How Findable Are You? (Why Blogging Is Important For Authors)
by Writing Workshops Org Admin
A year ago
As an author, how findable are you?
I enrolled in a creative writing night class at a local community college in the fall of 2007. It was the first time I had taken a writing class and the first time I was made to finish a story. I ended up taking the same Introduction to Fiction class three semesters in a row. For the first time, I had a mentor, warm readers, and best of all: deadlines.
By the end of my third semester, I started to figure out how to send my work out to literary journals. This took a while because there are a lot of places to send your work. This also meant there was a lot of work out there to be read. Which made me wonder, how could I, as an unknown writer, break through and find my work in print? At the time it felt daunting, and most days it still does.
I didn’t get a story published until 2009. But even before that, I wondered, if or when I do get published, how findable will I be? In a sea of writers, how can I stand out? How can I make myself findable by editors or agents who (way, way down the line) might want to reach out to me after reading something I’ve written?
I knew for sure that decision-makers interested in seeing more of my work would want to see that I was active in the literary community—that I had a Twitter account, a blog or website, and that I was publishing my work regularly. That I was easily findable.
Gaining footing early in a career can be difficult. Unless you are one of the rare wunderkinds who writes a hit debut book that sells for six or seven figures, then you’re like me and most writers who find it hard to get paid for the work we do. Printed literary journals might send a contributor copy. Online journals and blogs often offer a backlink to your website. All of this adds up to exposure, which some people think isn’t worth it. But I do.
Even though I now have over forty short stories published, I can count on only one hand the number of publications who have paid me for my work—VICE, McSweeney’s, Day One, Short Fiction. But I still find my publishing credits invaluable. They helped establish me in the literary community; they gave me little bursts of confidence when I needed it; they introduced my work to readers; and in the end, they made me findable to literary agents, which is how I came to know my literary agent.
But this didn’t happen overnight or even with just publishing stories. Finding my footing came over time and with a diverse body of work to my credit. All of the hard work you are doing now will gather into something meaningful if you give it enough time. Maybe along the way you’ll get a check for your efforts. In the meantime, sending your work out to places that give you a platform can be very worthwhile.
Which brings me to this blog. How findable are you?
A few months ago, we opened up our blog to submissions because we kept hearing from writers in our community that they would love to write for us. Since then, we’ve published blogs from local writers, authors from across the US, and from many of our instructors including New York Times bestsellers, New York Times columnists, National Book Award finalists, and more.
We would love to have a contribution from you, too. Find our guidelines HERE! We are proud of you and want to share your hard work with the literary community. We are accepting submissions from any writer on the topics of writing, editing, publishing, marketing, or the business of writing.
Maybe this blog will only be another line in your publishing credits. But to us, it will be an invaluable contribution to the literary community we’re building at Writing Workshops Dallas. Whether you’ve published your work or not, writing a blog post can be a great way to engage with your audience and connect to the writing community.
With every WWD blog, we encourage readers to find your article through our email newsletter and social media channels. We also share links and graphics with our guest bloggers so you can easily share the article across your own platforms. Don’t forget to include a link to your author website or social media channels so readers can follow you to see more of your work!
You’ll find readers, and you’ll make yourself more findable to editors and agents along the way. As for us, we’re just happy you want to be part of our writing journey! Email your pitch or full article to Submissions@writingworkshopsdallas.com
Blake Kimzey is the Founder & Executive Director of Writing Workshops Dallas. He also teaches Intermediate Fiction, and his next class starts in January 2020.