Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The big psych-out, and how it can help your writing career

I just witnessed my niece and nephew pull off a more secretive operation than the FBI has attempted in years.
The three-year-old was in a horrible mood... so the older two brushed their teeth, put on their pajamas, and crawled in their beds... only to get up three minutes later when she’d fallen asleep due to peer pressure.

At the risk of sounding crass, sometimes we too have to live by the old adage: “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

I’m not telling you to lie about your writing credentials. But if you want to be considered a professional writer, you need to look like one.

In person. On paper. In experience.

Going to a conference for the first time? Please don’t put on the ratty jeans or the butt-cheeky dress for your editor meeting. (This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve seen this.)

Turning in a proposal? Please have someone professionally edit it. Not just for grammar, but for content. (If you’re looking for some great names, I know some amazing people in the business who’ve helped me in the past. I do not get any kind of price-cut for recommending them. But they are worth every last dollar. And I did spend my last dollar.)

Building your credentials?

I think Jesus was onto something when He said to be faithful in the small things. Whether it’s a small-town newspaper article or church bulletin announcement, put 100% effort into it. You’ll be amazed at what doors those smaller publications open for you. Eventually you can put in your proposals, “Published over ____ times...”

And pretty soon, you'll find yourself psyched out by your own credentials... while you watch your self-confidence hurtle you into the next amazing step of your career.


So what about you? What advice would you give about faking it ‘til you’re making it?


Bekah Hamrick Martin is a Zondervan author and national speaker, who is honored to still write for the small-town newspaper that first believed in her.

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