Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Becoming an authority

I can be an authority on about anything, just ask my kids.

Hey mom, what's the tallest building in the world. Where's my shoes?  What is my grade-point average (we homeschool). Where'd I put my keys that you just gave me and told me not to lose?  You get the picture. Even other mom's would ask me questions about how I homeschool, I was quick to answer with an amazing response of which books we used or how we scheduled our day.

But, when it came to writing, I often felt that others knew so much more than I... They wrote awesome books, created amazing blogs, had the biggest twitter following in the universe, while I only wrote a book, all be it a great book. I felt I hadn't gained the expertise or know-how to be an authority.

Seems I hadn't found my author's voice yet.  Just like our characters need to find their voice, we need to find our own. I set my mind on it, as we writers do, pondering what I wanted to say.  After a few days it turned out I  did know a thing or two.  I'd after all, written a book from start to finish.  It was my book, who else could be an authority on it except me?

So how can you be an authority? You will have to find your own way of course, we all do, but I can give you some pointers.

  • Work from what you know. Find your footing - what vast knowledge do you have? Start there.

  • Be real, be transparent. I once went to an intimate in home concert with a musical group I'd idolized most of my adult life. Only around thirty people were in attendance and what struck me was that these guys were real, they were honest, they were transparent. Immediately, I knew  this is how you connect with your audience.  They didn't hide behind their name, they shared raw details of their life. 

  • Treat others with professionalism. Courtesy goes a long way in anything. We've all watched someone get too big for their britches, and a fall from grace soon follows.

  • If you don't know the answer, look it up?  Almost every question can be answered among the internet's invisible walls. (I speak from experience.) BUT remember not everything on the internet is TRUE.  (I speak from experience.)
  • Never talk down to your audience.  

  • Make your opinion count for something. But remember, your opinion is just that, your opinion.

  • Be humble. (No one, repeat, no one likes a know it all!)
Now, I'm sure this list can be added too. I know I will add to it as I become more proficient. But in the mean time, I'm an authority on my own book, and my own life! 

And on a side note... My book will be available on Januray 6th.  I've got a gnawing in my belly cause I'm so nervous. Be sure to check it out if you would! And be sure to read my Character Interview with Laura at Hidden Corner of the Interwebz.  I talk all about my main gal Amber Megan Peel of THE LAST STORED.