Part Two: 3 Ways to Use Your Prompt Response
This post is part of a series. Part One discusses 5 Ways to Approach a Writing Prompt and Part Three discusses What to Expect from Sharing Your Work. These are all dynamic posts and subject to periodic updates. Additionally, this post may contain affiliate links.
Please feel free to share any additional tips or your personal experiences with writing/blogging in the comments, and stay tuned for more prompts every Thursday!
If you’re writing for the therapeutic benefits, this option might be preferable. Or, if you’re like me and you have a very strong fear of rejection, keeping your writing private keeps it as you wanted it to be: your personal escape.
Like I discussed in Part One, there’s no rule that says once you write something it must then be published or publicized in any way (#2 Writing as a Hobby). Some works are meant to be private and that’s perfectly OK.
One of my favorite uses for personal writing is to have projects that I know will never see the light of day, so I can constantly return to them and pick up where I left off. I have many permanent works-in-progress that range from fantasy to romance, so whenever I feel a need to write something particular, I open up the WIP that matches and satisfy that craving. This process enables me to write when I need to write without the daunting prospect of an audience, which tends to paralyze me instead of encourage me to keep going. It’s writing for the soul, not for fame/fortune.
Publishing your work in literary journals, books, blogs, and other outlets can be extremely lucrative, but is not necessarily an easy path. Publication requires a lot of work, especially in marketing, which is my personal weak point. It requires a thick skin and dedication, but can be so worth the effort once the hard work pays off.
One thing to note about this option is that you need to be careful about how you publish your work. For example: If you write a novel and want it to be picked up by a traditional publisher, double check literary agent and publisher guidelines for whether you should consider self-publishing it first; some agencies/publishers will not work with novels that have previously appeared elsewhere. However, this is not to say self-publishing is bad. It’s a great way to get your name out there and start building an audience base. It has worked and will continue to work for some people, you just need to do what’s best for you and your work.
One of the easiest options for those who want to share their work, but not necessarily through formal publication is to get involved with small writing groups or have friends/family give feedback.
If you go this route, though, there are a couple of things to consider.
- Be willing to return the favor. Especially if you’re in a group of other writers, there can be an expectation to give as much as you get. Likewise, if you give your work to a friend to critique, see if maybe they have a work of their own they wanted feedback on. This can create great relationships with valuable results.
- To that effect, be aware that while friends, family, and even other writers may be willing to give you notes, sometimes it’s best to take those notes with grain of salt. Those people can be extremely helpful if they fall within your target audience or are professional writers/editors/agents/etc., but if they fall outside of your target audience or are unfamiliar with the particular genre, they might not know what to look for and what would be most helpful to you in revisions.
There are tons of options for getting started with sharing locally, including social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Similarly, you could start your own writing (or other art form) blog to post your work in a shareable format. All of these methods give you a decent amount of control over who sees what you post and provide an easy avenue for those viewers to leave comments.
(This topic will be discussed further in Part Three)
Have some writing tips & tricks you’d like to share or see discussed in future posts? Let me know in the comments! And be sure to check out our other Tips & Tricks articles: