Home > Marketing > Discovering Who You Are as a Writer (3)

Discovering Who You Are as a Writer (3)

April 26, 2008

In case you are just joining us, I’m in the midst of of a four part series in discovering who you are as a writer.  We are using SWOT to identify our strengths, weaknesses,opportunities, and threats.  While this exercise is ridiculously simple, it can be challenging because it forces you to look at yourself honestly.  After we compile all this information, it will help develp a game plan for any writing project.  Today we are discussing opportunities. I have been using my life to fill in the blanks, because I am transitioning into a writing career. 

I love opportunities…but one has to realize that most times opportunities don’t just come to you.  While it may seem like you are doing nothing to attract opportunities, you actually are.  However, when you want opportunities to show up in a particular area of your life — such as writing, you need to figure out how you are going to make it happen.

Most often, people can draw something from past experience, friends or skills to create writing opportunities.  A friend’s family runs a local magazine that features book and movie reviews.  While this isn’t directly in the ball park of novel writing, it may provide a stepping stone when the editor asks for clips.  You will also get a glimpse of the writing world.   Writing a couple of articles gives you credibility.  It looks good in the proposal.  It looks as if you are serious about writing…and of course, you are.

In my SWOT analysis, here’s what’s in the Opportunity box.

Opportunity to meet many people where I work
Member of a Writing Group
Contacts at colleges where I attended
Understanding how to use the Internet and viral marketing as a tool

What I need to do is keep up with the email lists, stay active and make sure I connect with people that I may share things in common. I also need to work on other avenues to develop activities because this is not going to be enough to establish a good contact base for marketing endeavors (meaning the novels yet to be written).

My immediate action plan? I need to get folders set up for each of these areas of opportunity. When I have an idea to expand and broaden the area, I make notes to remind me what stage I am on the development. Always put down what you did and what you are going to do with a date. When your life becomes overwhelming and/or old age besets your memory, this will help you not squander time looking for stuff or redoing tasks already done.

One last note: If you stay at your computer and write without mingling and establishing relationships, you are closing your door to potential opportunities. It sounds regimented, but if you are the passionate type that prefers to stick your nose to the grindstone until the project is over, you will probably need more balance to keep your sanity. It will also keep the low and high peaks of any career at a minimum. To do that means to change your behaviors slightly. If you do a daily calendar, you can map out when you should write, do admin work, network, and relax. You need to nourish your whole self, not just the creative part.

My plan for tomorrow is to not blog my threats (last segment of the series) until I start my short story.

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