Define Yourself as a Writer: Day 1 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

Welcome to the first day (and task) of the 2015 October Platform Challenge! I’m excited to get this show on the road and watch everyone either start or improve their platforms. I know everyone is coming at this challenge from various levels of experience, but it should be beneficial for all. Click here to check out the guidelines.

Define Yourself as a Writer

For the first day of this challenge, I want everyone to take a step back and define yourself as a writer. Don’t worry about where you want to be. Instead, focus on who you are, what you’ve done, what you’re currently doing, etc.

Below is a chart I’m using (with my own answers). Feel encouraged to use it to help you define yourself as a writer. Also, feel free to include your answers in the comments below–or just say something along the lines of “task completed” if you’re shy.

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Name (as used in byline): Robert Lee Brewer

Position(s): Senior Content Editor, Writer’s Digest Writing Community; Published Author as Poet; Freelance Writer; Blogger; Event Speaker; Den Leader – Cub Scouts; Volunteer/Mentor – Methodist Church

Skill(s): Editing; creative writing (poetry and fiction); technical writing; copywriting; database management; SEO; blogging; newsletter writing; problem solving; idea generation; public speaking; community building; teaching; mentoring

Social media platforms (active): Facebook; LinkedIn; Google+; Twitter

URL(s): www.writersmarket.com; www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides; www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules; www.robertleebrewer.com

Accomplishments: Named 2010 Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere; author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53); speaker at many writing events around the country for more than a decade; edited several editions of Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market books; former MVP of HS cross country and track teams and conference champion in multiple track events; undergraduate award-winner in multiple writing disciplines at the University of Cincinnati, including journalism, fiction, and technical writing; BA in English Literature from University of Cincinnati with certificates in writing for Creative Writing-Fiction and Professional and Technical Writing.

Interests: Writing (all genres); family (being good husband and father); faith; fitness (especially running and disc golf); fantasy football; reading.

In one sentence, who am I? Robert Lee Brewer is a married Methodist father of five children (four sons and one daughter) who works as an editor and plays as a writer, specializing in poetry and blogging.

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These are some starter questions/prompts for defining yourself as a writer. If you have others, I’d love for you to share them in the comments below. The main thing is to start defining who you are as a writer, because it’s hard for you to communicate something you haven’t yet defined.

A few more things:

  • If you haven’t already, pick one–and only one–name for your byline. As you’ll see throughout the month, consistency is an important factor in building a writer platform–starting with your consistent byline. For instance, I’m always Robert Lee Brewer, not Robert Brewer, not Bob Brewer, or whatever else people try to invent.
  • Interests and accomplishments may lead you down an unexpected road with your writing. Be open to what you discover about yourself.
  • In one sentence, who am I? If you can define yourself and your writing in one sentence, then it will be that much easier for you to build your writer platform using that mission statement.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He’s also the author of Solving the World’s Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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Find more advice on There Are No Rules:

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280 thoughts on “Define Yourself as a Writer: Day 1 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

  1. azlatic

    Late to the party, as usual. Will catch up quickly, though, as I’ve already done the first 10 days or so and just haven’t posted here. I tend to lurk for a long time before jumping in. So excited about this project…it is spurring me to do things I’ve been reluctant to tackle. Day 1 is done! Was a more helpful exercise than I realized at first.

  2. L.C. Rooney

    Name (as used in byline): L.C. Rooney

    Position(s): F/T writer of mystery fiction, P/T self-employed marketing strategist. Happy to have flipped the F/T-P/T status of these two early in 2015.

    Skill(s): Writing fiction, marketing copy, web copy, and email newsletters; blogging and ghost blogging; teaching and mentoring.

    Social media platforms (active): Facebook; LinkedIn; Google+; Twitter; Pinterest; Instagram

    URL(s): http://www.lcrooney.com, http://www.lindarooney.com

    Accomplishments: Survived a 30+ year career in the business world to arrive at a place where writing fiction full-time on an island off the coast of Maine is possible.

    Interests: Writing, reading, travel, photography, major league baseball

    In one sentence, who am I? L.C. Rooney is a Jersey Girl turned Maine-iac living the life she had imagined: a fearless writer of mystery fiction and award-winning marketing strategist helping writers & other creatives build their online platform.

  3. ZR Southcombe

    Hopping on late 🙂

    ZR Southcombe is a writer and artist exploring who we are individually and as a collective. With each work, she tries to push personal limitations, as well as creative and genre boundaries. She’s rejuvenated by the natural world and interested in our spiritual beings, and personal growth.

  4. ishitadutt

    I don’t know where to start. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would have been easier. I would like to believe that whatever said and done, I’m an honest writer. That does not imply that I write everything that I feel is right or anything that pleases me. It just means that while writing I try to keep my emotions as clear as possible. I don’t hide anything and I never write something with which I don’t completely agree with. Even when I write a fictional piece of writing, there is somewhere a pinch of reality. As far as the genre is concerned, I really don’t know how to categorize my writings. I write humor, satire, romance, mystery and any other so called genre. There is no one genre or category in which my writings would presumably fall. That is why my blog comes under the ‘Other’ category every time I fill an online form or survey.
    There is this one feeling that I encounter after writing a piece,that I am very embarrassed about- to make someone read it immediately. It’s like after I finish writing and edit and proof read, I call my best friend right there to read it out to her. I don’t know if that’s mature or not, but I like feedback.

  5. Poet Ariel

    Coming into this late … but Day 1 done. Whew.
    A driven creative, Pacific Northwest poet Ariel, has been writing confessional and haunting poetry since 1976; tugging on her res hair as she sprinkles Facebook and other platforms with raw uncensored emotion … and then she paints in the moonlight.

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