Positioning Yourself for Success as a Writer

karen hardin priority pr tulsa

Someone once asked me why I homeschooled my kids. My response was simple. I wanted to position them for success. It was about creating an individualized plan that best suited each child for the gifts and abilities that rose to the surface. Your career as a writer is no different.

Everything you do, if you are serious in pursuing a career as a writer, should be done with purpose to position yourself for the audience and people for your message. Otherwise you will more than likely experience frustration that your writing is going nowhere. And guess what? It's probably not.

There are plenty of writing opportunities out there, but do they fit your goals or area you spinning your wheels?

There was a season I wrote for newspaper in our city. It was a volunteer position, but I accepted it for several reasons. The audience was my audience. It created an opportunity for relationship with people with which I wanted to connect. It also provided me an outlet to continue to hone a skill of writing to fit someone else's parameters and yet make the story my own. It was a position that wasn't about financial gain or even status, but blessing the organization, building my writing resume and honing my skill and audience. After a few years, I recognized that my season was finished. I had taken the monthly feature as far as I could with the time I could invest. It was time to pass the opportunity to another writer. It was also time to move on because I recognized that my message and my audience had changed slightly with time and as I developed as a writer. I needed to reposition myself and my target to be more effective.

As we write we need to constantly evaluate the important aspect of our audience. As you position yourself and your writing here are some questions I encourage you to ask yourself in this process:

  • Who is my audience? Define it in as much detail as you can.

    • Age

    • Gender

    • Educational Background

    • Religious Background

    • Professional Background

    • Etc

  • What magazines do they read?

    • These are the publications where you submit articles to build your audience and recognition.

  • What drives this audience?

    • Learn what social issues are their passion.

    • What current events capture their heart?

    • Are they active or passive in their response?

    • What articles or posts have you created that garner their response?

      • These are the areas you continue to build. Pay attention to how and when people respond to your writing.

  • What books do they read?

  • How and where can I connect with them?

Writing isn't about (excuse the expression) vomiting up random ideas on paper and shooting them scattershot into cyberspace. Blogs have inadvertently helped create that hodgepodge writing when writers forget to weave some type of continuity or corresponding theme into their blog or articles. Remember to determine the topics where you can write effectively, stay focused and become an "expert" or known in that area. That can only happen as you position yourself.

I encourage you to take some time, considering your goals and determine what you hope to achieve with your writing. The draw a target, and shoot for it with purpose.