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A Guide for Promoting Your Writing While You Write

I know it's National Poetry Month and we're supposed to be following a theme here. But I learned something really important last weekend and I am breaking the game plan to talk about it.

Last weekend, I attended the HopeWords Writer’s Conference in Bluefield, West Virginia. I’ll probably share more about what I learned there in future posts, but I have one small but profound experience I want to tell you about right now.


The closing event was a social at a beautiful old country club. I sat at a table with some new friends I’d made in the previous two days, where we discussed our favorite sessions, authors, previous church experiences, and more.


The woman sitting next to me was a biblical counselor who had exited a painful religious community, completed a counseling degree in record time, and is now using her experiences to help others in similar situations. At one point, she took out bookmarks with her business information and passed one out to everyone at the table.

Sensing an opportunity, I took out my business cards and dealt one to everybody at the table. “Oh, I see how it is,” another woman said, and passed out hers as well.


In the end, I walked away from the event with multiple people’s cards. One of them is an event organizer. Another sells homemade soap. Another is a content marketer. We all participated in the world’s weirdest poker game, and the prize was new people to follow online and encourage.


Sharing what you do with other people has power: it builds community. This transcends marketing your work, generating leads, finding publishers, and all the other goal-oriented objectives we tend to put on pedestals.


Here’s the problem, though. Most of the time, we assume that we must wait until we’re ready to pursue those goals to build an audience or publicly discuss what we’re creating. If we don’t have a finished book, a book deal, published writing, or an LLC, we believe we have nothing to say because no endgame is attached to it.


What if the endgame is that you and your work exist right now and deserve to be shared with as many people as possible?


This is how we can build not just brands but relationships that create real communities for writers and spaces for us to feel less alone.


Why Waiting for the Perfect Moment Is a Mistake


Many writers hold themselves back, believing that their work must reach a certain level of perfection before they can begin sharing it with the world. This approach, however, can significantly delay progress and hinder growth as an author.


The pursuit of the perfect moment to start promoting your writing is a flawed strategy because such a moment doesn't exist. Every moment you spend waiting is an opportunity lost to connect with your audience, receive valuable feedback, and build your presence in the writing community.


Initiating the promotion of your work, even in its early stages, is a proactive step toward achieving your goals. It allows you to establish a rapport with your readers, refine your craft based on real-world responses, and maintain momentum in your writing journey. Starting with whatever you have is better than waiting indefinitely for unattainable perfection.


The process of writing and promoting your work evolves with each piece of feedback and every new connection made. By actively promoting your writing at every stage, you are not only advancing your creative gifts but also embracing a more dynamic and rewarding path to authorship.


Taking Yourself Seriously as an Author


Acknowledging your identity as an author is crucial whether your work has reached publication or is still being shaped. This acceptance empowers you, fueling your journey with confidence and dedication.


Understand that every writer’s path is sprinkled with moments of doubt and uncertainty, but what sets successful authors apart is their unwavering belief in their craft and potential. Embrace your writing pursuits with seriousness and view them as valid and significant endeavors.


It's essential to shed any notions that undermine your efforts or relegate you to the status of an aspiring writer who hasn’t yet earned their stripes. Your commitment to your art is what defines you, not the external validation of published work.


This mindset enhances your self-perception and signals to others in the writing and publishing community that you are dedicated and professional. By valuing your work and process, you lay the groundwork for a fulfilling career, opening yourself to growth, learning, and eventual recognition.


Remember, the act of writing, in itself, is an affirmation of your authorial identity.


Building Your Author Brand


In the realm of writing, establishing your author brand means laying the foundation for a home for your voice and stories. It's about pinpointing what sets you apart and resonating deeply with your intended audience.


Consider what themes, messages, or styles define your writing. Is it your unique perspective on everyday life, your ability to weave suspense into the fabric of your narratives, or perhaps your knack for creating relatable characters? Identifying these elements is the first step in crafting an author brand that distinguishes you and attracts readers who will find value and enjoyment in your work.


Once you have a clear vision of your brand, consistency becomes vital. This consistency should manifest in all your author platforms, including your website, social media profiles, or even how you communicate in newsletters.


Think about visuals such as logos or color schemes that reflect the essence of your writing. Similarly, a tagline encapsulating your authorial voice can be a powerful beacon to draw readers.


