Take a Risk: Build Your Presence as a Writer by Deanna Jackson
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Deanna Jackson as she shares with us “Take a Risk: Build Your Presence as a Writer” Enjoy!
Before my novella was changed into a novel, I begun to think about querying agents. I researched everything I could about how to write query letters and studied samples from published authors. Most of the samples suggested adding a paragraph at the end of your letter to tell a little about yourself and your writing experience. I soon realized while typing that paragraph that my skills were lacking. The only thing I could add to prove that I was a serious writer was that I had taken a few classes on writing at my local university. While I am not downplaying the experience that can give a new author, anyone can enroll in most of the beginner classes. I wanted something more. I needed to prove I was okay with taking risks as a writer and wanted to show agents I meant business. I went ahead with querying a few agents and while none gave negative feedback on the “about me” paragraph, I still felt dissatisfied. When I took a step back and decided to change the structure of my book, it gave me the time I needed to sharpen my writing skills and build my presence as a writer.
I never thought of myself as a risk taker but I wanted to be noticed. I utilized twitter and learned of some great opportunities. Actually, that is how I learned about Writers Fun Zone. I read the blogs by writers like myself and really loved the fact that Beth was looking for guest bloggers and monthly columnists. At that time, I had recently started my own blog but honestly it scared me to death to take the risk of querying Beth to become a blogger for WFZ. My blog had decent information but I hadn’t found my voice yet. One evening I got an idea of a blog post and instead of publishing it to my own blog I decided to query Beth to be a guest blogger. I decided the worst that could happen was she would say no and that was that. I didn’t ask about being a monthly columnist because I figured there would be no way she would accept my writing with my lack of experience. Instead, she did the complete opposite. That’s what I get for assuming. In fact, she loved my idea and asked me if I would be interested in becoming a monthly columnist, and here I am. My point is I decided to take a chance and am so glad I did. The past six months have helped me sharpen my writing and now I have one more item to add to my “about me” paragraph when I begin querying agents again.
I befriended a published author and decided to read one of her novels. I thought it was great so I decided to not only write a review on amazon but also on my blog. I shared the post on social media and received a lot of visitors. I decided to start researching sites that wanted book reviewers and am currently a book reviewer for Penguin Random House. Again, I took the risk and now have one more writing experience to add to my “resume”.
Around the same time I decided to join Romance Writers of America to gain further exposure and throw ideas back and forth with other writers. You can be a general, PRO or PAN member. I started as a general but worked towards becoming a PRO member. I had to submit some of my work to get the status and when I was accepted, I felt accomplished. This is great honor I can add to my writing profile.
I was making my presence known by taking risks. I doubt adding all the writing experience I have now to my about me paragraph will secure me an agent but I feel now that I have more to offer them and they know I am serious about being a writer. My advice would be to get involved, write and share it with the world. Grow your presence as a writer!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am an unpublished author working on my first romance novel. I have taken classes in creative writing and editing at the University of Cincinnati. When I am not writing, I enjoy snuggling on the couch with my husband and three fur puppies.
Blog site: http://blog-djackson.weebly.com/