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
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.
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.
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.