There are three stages in the Writing Journey. Knowing which stage you are will help focus your time and energy at the task at hand, PLUS set you free from trying to complete the tasks of all three stages at once.
Here are the 3 Stages of the Writing Journey:
- Find Your Unique, Personal and Powerful Voice.
- Connect with Your Audience as Individual Readers and Listeners.
- Take your Message to the Market, finding Venues to Connect.
STAGE ONE: Take Time to Find Your Voice. To get alone, to write. To create content away from the crowd. This is about you.
You need to write, to create content. To find your voice. To own it well before others read it and offer comment or critique. You will need a friend to your writing during this time, and grace on your scheduling challenges. You’ll need to find a place and time dedicated to writing. This can take years to get up and running, a simple routine that allows creative content to be a regular part of your life, done in a way that works for everyone in your circle of need. We do not create in a vacuum, so finding OUR TIME AND PLACE to write is an important first step.
STAGE TWO: Recognize and Identify who your Reader is, what they’re looking for and how to meet their expectation. Once you’re confident of your content, you can face your reader head-on.
There are 5 Types of Readers. Your voice will resonate with one of them very strongly and the others not so much. The sooner you identify what type of reader YOU are, the sooner you’ll recognize what type of reader is most likely to connect with your work. Read my other article “The 5 Ways People Read the World” for more insights into this, but briefly they are: the Scholar looking through a factual lens; the Social Connector looking through a story lens; the Change Agent reading through a lens of passion; the Adventurer seeking adrenaline fueled action; and the Mystic reading for gentle transformation. These are 5 Different Readers and Your Reader will respond to Your Work.
STAGE THREE: Find your Venue(s) to Connect and/or take your message to Market. This is not about content or individual responses to your work: this is about reaching a wider audience and bringing your goods to market.
There are reasons (mostly fear or isolation-related) people hesitate to share their work with the world; track down publishing venues or take their writing to the next level from a professional point of view. I cover these in my book “Called to Write” which is available through ibooks, but basically they are fear of the unknown, lack of familiarity with the process of publishing, lack of time and energy, lack of professional connections and colleagues to encourage you to do what you really want to do, which is to be heard and received well. It takes gut to share your work with the world. You will be judged; applauded by some and ignored or slandered by others.
To take your work to market you must: spend time alone creating content and owning in your gut that your work is good. You must put in the time to edit and hone your craft. You must have a friend to your writing and resist the temptation to hermitage if you feel called to write within and for a larger community. You must know and serve your reader. You must be willing to take a few hits to publish and be paid for your work. AND you must know how to celebrate, pause, regroup and persevere all along the way. Victory will come and it will be sweet, but the road ahead on this journey is well marked with people who have paid the price. To Advance on this Journey, you must too.