For almost almost anything new we want to do, there’s a learning curve. If you want to become a traditionally published author, a self-published author or a blogger, you must work yourself around the curve. How do you do this? You can choose from a variety of ways:
- Attend a conference. There are a variety of conferences available all over the U.S. and the world on all sorts of writing and publishing related topics. I attended a blogging conference recently. There’s an ebook conference coming up in January. You can attend a journalists’ conference. Pick your passion or interest, and you can find a conference where you can learn from 10 or 100+ different experts. (And believe me, this is worth the expense.)
- Sign up for a webinar or teleconference. I can find a free teleconference or webinar at least once a day that strikes my fancy. Yes, in many cases the people who hots them are trying to upsell you on something else–a program or a product, but they also offer great information along the way. And in many cases, they simply offer you 30 minutes or an hour of great information to introduce you to their other great services and products. You might actually find you want to sign up for those so you can learn more from these experts. These aren’t scams in most cases; they are, indeed, experts simply offering free information to get you interested in their paid products and programs, which have value–sometimes immense value.
- Hire a coach or consultant. Sometimes we learn best one on one. In this case, spend the money on a coach or a consultant who can teach you what you want to learn and also be your accountability partner. This can be the ultimate learning experience and the most effective way to meet your goals.
- Do research on the Internet. It’s amazing what all you can learn simply by Googling a topic. You can find tons of step-by-step instructions for doing almost anything. If you work well alone and like doing research, this method might give you a great sense of accomplishment.
- Read a book. Ah…a novel idea! Lots of books have been written on just about anything you want to learn. Spend a few days reading and studying a few good books, and then apply what you’ve learned.
- Take a class. Many colleges, recreation departments or continuing education programs offer writing classes and classes on blogging or getting published. These can be inexpensive and high quality. They are often taught by experts in the field who offer hands on techniques, feed back and real face time you may not get elsewhere.
This weekend, consider spending some time or some money on one of these methods so you ensure you are actually educating yourself. I got where I am today by constantly learning more and more about the publishing industry and applying it. And I’ll be speaking at the opening session of the San Francisco Writer’s Conference as a conference success story because I began as an attendee, then became a volunteer and then moved up the ranks to panels and now speaker–and published author. That happened by being devoted to getting the education I needed to succeed–any way I could.
Let me know how you educate yourself for success as a writer–or leave a comment here voicing your commitment to doing so this year.