or, Short, Sweet, and "See What I've Done!"
I received the following update from a student in my current Writer's Workshop:
A funny thing happened after your social networking comments last night at class. I finally had time to review some of my writing today and remembered that I had submitted an article to a new website... I had forgotten all about it.
Anyway, I went to the site only to find that it had been published AND THAT I HAD 17 COMMENTS!! And, I am on their Facebook and Twitter pages, too! How funny!! Anyway, if you are interested, click Mamapedia on Facebook and on their first page of their fan site, my article can be found about halfway down called, "When Your Life Calling Changes." I was most excited about the favorable comments... See you next week!
I love getting these kinds of comments. I regularly encourage writers to post on blogs, social-networking sites, forums, and other online venues, as a way of getting their names and projects "out there."
Updates like these warm the cockles of my heart, and it's not just because a student took my advice and found a way to get herself published. No -- what really makes me smile is that I know she is internalizing some of the marketing techniques necessary for writers because she applies them in her note to me.
Not only does she tell me about her submission being published, but she told me the name of it, gave me a short positive review of it, and told me where to go to see it. This may seem like a small thing, but it's HUGE!
The more this writer gets used to applying these techniques as she works to network and build an awareness of her platform, the more it will become second nature to her. That way, when her book is accepted for publication she will be so accustomed to dropping her current work's title, kudos, and accessibility, that it will happen naturally.
Another student in my current Writer's Workshop is a surfer who has a small, self-published book about his surfing testimony. ("I gave my surfboard to God and he sent me to Hawaii for 27 years," is his short one-sentence About-My-Book pitch.) This past week, while he was surfing in Lake Michigan he got interviewed by Fox News.
Because of the Workshop's focus on marketing one's work, he gave the interviewer his book. To me, this seemed like an obvious thing to do. But he told me that he would have never even thought of it had it not been for my hammering home the importance of telling people about what you've written.
So -- again, for those of us who need the review -- Write. Create. Do your very best work. And then come up with a short, relevant way to let those interested in you or your subject know that your writing exists. Apply what you learn about marketing your work in the same manner that you apply what you learn about honing your craft. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: you owe it to your future fans to let them know that your work exists...