Tip #4: Establish a Blog and Write Regularly
By: Stephanie S. Smith, Inside Pages Managing Editor
Would you say you want to be a football player and never pick up a ball? Would you aspire to become a virtuoso and never tickle the ivories? I could go on. If you want to get into publishing with an eye toward writing your own books someday, now is the time to start.
The first question literary agents and publishers ask today is, “What’s your platform?” Start building it now in the expectation that it will grow over time. Randall Payleitner, our Acquisitions Editor, suggests, “Consider if there is an audience to whom you are uniquely equipped to write. Then, write. No excuses.”
A side note: Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a blog and social following from scratch; it can be done! In fact, many popular bloggers say they spend a mere 15 minutes per day blogging or updating their social media. Start small and expect to grow. Don’t feel like every post has to be a polished, finished piece—in fact, many blog posts are intriguing by their nature as thoughts in progress, which privileges your readers to chime in and create dialogue. Acclaimed author Donald Miller introduces his blog with this very idea, “Before it becomes a book, it all gets tested here. Forgive the rough patches. Here is the writing in process…”
Not sure what to write about? That’s okay too—I would bet that 90% of writers don’t know what they think or what they’re going to say until they’ve actually written it. This is the writing process—discovering what we think and piecing ideas together onto a page.
Do you have a writing routine or a regular blog? If not, what obstacles or hang-ups are keeping you from starting?