Jack of All Trades
Being a writer these days takes a hell of a lot more than just knowing how to put together a few words to form concise and cohesive sentences that not only inform but engage readers. Sure, that’s essential to the core, but in order to be a successful writer of any kind today, you must also become your own publicist. And if you want to stay relevant and reach the maximum amount of readers, you need to add ‘social media specialist’ to that list as well. If you can’t self promote and share your work online, you may as well step away from the laptop and rethink your whole career path.
It’s Not Just Journalists Either
Writers of all kind–journalists, authors, bloggers, etc.–need to be media savvy and quick with these skills. While it may add a few whole new dimensions to our line of work, the truth is this is a necessary evil or benefit, depending on how you look at it. Of course it means more work for the writer, since his or her “work” isn’t done as soon as the article/story/post is submitted. But the ability to have instant feedback from those readers who happen to come across your tweets or links shared on Facebook, for example, is a great advantage we never had 20 years ago when you had to wait for articles to be published months after they were originally written. Yes, there’s also the bad side to this–where viewers may comment negatively on your work in a matter of seconds, but it works amazingly well when word spreads like fire and garners you more readers, followers, fans, etc. Plus, even bad “press” is good press, as the old saying goes…
Keeping Up With the Times
Even if you’re someone who loves print publishing and gasp at the idea of reading a book on an e-reader, you need to start adapting your way of thinking if you want to stay relevant as a writer. You’re part of the process and the process is changing. There’s not much we can do about that but change with the times and learn to love technology’s new uses and media formats. And always remember that there is no better brand ambassador for your own work than yourself. Know your message and what you have to offer and get the word out there! Oh yes, and don’t forget to network, but that’s fodder for another post…
Does your job require you to wear lots of hats? How is technology changing your industry?