An Author’s Life: Shouting into the Void
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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou,
In the past, I have written blog posts, stories, tweets and Facebook posts that went virtually unnoticed. Not one comment, like, or retweet as far as the eye could see. As a writer, going unnoticed can be crushing. Some days I wonder why I bother. Other days I don’t care who, if anyone, is listening.
This weekend, as I sat at the highest point of the Smoky Mountains, I was contemplating how very small I am, and in turn, how small my voice is. One of the goals of the trip was to clear my head and get away for a bit, instead, I began to doubt myself more.
I think that nagging voice is something all writers wrestle with and I tell myself to take it in stride. There are so many of us. So many voices with so many stories. So, so many. It can be overwhelming to think of your blog post or your book sitting side by side with hundreds of thousands of others. You wonder how will it stand out, what will make it noticeable. And, on the bad days, why even bother.
The truth is, every story and every voice matters. Your story matters. My story matters. If it only finds one reader, gets one retweet or like, it mattered to one other person. And if not, it matters to YOU.
You are your own first reader, your own first listener. And you matter as much as anyone else in this regard. Write the book you want to read. Tweet or post the words you need hear. Shout into the void to your heart’s content.You are your own first #reader, your own first listener. @Scorpioscribes #amreading #read #amwriting #ourwriteside Click To Tweet
Owning Your Spot In The Void
I hear you, you get it. Write for yourself blah blah blah. The truth is we want to be heard. Even if we accept that we are our own most important reader. It’s harder to hold on to that principle when we watch those around us own the internet and rock social media. They are raking in the book sales, getting retweeted like a mofo and don’t even get me started on the hundreds of comments on a Facebook post. What is their secret? If you did want to stand out how would I go about it? The secret is branding and timing.
What is Branding
Branding means creating both an image and a voice that is consistent. You won’t be relatable to everyone, and that’s okay. Don’t try to be. If you try to create a persona that appeals to every possible reader you will lose yourself. And yourself is what sells. Personally, I like to use the same profile pic just about everywhere. If I change it on Twitter, I make the rounds and change it everywhere. The same with cover pics. Consistency. According to Thomas Smith’s book “Successful Advertising,” a consumer must see a logo 20 times before they become sold on it. See how that adds up?
How Do I Find my Timing
Timing is knowing when to reach your audience for the best engagement. It can get tricky when you try to consider time zones and an international audience but there are ways to narrow it down. This post from CoSchedule gives some really good tips for finding your optimal posting time. If you’re researching on your own, skip those articles that lay out specific times for each platform across the board. Why? Because if 50,000 other people read that same post you’ve just dropped yourself right back into the void. Each platform offers stats and information that nail down when YOUR audience is engaging with YOUR content.
In my 30 Day Author Platform Course (not yet available) we talk more in depth about finding your timing and developing a schedule to enhance it.
I realize these seem like very simple ideas but sometimes it is the simple things we overlook. I’d like to think that is the lesson I brought home from the Smoky Mountains.
Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy!
(All photos are my own, courtesy of the gorgeous Smoky Mountains in Tennessee)
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