Would you like to be published in print and online magazines…in just 90 days?
That’s what happened to my new friend Brooke, who generously agreed to answer some questions about how she got published so quickly.
Here’s our Q&A:
Q: Hi Brooke. I get asked by aspiring writers all the time: “How do I get published?” — Can you talk about how you went from a blog to getting a articles published in commercial magazines?
Absolutely. I can sum up how that happened, as well as the advice I would give to others around that topic in four words: Stop typing, start talking.
Being the extrovert I am it was natural for me to focus on my skills that had little to do with writing, but rather direct communication and relationship building.
What I write about is a topic deeply close to my heart and I do spend a lot of time at my computer, but getting it out there takes more than a great column.
Connect with your friends and tell them about your blog. Pick up the phone!! Reach out to your old boss, your yoga teacher, your co-workers.
Create a focus group either in your living room or via email- ask your friends specific questions about your blog, your writing, and what they want to see more of.
Literally start talking (over email definitely counts), socializing, and connecting.
In my case, the specific social vehicle that supported my blog being picked up in print the first time was…wait for it…Facebook.
I shamelessly and proudly told Facebook friends about my blog, checked out what old friends were up to, re-connected with them around our passion for writing and expression, and thought of creative ways to work together.
And when I wrote about a topic I thought a friend would like or be interested in, I linked it to their pages with a short message.
For example: When I partnered with Primer Magazine for a new men’s advice column, I put the link on my ex-boyfriends page (who I’m friends with) and wrote, “For all those times you thought I was wrong…” and believe me, that got comments and attention.
For one of the publications, my blog was linked to my mom’s Facebook page (yes, really) and seen by the publisher of a commercial magazine. I got a call, and so it began…
Q: What are some top tips you can provide on how to be a writer?
I think if you’re a writer you just know…not because you’re great, but because you love it. Love. Love. Love it.
I’ve never taken a writing class, nor received an award for a high school essay or short story, but I love to write. When I write something I’m proud of, I have energy in my heart and bones for days (cheesy, yes. but also true).
If you want to be a writer, write. Make time to write. Make space to write. Don’t only write the things you hope to publish on your blog or elsewhere.
Write in a journal, write letters and cards to friends, write morning pages (from the book, The Artists Way).
Build your voice. Try new things. Write. Read. Talk. Get inspired.
One of my closest friends Gabi Moskowitz, of the fabulous blog Brokeass Gourmet said to me one day when writers block was consuming me…
“Instead of working so hard to write, start working hard on being inspired.”
That pretty much sums it up.
Q: What are some tips for writing your first blog posting?
Just write it. Really, just write it. Be careful about hinging on the fantasy that your first post will be published and make you famous and and and…that’s a flavor of pressure that you just don’t need to taste.
Just remember…it’s called your first post for a reason.
The best advice I’ve ever gotten when it comes to starting something is “The only difference between those with an idea and those with a successful idea is doing something with it.”
Your blog will never be successful if you don’t start it!
Find a friend who knows about blogging and ask them to help you set it up and give you a little 101 about how to post, edit, and manage your new blog.
Take them to dinner as a thank you…and then take a breath, and go for it…
Q: I know you’ve also got a book in you — would you talk about the approach you’re considering to go from blog to book?
I definitely have a book in me. Right now though, I’m practicing what I preach and not attaching myself to any particular route, or destination for that matter.
There are different options for writing a book including writing a proposal in print, writing the entire book and sending it in to an agent, self publishing, or writing an e-book and self-promoting.
I’m in the stage right now where I’m working on the foundation and intention of my book, meeting new people in the writing world, proudly accepting new opportunities to build my audience and my writing voice…and trying to breathe along the way.
But don’t let that grounded energy be confused with passiveness… My book will be out there one day soon.
Q: Thanks, Brooke. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?
My psychotherapy office, where I see individuals, couples, and families in San Francisco can be reached at 415.294.4044
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