I have been a book author and artist for close to twenty years. I have paid for my mortgage, groceries, vacations and braces with my self-generated income. I have sold a blessed two million copies of my words and pictures.
And yet, until about five years ago, I stumbled through an introduction of my writing and my abilities. It may have sounded something like this:
Interested person: So, what do you do?
Me: I write and illustrate children’s books.
More interested person: Wow—you do both parts. You’re a writer AND an artist!
Me: Well… I’m not really an artist. I mean, I AM but I’ve never been formally trained in art and well, I’ve just worked to create a style that matches my words. And ya so… (head down, change subject, pick off nail polish).
This was not serving me well nor building anyone’s confidence in me, including my OWN.
Today I want us to practice owning our GIFT and TALENT as writers. Wholeheartedly. Even if we’re not generating ANY income from it. Talent and ability are not always cash-making but are still real and worth our belief.
How to Confidently Introduce Yourself and Your Abilities
Ready to introduce yourself with pizazz. Here are five steps to do it:
1. State your name and your craft.
“Hi, I’m Marianne, and I’m a children’s book writer and illustrator.”
Or “Greetings! My name is Joe and I’m a novelist.”
Or “Yo. I’m Paisley and I’m a poet.”
Stand tall. Make eye contact. Do not justify, downplay or explain.
2. Tell people about your current audience.
(Even if it’s just an audience of one!).
Share what you write about, or for whom you aspire to write. “I currently am working a series of nature poems but hope to soon begin working on a young adult Vampire novel.”
3. Add a thought or two on how you hope to grow in your chosen area.
“I am not yet published but am seeking a literary agent.”
Or “I am contemplating the self-publishing route while researching various publishers.”
Or “I am a nurse by day and a novelist by night.”
4. Stifle the critic in your head.
You know that one who, on cue, is saying something like, “Ha! That’ll be the day. You only have three pages written! If you were a real writer, you’d be published by now.”
Tell him to be quiet. You’re too busy being a writer.
5. Revel in it.
Respond to the interest and admiration that is sure to come your way after such a confident presentation of your words AND your worth!
How do you introduce yourself as a writer?
Do you ever downplay your talent as a writer? Self-critique to save someone else the trouble? For today’s practice, introduce yourself and your work in the comments section in the most confident, self-assured way possible! In addition to practicing this important skill, we will all get to learn a little more about one another! Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a kindred spirit in the crowd.
I'm Marianne Richmond—writer, artist and inspirationalist. My words have touched millions over the past two decades through my children's books and gift products.
Basically I put love into words and help you connect with the people + moments that matter. You can find me on my website, Facebook, and Twitter (@M_Richmond21).