Please welcome my amazing guest, author/publisher/supermodel Julie Anderson! Julie is a beautiful, kind, talented being through and through, and she is kind enough to share her tips today on how we can stand out and what’s important to help us do that. Pay attention, writer friends. Bookmark this one.
Everyone is a writer. A Poet. An essayist. A memoirist. You encounter creative genius every day on social media and online. Musings of souls that must emerge. They are sharing truths, for validation of thoughts and actions and sharing emotions, releasing those sparks with the hope of connection.
When a writer decides to become a “pro” who cultivates their thoughts on a grander scale, they want their words published! No longer is the social media outlet enough. A wider audience needs to be secured, a tribe built, a network made.
Five years ago I envisioned and implemented a platform for diverse works from writers – well known, and unknown – Feminine Collective. The plan was simple: raw and unfiltered — no commercial fluff. A pure human experience, shared. Painful or not. But please don’t hold back.
As the years have rolled on, I have discovered a few traits that all writers seem to share, as well as, a few mistakes that writers seemingly overlook. So here are my tips to help you get noticed and help you along the way.
We write to validate ourselves. Yes, we do. As creatives, we are sensitive creatures that crave acknowledgment – similar to a toddler screaming “give it to me now.”
I want you to know that the effort put forth by you, the writer, to write it down, is validation that you have given yourself. Well done. That is the first step after all.
When you have your work accepted by a publication, that is validation given to you by the editors. Even better.
When your work is shared, commented on, endorsed as #mustread material – you have hit the validation mark full stop.
- 2Be Kind To Your Editor/Publisher
From my personal experience as an editor/publisher – I spend my time generously on works submitted to my publication. I treat the submissions as if they are my babies. I spend hours grooming them and then more hours promoting said work.
For that, yes people thank me. I appreciate the nod in my direction. What I can’t get over are the people who mistreat me. As a human we all make errors; I have made more than my share – when I receive notice of a mistake I fix it ASAP. Some writers though must think that I live on my computer. The demands are outrageous, commentary cruel.
Remember the age-old saying about burning bridges. The second I get a whiff of attitude from a writer, that’s it. I will not work with or promote the work of rude individuals.
Be kind to the host of your work. We are not robots. We have feelings too.
- 3Social Media Sucks But You Need It
I have lost track of the amount of great writing I have published that lays flat. Not because of me, or the work. But because the author has no social media presence. That said, do not worry about starting from scratch. Everyone has to build a platform of followers, and it takes time and courage to venture forth into the unknown.
Twitter can be daunting, but there is a method to the madness.
“Twitter is what you make it. People are always looking, studying, and making mental notes of what you do. So as you raise your level of participation, always apply the very best of what is positive, inspiring, and empowering, and I guarantee you will start building something more rewarding than mere popularity: respect.” – @2morrowKnight
Facebook (aka Fakebook) can be dangerous to your mental health, and it is also a time suck. Limit your time while using this platform, and please be mindful not to fall into the trap of self-doubt by obsessing over what other people post.
Believe it or not, there are a few guidelines to follow, for growth and social media etiquette. Here is a wonderful blog post by Rachel that gets straight to the point of the matter:
If you want your work read, if you love validation – for goodness sake, set up at least one social media account! Please!
- 4Sharing = Caring
Over the years I have marveled over how generous the writing community can be… and I have also been shocked to find many writers who are all about “ME.”
We have to remember how hard it is to write and submit work. Then to have it published – our words hanging naked for all to see. Just like you, other writers seek validation as well. Take the time, and consider the wider community. Comment, share and endorse the work of others…because good deeds never go unnoticed.
By amplifying the voices of others, your voice will shine as well.
- 5Expect Negativity
When the subject matter of your work is provocative – whether socially, politically or personally, there will always be the jerk waiting to jump on board. But that is ok.
It is commentary. It can create discourse. It will provoke others to speak up. That is our goal, right? We want conversations that engage, enrage and educate.
By no means am I saying that you deserve to be abused, or shamed. I want you to see this type of engagement as another form of validation.
People usually react cruelly for a myriad of reasons, such as jealousy, guilt, ignorance. Your work provoked the ugly in them, and now they are exposed for who they are. And you are to be applauded as a brave writer.
- 6Don't Submit
If you feel too vulnerable exposing yourself to the broad audience of the world wide web.
If you feel ashamed and sensitive about the topic of your choice, save your work for another time. It’s ok!
I mention this because I have spent time (wasted it) on editing and promoting – then being begged to remove work that has been published. I have empathy, so I do as requested, but in the end, I am the one that suffers. Besides my time spent thrown out the window, removal of material kills my publication’s SEO scores. Ouch.
- 7You Don't Have To Be Famous
The amount of “followers” you have or clout in the community you may enjoy does not equate to your relevance as a writer. There are great resources and services available that will help you reach a wider audience.
My go-to for all things related to the business of writing is Rachel Thompson from BadRedHead Media. She provides free advice on her blog, and she has written user-friendly books on marketing your material. And she is the ultimate gun for hire for all of your needs as a writer.
You are, after all, the author of your life.
After spending many years globe-trotting as a supermodel, Julie Anderson finally came to the conclusion that trying to be "perfect" is a fool's game. As a writer, she explores the importance of rectifying the balance of inner and outer beauty through essays and poems on self-esteem, shame, family, and self- acceptance.
Anderson saw mass media as being a toxic atmosphere to women today. As an antithesis to that toxicity, she was inspired to create a safe place for women to share their secrets, desires, triumphs, and pain. That inspiration became Feminine Collective, which she created and published in 2013.