Monday, January 31, 2011

I Write. Therefore...I Write What?

by Priscilla Y. Huff

Priscilla Y. Huff specializes in writing on home-small business topics. She is expanding into travel writing; and writing for middle-grade children. Today, Priscilla talks about building your writing platform and honing in on a specialty area:

You like to write, but how do you find the genre or writing field that best highlights your talent and reaches an appreciative, loyal and hopefully, a buying readership? Becoming a published writer is similar to an entrepreneur starting a business. Here are some questions to help you decide what to write and the ideal markets for it:

*Your preferences: What type of books do you primarily read (other than school or college required reading)? Familiarity with an industry or a genre, will sustain your interest in that type of writing; plus you will know current trends and what appeals to those readers.

*Your background: What education, work, and-or personal experiences qualify you to write on topics with which you are knowledgeable? To improve your writing quality and content, join writers’ groups, attend writers’ workshops-conferences and enroll in related writing courses.

*Your market research: Who are your target readers? Research your potential readership and what they like. Study other competing authors and compare how your writing is both similar and different. Ask yourself, what will make your writing a standout from theirs?

*Start part-time. Like new entrepreneurs, most writers begin writing on the side to hone their writing style and craft and build a following. Writing short stories, blogs or e-books in your genre; submitting articles in your field or industry; and speaking to interested groups will all build your name recognition, establish you as an expert, and garner new readers. Publishers like writers who can demonstrate an established following and can use their networks for their books’ publicity.

*Build your writers’ network and contacts. Successful entrepreneurs and writers continually exchange information freely about their industry to help one another achieve successes. Meet new persons at conferences, trade shows, writers’ groups, and through various online forums. Some may become your mentors and-or provide you with potential publishing leads.

Of course, you cannot get published if you do not write. Your goal is to write and write daily. The more you write, the better chance you will have in finding your “voice” and a successful writing niche.

Happy Writing!

Suggested Related Reading:

Article, Blog:“10 Tips to Help You Build Your Writing Platform”“Platform

101 For Busy Writers: 3 Simple Steps”

Book: Ready, Aim, Specialize!: Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money! by Kelly James-Enger

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