Posts Tagged ‘Fiction writing’

Whether Shy or Not

March 16, 2012 2 comments


There’s a niche for everyone. Deciding what is the right niche is crucial for the writer, because it marks one’s comfort zone and one’s interest. For those who’re shy, who can’t put themselves out for public notice, there are options galore.

One of the greatest confidence boosters for any writer is learning the craft to your very best ability. Take classes, join forums, and join a writer’s group where honest critiques are mandatory for participation. Each of these tactics will add a layer of skin thickener to your ego. The more confidence you can generate, the easier this business will become.

Find a preliminary direction for your writing energies. Experiment with a few genres to see where you feel comfortable working. Some people are born puzzlers. Other writers blossom within the greeting card market and do well developing lines of cards. Still other writers prefer writing magazine articles. More types of non-fiction articles are written each year than a fiction writer can think of in an hour.

If developing stories is your greatest satisfaction, fiction may be your best fit. In many ways, fiction takes in all the abilities of the other types of writing for different aspects of the genre. All fiction, for instance, uses facts about places, or personality types, or history. The reader doesn’t always recognize that fact because of how the story is woven and how much is removed from normal context.

Fiction oozes from a writer’s mind; its job to take a new story flower from a bud to maturity and its seeding, using hundreds of tiny components of reality, weaving fictional weft with non-fiction warp, so tightly, that the reader ultimately wants to live inside the story.

Get over shyness and go for it. For those of us who aren’t comfortable pushing ourselves into the spotlight or don’t like the feeling that we’re standing on a street corner and accosting passing business people, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. As a rule, shy people don’t make for good sales people.

In the writing world, shy gets you nowhere, very fast. I detest having to pitch an idea to an editor. I end up feeling like a used car dealer from the weed lot down the street, whose only claim to fame is that she lived long enough to retire from a real job.

The hardest thing learned in this business may be how to sell your ideas to the one with the checkbook.

Take your best shot. Use your best writing sample for the editor when submitting. Make your approach upbeat and positive. Most of all, believe that you deserve recognition for your work. If you can’t believe in yourself, neither will anyone else.

Know what you can do. Own your abilities. Be proud of them.

If you believe that you have a great idea, submit that idea to the editor in charge. Be specific in your presentation of the idea, and pitch it in such a way that it shows as a benefit to that publication. The worst that could happen is that the editor tells you “NO.”

If the idea is rejected, re-examine it, perhaps re-structure it, and pitch it to another magazine or newspaper. Always pitch with the idea of yourself in the driver’s seat of that particular new project/assignment.

The only writing game you can lose is the one you don’t play in. This business is a daily one. You can go nowhere if you don’t put yourself on the line with your writing. No one has to strive for fortune’s fame in this game.

Only a small percentage can claim to make a fortune with writing. The majority of us are working people who write on the side, after the regular job ends for the day or after the kids are in bed at night.

We have one thing in common, shy or bold, young or old, we love writing or we wouldn’t be here. We do many jobs that get to the public every day; jobs that few expect. Whatever written material you buy or have handed to you for free, a writer at some level spent time and effort getting it to you.

Each of us must decide what we want to write, what our ultimate goals are, and how much of ourselves we’re willing to expose for a career. Generally, the extrovert has an easier time of self-promotion than the introvert. That doesn’t mean that shy writers aren’t successful. It only means that they don’t do the dance in public.