Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 2

12 Apr

By Nesher Ehrman
Hello again. If you haven’t yet read “Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 1”, do that first. It’s not long, and this series will make a lot more sense. If you have read part 1, and you’re back for more, then hi, welcome back. Now, buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, because what we’re about to do is going to be the hardest part of this whole series.
Really. This isn’t going to be easy. Ready?
All right. This is what you have to do. You have to Change. Pretty scary, right? At this point, you’re sort of wondering ‘but that’s not how this is supposed to work! I already write from the heart, from true, heartfelt inspiration!’.
This is true. However, it still isn’t enough. Let’s go back to our original goal – to be a successful writer. That depends solely on one single thing – people have to like what you write. They have to enjoy reading it, or be moved by it, or learn something. The question which follows from that is – how do you know what people like. The answer is, easy. Or rather, easy to do, and very hard to actually put into effect. But then, no one said being a writer was easy, did they?
So, the first step is getting to know what other people think of your work. To do that, you need to be both creative and active. Print up copies, give it out to anyone who speaks the language you write in. Walk into a bookstore and ask whether they would mind if you do a reading. Send an email to all of your contacts (OK, maybe not your boss, but as many as you can) with a sample of something you’ve written.
The key is to be shameless. If you have a social media account – and statistically, you should have about nine – then share your written material through there. Yes, everyone will know that you’re writing. If you’re planning to be a writer, people are going to see your work. You can even start a blog, put some work there, and refer people to the link. Mine, for example, is at the bottom of this post. See? Shameless.
Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready for step two. This is the hard part.
So now you have lots of people giving you opinions. Some of their opinions are worthless. Some of them didn’t spare an actual thought before dashing off a nine-page scathing critique of your three-line haiku. Internet people can be like that. What you need to do is weed through all the useless opinions to find the actual good advice. If you’ve reached enough people, there will be quite a lot of good feedback.
Then – brace yourself – look at what people think, look at your writing, and try to focus your material. Know who you’re writing for, and adjust your work accordingly. In the end, you’re writing for you, but the people reading your work have other priorities.
Still with us? Congratulations. If you can follow the above instructions to better your work, you’re well on your way to achieving your goal of realizing your writing potential. If you can do something as hard as changing yourself, the rest should be smooth sailing all the way.
In “Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 3”, we’ll talk about different ways of actually getting your book published, and the pros and cons of different publishing routes, so we’ll see you there.
To see more of Nesher Ehrman’s work, hop on over to nesherehrman.wordpress.com/
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2 Responses to “Realizing Your Writing Potential; Part 2”

  1. Lorna's Voice April 15, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    You are right, of course. I must get my work out there. One trick that I use to help motivate me (because self-promotion does not come naturally) is to remind myself that I am promoting my book–which I firmly believe is one that people will benefit from reading–versus promoting me. The difference is a fine one, but it helps me.

    • nesherehrman April 15, 2013 at 5:31 am #

      That sounds like a great way to do it. Another strategy you can employ is to remind yourself that the world nowadays is much simpler and much more complex simultaneously. On the one hand, anyone can be heard by anyone else anywhere on the Internet instantaneously. On the other hand, it’s like a room full of people holding microphones. Just because everything can be heard does not mean that anything is understood – to be heard, you need to be listened to. And promoting your book is just as important as writing it in terms of people “listening” to you.

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