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Next up is chapter eight of You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins and today Goins spends some time encouraging us, showing us what is possible, and helping us to see how important it is to build relationships with our readers. Building off Chapter Six and Chapter Seven, we need to understand that we can have Platforms and a Brand, but without Channels, we’ll be left in the dark. Let’s see what we can do to bring in the light:
When you spend years and years pitching magazines, trying to keep up on blog posts or trying to find an agent who will give your manuscript a chance, you can reach the lowest of low points as a writer. We don’t understand why things are so hard or why people just won’t give us the time of day. But in order to succeed, to grow, we have to start with a mindset shift.
As Goins says, he saw growth, “Because I chose myself instead of waiting for others to do it.”
But how do you do that? By building up channels to connect with others. And what are those connections exactly? Relationships. It’s all about the relationships.
“A connection must be meaningful. It must be mutual. It must matter.”
Goins explained each of those key points for building connections/relationships with our readers:
- Meaningful: Do people actually care about what you are saying?
- Mutual: Do both parties get some sort of benefit?
- Matter: Does something actually result from the connection or is it just useless fluff?
If you think you meet those three requirements (or you would if people actually read your stuff), great! However, we still have to figure out how we actually connect with people and get them to read what we write. And Goins brings up the point (again) that you need permission to do that, to build that connection with a reader. That may sound difficult, but it’s really not. How do you get permission? You ask for it.
“You don’t get to decide what matters. They do.”
You don’t get to just throw things at people and expect them to care. You have to listen to them, be willing to be generous, and always, always ask them to connect instead of shoving yourself into their face. Don’t be the salesperson in the store that you avoid. Be the person that people actually like to listen to, the person people pursue, the person that actually helps people to be the best they can be.
Now, you have permission to connect (yay!). Now what? Building up your channel, where you can build those connections the way you want.
An example of having your own channel is an email list, podcasts or relationships with key people in your field. I have my email list, which is where I can talk directly to my reader, engage them and hopefully help them even more than I would just throwing posts up on social media. We each have our own channel and we need to nurture the connections within that channel. Because that is where our writing future is held.
At the end, after all these chapters about the work we will have to do in order to build our platform, brand and channels, Goins shares the high points of what fruit can come from that hard work. It truly brings it all together and reminds us why we do what we do. What may be in our future if you are willing to just choose ourselves instead of waiting for others to.
But Goins doesn’t let us get off easy. No, he ends it with a reminder that we hold the power over the great things that can come from growth as a writer, from the success that can be in our futures: “It’s the Age of No Excuse-where anything is possible and the only one holding you back is you.”
Are you ready to let yourself go forward?
If you would like to join us, you can get a copy of the book at You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) And if you want to join the conversation, post your thoughts below or tag us on social media with #thepinkbookwormclub I look forward to hearing your thoughts!
If you read chapter eight, be sure to share your thoughts below!