A Level Playing Field {Simple Mom Talks Content Expression}

by Stephanie Bryant

{I’m doing a little series on Content Expression and Tsh from Simple Mom is my first guest. This woman has launched her own media company, while raising a family and living overseas. She’s been published for years through her blog, but now is on shelves with Organized Simplicity. I’m amazed by her talents and hope you’ll take her wisdom to heart.}

When I bought a little domain name — SimpleMom.net — a little more than three years ago, I had no inclination that it would turn me into a published author. I thought it might be fun to practice my writing hobby, to have an online space to dump ideas, and if someone else read my words, well, then all the better.

‘Publish a book’ was on my bucket list since I was a kid, but I honestly had absolutely no idea at all how to do it. You can’t help but feel overwhelmed at the 50,000 books when you stroll in to Barnes & Noble. I interpreted this dream as lofty, and never really took it seriously.

Fast forward three years to that sunny afternoon when I bought that domain name on a whim. I now have a book out in the world, I’m starting my second book proposal, my one little “idea dump” is now a five-site blog network, and I have to daily turn down writing offers.

I guess you could say I’m a writer. Wow.

It took me awhile to admit that, and it still feels weird, to be honest. After all, I’m a simple wife and mama with a tiny house and one minivan. The kids are literally jumping on the couch behind me, in fact. No writing cottage in the woods here.

This is the beauty of the publishing industry today — almost anyone can do it.

Almost.

In a world where a new blog is born every second, you’ve got to stand out, find your unique angle, and be insanely remarkable (to borrow a word from Seth Godin). You’ve got to work and write, and work and write, and just when you think you can kick up your feet, you’ve got to work and write some more. You also have to love it so much that you’re willing to do it for free.

Publishing isn’t easy.

Today, you’ve got to be the writer, the editor, the designer, and the publicist. No longer can you just be a whiz with words. I know a few authors with books in a warehouse collecting dust, their tomes waiting to be released in stores because their publishers first want them to find a blog audience. If you want to write a book, you should also plan on becoming your own publicist.

But publishing is accessible to everyone. Anyone who wants to be a writer can. No excuses. If you have a dream to write, to have an audience, to encourage and inspire others with your words, there’s absolutely no reason in the world why you can’t.

What a great world we live in.

Yes, there’s a chance that hitting “publish” on your post can eventually lead to an editor in New York asking if you’ve ever thought of writing a book. It happened to me, and I don’t have any special contacts in the publishing world. But just because you don’t get that tantalizing email in your inbox, it doesn’t mean you’re not a writer.

You are. You’re a writer. A published one, at that {if you blog}.

The Internet has leveled the playing field, and your writing portfolio can be on display, for all to see. No longer do you need to know a guy to get a leg up and make a difference.

I’m forever grateful for my little online space, because the audience there granted me the chance to cross an item off my bucket list. And wouldn’t you know it, I think I may get to write another book and perhaps — perhaps — start feeling a smidge more normal when I say I’m a writer.

But that online space is equally fulfilling, because three times a week, I can freely hit “publish” and send content out there that hopefully inspires. {No bigwig in New York needs to sign my permission slip first. . . or yours’.}

  • http://www.ourpeacefulhome.com Becky@OurPeacefulHome

    I love this post! How inspiring! Though, I don’t have a lot of readers I really love to write. I want to continue to improve my writing and be excited and passionate about what I write. Though people don’t always read what I write I hope that my writing can inspire someone or even just help me to express myself. Thanks Tsh! I really loved reading Organized Simplicity! It was wonderful! Living more simply is my heart’s cry! If you’d like to read my review on your book you can read it here. http://www.ourpeacefulhome.com/2011/02/february-read-organized-simplicity.html I picked it up at Blissdom!

    (I’d also LOVE to be able to hire someone to edit for me, someday! Though I love to write I’m not editor! )

    Blessings!

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      Keep up the writing. And knowing that you don’t want to edit is a great thing. It will leave you time to do the things you love.

  • Kristen

    What a perfect writer to choose for your first “Content Expression” series. Tsh has got it goin’ on. Thank you for your encouragement here today!

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      I know. I felt so privileged that Tsh eagerly accepted. :)

  • Anonymous

    Words well spoken! Thank you Tsh, and Stephanie for asking her.

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      Tsh is pretty wonderful, huh? I’m a big fan, too. :)

  • Dionna

    I’m so thankful for my blog too. The online world has opened up my horizons – my opportunities. And it does take hard work. I may not want to write a book, but it still takes hard work to become a columnist or article writer. And reputation matters a lot. :) I will be forever grateful for being able to blog.

    • http://www.sbryant.me Stephanie Bryant

      I love sensing your passion for your blog. It’s a great reminder!

  • Deanna

    Thank you so much for this post. A year ago I started a blog…and started a book…all in response to having the most amazing baby who happened to be born with an extra chromosome and considerable health problems. The outlet of writing has been therapeutic and emotionally freeing. It turned out to be something that was missing in my life. I’m still in the process of building my blog, and I’m still editing my book to get it ready for publishing- still just a dream at this point. But I’m absolutely loving every minute, and this post was incredibly encouraging as I look into the daunting world of publishing with no contacts but with an incredible story in my book that I know I need to share.

    Deanna
    http://www.everythingandnothingfromessex.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the encouragement (& your wisdom from your own experience) Tsh. I wrote about being able to call myself a writer just recently. Totally agree with what you’ve said here.

    http://fimby.tougas.net/evolution-of-a-writer

  • http://scribblesfromemily.blogspot.com/ Emily Joyce

    I stumbled on Tsh’s blog not long after I started blogging. It’s been great to learn the story behind the blog and the book! It’s so encouraging to know that Tsh is really a totally normal person who used her talents, and with a lot of work, is now a published author. I’m so inspired by her story! And this post said it all so well.

  • http://www.matternfamily.com Rambling Heather

    I am new to this site but this post was so very inspiring. I am going to have to continue reading the other posts here. I have a hard time calling myself a writer. Im not sure it will ever feel “natural,” thank you for this inspiration!

  • Ursula Liao

    I’m by far not a writer, but I enjoy following Tsh online…and I must encourage Tsh and let her know that I can’t imagine how many people the Lord is encouraging through her writing. Thank you Tsh for taking the plunge to follow your God-given passions and seek the Lord through it all. It has been an encouragement to me to see how real the Lord is in your life. :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/marmstrong6 Melissa Armstrong

    Thank you for writing such an inspiring post. Your words are very motivating. I’m just now in a place in my life where I feel like I deserve to follow a dream.

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