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Amidst the Shadows

How showing your face and your voice can make you a successful writer

               Last week we spoke
a bit about the importance of reaching out to your audience: making sure they
see you as a person and not just a book. But how do we really go about doing this?
Many artists (albeit, not all) want to create something that is accessible to
their intended audience. In the sea of competition that is the world of
writing, to have your voice heard or your vision seen is a challenge in itself.
                When
my friend Nikki and I took a year off after highschool and wrote a musical, we
were constantly thinking about how to make a new musical written by highschool
kids about highschool kids could reach out to the community. From our experience
that eventually led to a sold out run of our original musical Beige in Kitchener,
Ontario, I have some points to offer on making yourself accessible and
relatable when it comes to your writing.
                The
first thing to remember is to stay focused on the audience you want to appeal
to. If your brain is confused, your writing will be too. Confused writing leads
to confused readers. So even if your writing does get out to readers, they won’t
enjoy the experience of reading your book as you intended.
                The
second thing is to take advantage of this digital age. Start a blog or a
website that you are constantly updating. Getting people to continually check
back on updates about you (not just your book) keeps them interested in who you
are, and not just your book.
                The
third and potentially most important thing is to SHOW YOUR FACE and VOICE! Post
podcasts of conversations about your book. Contact local newspapers and radio
stations to see if they would be interested in interviewing you. Even local
television production companies will often give some air time to people who
have something interesting to say.

                Get yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to show yourself as a real
person. There are plenty of successful writers you could name for me who never
showed their faces and became famous under pseudonyms or personal anonymity
(How about that new scandal surrounding Robert Galbraith actually being a
pseudonym for J.K. Rowling), but trust me… there are thousands of writers who
never got their work off the ground for each one of these exceptions. Don’t
underestimate the power of our need as human beings to emotionally connect to
the various situations and encounters in our lives. When used to your
advantage, this is what will lead to longevity in your career as a writer. 

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