For writers like me, sometimes it’s not easy being
green seen. There are a zillion of us in an already saturated space and we all have something to say! We want our voices heard through our written word but a lot of the time or most of the time for that matter, our stories get lost in the shuffle for a multitude of reasons. Maybe our work isn’t showing up on the right newsfeed. Maybe we’re not marketing ourselves effectively. Maybe our topics are just… wait for it…. downright boring. GASP! Whatever the reason(s), when we throw ourselves into a body of work and don’t get the response we’re looking for it can be frustrating.
Through trial and error (emphasis on the word error), I’ve attempted to zero in on a few ways to increase the traction and get the unpolished word heard!
6 Ways To Unpolish Your Writing And Get Readers Reading:
SHOCK VALUE: Shocking the shit out of your readers is definitely a surefire way to keep their eyeballs on the page. It’s also a way to ensure the shock will be shared with others. Did she really just write that? Oh no she didn’t! OHHHHH YES SHE DID! Amping up the shock value through descriptive and/or explicit verbiage not to mention selecting topics otherwise known to be taboo lets a reader know you are fiercely unpolished and willing to take big risks.
VARIETY: Writing about the same old same old over and over is not only snooze-worthy and predictable but it completely negates the shock value method described above. In order to get your readers reading you gotta think outside of the box rather than boxing yourself in it! Surprise your peeps by mixing it up. What fun is it if someone already suspects what direction you’re headed in before even getting out of the gate? Showing your broad stroke range will not only keep your readers guessing about what’s coming next but it will also increase the likelihood of gaining exposure to new readers!
HONESTY & HUMILITY: Experience has taught me the more honest I am, the better the writing becomes. And the better the writing becomes, the more those self expressions resonate with others. As writers, we must be willing to let our walls down and expose different sides of ourselves in order to truly connect with the reader. Whether you are writing from a place of pure joy and happiness or conversely if you are going inward and digging deep from a place of pain and suffering, it is vital to write with the utmost authenticity. I’m all for the philosophy of “fake it ’til you make it” but in this case, don’t underestimate the readers; if you cut corners, they’ll see right though your bullshit! Trust me!
RELEVANCE: Obviously you don’t want to be last on line (pun not intended) to dive into a topic a ton of other writers have already made a splash about. However, staying on top of what’s hot now is critical to keeping your readers reading! I know it can be difficult to get ahead of the curve so instead, why not be the curve? Select current events you feel are relevant to the masses but put your own spin on it. Follow your gut and write with conviction for what you believe. Be opinionated. Be loud. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Trust your gut and for Christ’s sake, don’t worry what other people think! You’ll never, never, never satisfy everyone so just stay the course and focus on satisfying yourself!
ASK QUESTIONS: Just because you’re the one doing the writing doesn’t mean you’re the one with all the answers. Keep your readers reading by asking questions! Letting your audience know their thoughts and feelings matter is an effective tool of empowerment. Keeping the reader on the page and engaged is essential so why not cut to the chase and ask them to stay! Remember, reaching out allows others to join in!
DON’T GIVE UP: I’m sure we can all agree the struggle is real but at the end of the day I’m sure we can also all agree no progress is ever made without risk. If you want to get your readers reading and keep them reading, you must take chances; you must put yourself out there; you must be vulnerable. You must push the unpolished envelope and no matter what, you mustn’t ever give up!!!
JUST TO LET YOU KNOW… Do you have any of your own ways to unpolish your writing and keep readers reading? What steps have worked? What steps haven’t? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to chime in and share your tips of the unpolished trade with us on social media!
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