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April 19, 2017
Why Using a Pen Name is a Risk that Writers Shouldn’t Take
By: Jonathan Merritt & Margaret Feinberg
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Are you afraid to share personal stories because of potential blowback from friends and family? Have you ever thought it might be easier to publish your work anonymously or under another name?

One of the more frequent questions we have received from young writers over the years is, “Should I use a pen name?”

We only need one syllable to respond: No.Read More

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As an acquisitions editor at a large publishing house, hundreds of book proposals pass through my inbox every year. Here’s my best advice on how to make yours stand out.

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February 22, 2017
How to Know if You’re Ready to Publish Your Pain
By: September Vaudrey
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You’ve experienced a tragic loss or deep pain, but are you ready to write about it? How soon is too soon?

Five years after my daughter passed away, my literary agent asked me why I thought now was the time to publish my memoir about her death.

“I had to finish living my story first,” I replied. “I had to discover my ending.”

Though my grief won’t find its full ending until heaven, I knew I needed resolution with God before I had anything helpful to share with readers.Read More

January 26, 2017
How Self-Publishing Benefits You Beyond The Money
By: Bobi Ann Allen
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Three years ago, almost to the day, I developed a mysterious itch. No, I didn’t have a strange rash or rare skin condition. I felt an itch to print words on paper with the goal of nurturing readers’ spiritual growth. The problem was, I had no idea how to do it.

Not.

One.

Clue.

I didn’t know how to begin writing a book. Or even what the subject would be. And let’s just say for kicks, I did write a book, what then? From this novice state, I journeyed into the sprawling world of publishing.Read More

November 17, 2016
3 Painless Ways to Grow Your Platform
By: The Write Brilliant Team
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If silent hours sculpting savory sentences energizes you, tweeting yet another request for friends to like your Facebook page may feel like drudgery.

Or maybe you’re the person who’s fueled by sharing your message to a live audience and feels drained by sitting to write an obligatory blog post. Most writers know the tricks to growing their platforms, but they dread these actions.

If you’re proposing to put together a powerful platform but you’re feeling pooped, we have good news. Building a platform doesn’t have to drive you crazy.

Here are four painless ways to grow your platform:

  1. Be you.

Your platform will be the strongest when your strategy is consistent with your wiring, gifts and resources. Repeat these three words: I. Am. Enough. That’s right.

The best writer you can be is the unique writer you already are.

Do you hyperventilate when you’re handed a microphone? Hitting the speaking circuit may not have your name on it. But maybe you’re tech savvy, and you can lean into social media. Are you energized by speaking, but you drag your feet trying to write a downloadable manifesto as a free giveaway? Try pitching your gifts to local events.

The best writer you can be is the unique writer you already are. Click To Tweet

You won’t be able to overlook the necessary parts of platform growth, but notice how you’re made and choose a strategy that matches your DNA.

Introvert?

  • Pitch an article.
  • Guest post at a friend’s blog.
  • Offer a short free guide at your site.

Extrovert?

  • Carry business cards and start conversations with strangers.
  • Alert local organizations to your skills as a speaker.
  • Network with those who can help teach you the ropes.
  1. Use what you’ve got.

Closely related to your personality makeup is your unique gift mix. Did you perform in a comedy club after college? Are you a culinary genius? Has your poetry won awards? Because audiences want to connect with you, draw on your gifts and talents and passions. Use what you most enjoy to reach a wider audience.

  • Post a video of you doing comedy sketches with your toddler
  • Stream a spoken word piece online.
  • Share a photo of your most recent Haiku, written in ketchup on the sidewalk. (Sounds silly, but don’t be afraid to experiment.)
  1. Respect your limitations.

If you’re home diapering an infant, cross-country speaking travel might prove unwieldy. But if you’re traveling regularly to two or three cities for your day job, you might seek out evening speaking gigs as add-ons. If your marriage is on the rocks, we don’t advise spending every hour of your free time at your keyboard.

Don’t use the pressures of your life as an excuse to avoid the hard work of writing—we’re all crazy busy—but take a realistic inventory of your limitations.

Student?

  • Write for your campus newspaper.
  • Offer to lead a workshop for alumni at Homecoming.

Businessperson?

  • Host a lunchtime discussion group for other writers to brainstorm ways to champion one another.
  • Network with coworkers about opportunities to share with their civic and religious groups.

Full-time parent?

  • Pitch article after article to magazine editors.
  • Study best practices and create a social media strategy.

In addition to these strategies, don’t be afraid to phone a friend. Others can help you do what you despise. They may even enjoy those actions. When in doubt, ask.

And at the end of each day, inhale all the air you can hold and repeat it one more time: I. Am. Enough. After you’ve done all you can, rest in knowing that it is enough.

Write Brilliant is designed to make growing your platform as painless as possible. 

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