couple of hours each week as you’re in the writing stage. These freebies offer a wealth of information for writers from writing tips to publicity and promotion.

Everything described above are all important threads in a writer’s tapestry; however, the single most important thread is attitude. As a writer, you’ll have a better experience if you embrace the creative process in all its facets. The more positive, intentional, and inspired you are the better tapestry you’ll weave.

If you’re a new or aspiring writer, welcome to an incredible world where you can discover more aspects of yourself, resources, and people than you ever imagined. It can be a wild ride, but an awesome oneFeature Articles, as well.

Publishing
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