I came across an article I penned at the start of my writing career, my first book was about to be published and I was just starting my platform. I was at the muddle through phase, which I’m sure we never really get out of, if we’re honest. What is the muddle through phase? It’s that time in your life where you really have no idea what you’re doing, but somehow you move forward and get your legs.
When we first begin our platform whether it is your writers, business, blog platform, it is a daunting task. Who am I? What do I want my readers to learn from me? Do I really have anything interesting to tell them?
I’m here to tell you that you do!
We are all an authority on something, but we do need to get our sea legs under us, so to speak! Below is an exert from that article written five years ago, I find it encouraging to see how much I’ve grown since then.
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 home schooled). 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 home schooled, I was quick to answer with an amazing response of which books we used, or how we scheduled our day.
I felt secure that I was an authority on home schooling.
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 at the time had only written 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 yet found my author’s voice. So, 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.
Since then, I’ve gone on to write five more books, and landed an awesome agent. I feel much more comfortable in being an authority on writing, BUT there is always more to learn. If you aren’t learning, you aren’t growing. So here is my list, it’s going to constantly be changing, just like we should be!
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 some Grammy winners I’d idolized most of my adult life. Only around thirty people were in attendanceand 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!)
Keep learning! Always learn something new.
Lastly, it take TIME! Don’t rush it, but ease into it, like your favorite stretchy pants. They’ll fit.