Thursday, July 18, 2013

Don’t Break Your Promise

Have you ever taken a big bite out of an entrée only to find (a) it was delicious or (b) ugh!  Not what you expected?

That’s the way readers react to something you’ve written.  When you put an article out there, a writer automatically makes a promise to their reader.  If you don’t fulfill that promise, the reader will likely avoid reading you again.  Why?  Because you broke your promise.

From your own experience as a reader, you know it’s true.  Not only that but you’ve spoiled a chance for personal recommendation.  Just like anyone else, writers want to be liked and build their platforms using social media and by word of mouth.

I am struggling to build my own platform.  When you see my byline, it is my desire to pass along tips I’ve garnered from writing for 30+ years.  If I can make you nod, smile, or even disagree, so much the better as long as you remember me.

When you see the byline for Dan Brown, Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clark, or Truman Capote, you expect excitement, adventure, mystery, and humor.  They fulfill the author’s promise and so must you.
Raise your right hand and repeat, "When you see my byline, I promise..."

  • To persuade you
  • To entertain you
  • To make you stay up late to find out the ending
  • To educate you
  • To widen your perspective
  • To broaden your attitude
  • To take you on adventures
  • To tie up the loose ends
  • To end with a satisfying closure
  • To give you believable characters with lots of conflict
  • To whet your appetite for more of my publications

Anyway, writers, you get the idea.  Now put this into your writing toolbox and begin to use it.  Your byline is your promise, so be true to it like the following quote from Stephen King:

"People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy... and I keep it in a jar on my desk."

~ Sheila Hudson
Sheila Hudson's work appears in Chocolate for a Woman's Soul series, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Patchwork Path, From the Heart, Vols. 1 & 2, plus numerous periodicals including Costumer Magazine. She established Bright Ideas to bring hope and inspiration through the written word.  Sheila has also served as president of Southeastern Writers Association.

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