Building your author brand is not an overnight endeavor but a journey that evolves with your writing. It requires patience, introspection, and a bit of creativity. The goal is to create a cohesive image that captures the essence of your work and fosters a strong, lasting connection with your audience.


By doing so, you lay the groundwork for not only visibility in a crowded marketplace but also the development of a loyal readership eager to engage with your current projects and those yet to come.


Showcasing Your Writing Process


Revealing the inner workings of your writing routine and inspirations can significantly pique the interest of potential readers. It offers them a unique viewpoint into the complexities and diligence involved in crafting a narrative.


By sharing updates about the stages of your writing, whether through social media, your blog, or video content, you demystify the process and forge a stronger bond with your audience. This transparency showcases your dedication and the genuine effort you put into your work, which, in turn, can increase their appreciation and anticipation for your finished pieces.


Discuss the obstacles you face and how you overcome them, your daily or weekly writing goals, and even the occasional writer's block and how you tackle it. These insights give your readers a more comprehensive understanding of what it takes to write, making them feel more connected to you and your journey.


Incorporating feedback or questions from your audience about your process can also make this exchange more interactive and engaging. This approach enriches your relationship with your readers and offers fresh perspectives that could positively influence your writing.


By giving your audience a backstage pass to your writing process, you are not just building interest in your work but inviting them into a community where their engagement and support can thrive alongside your creative endeavors. This openness not only positions you as an approachable and relatable author but also as someone who values the involvement and insights of their readers.


Starting a Substack or Newsletter


Embarking on the journey of starting a Substack or newsletter is a strategic and practical approach to bridging the gap between you and your prospective audience. This platform serves as a personal stage where you can share updates about your writing endeavors and offer a glimpse into the stories and ideas that fuel your creativity.


Engaging with your readers through regular newsletters allows you to cultivate a community that's interested in your finished products and the journey that leads there. Utilize this space to share excerpts from your work-in-progress, insights into your creative challenges, and successes to foster a genuine connection with your readers.


This ongoing engagement creates anticipation and excitement for your upcoming work, making your audience feel like they're part of your writing process. Additionally, this platform can be a nurturing ground for receiving feedback, which can be invaluable as you refine your writing.


Tailoring content that resonates with your readers, asking questions to encourage interaction, and even sharing personal anecdotes about your writing journey can enhance the community you’re creating in the process. It’s not just about broadcasting your progress but creating a two-way dialogue that enriches your writing journey and deepens the relationship with your audience.


Remember, starting a Substack or newsletter is more than just a promotional tool; it's an extension of your writing and a testament to your commitment to your craft and your readers. By inviting them into your world, you're building anticipation for your work and laying the foundation of a supportive and engaged readership eager to see your success.


Networking with Other Authors


Networking with other authors isn’t just about expanding your circle—it’s about immersing yourself in a community that understands the unique challenges and triumphs of the writing journey.


Engaging with fellow writers offers many benefits, from gaining new perspectives to finding encouragement during brutal creative slumps. Whether local or online, participation in writing groups presents opportunities to share experiences, exchange feedback, and even forge collaborations that can enrich your writing projects.


Attending literary events and author workshops, like I did with HopeWords, is another excellent way to connect. These gatherings can spark inspiration, introduce you to mentors, and, sometimes, open doors to publishing opportunities. The camaraderie in these spaces can be incredibly motivating, reminding you that you’re part of a larger narrative of writers striving to share their voices with the world.


Online forums and social media platforms dedicated to writers also serve as vital networking tools. They allow you to exchange ideas, advice, and support across geographical boundaries, making finding a community that resonates with your interests and goals easier. Engaging in these digital spaces can elevate your understanding of the industry, help you stay informed about trends, and enhance your visibility as an emerging writer.

Remember, networking with other authors is not merely a strategy for advancement; it’s an investment in a supportive ecosystem that celebrates shared passions and fosters growth.


Want to Learn More About Promoting Your Writing While You Write? Let’s Network!


I’m always looking for not just authors I can help to reach their full creative potential but powerful writers to add to my network.  


Hopefully, one thing you’ve taken away from this post is that when I say powerful writers, I mean YOU. That’s why I offer free 30-minute consultations to connect with other authors.


Let’s book a Zoom to talk about what you’re working on so I can recommend some tools and resources that could benefit you in your process. If that sounds good, click the button below to access my calendar and grab some of my time.

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