A newsletter is an extended conversation between writer and reader. Check out the one I’ve been having with Amanda Sue Creasey

Over the weekend I attended a talk on what it takes to build a beloved community. According to the speaker, it starts within—with how we feel about ourselves and the ways we see the world—but it ends with our actions.

I will spend the next few weeks considering what actions I’ll take in my local community. But I’ve also been considering how I interact with the virtual world.

In late 2022, I wrote about how Elon Musk’s Twitter hellscape inspired me to reconsider how I engage with my audience. It’s something I continue to mull over as I look to expand my author platform. 

Many writers believe author platform is synonymous with social media, but that’s far from true. According to author and content specialist, Tia Levings, your author platform is both the content you share and the places where you share it. This could include going to conferences; teaching, writing, or speaking about the things you’re passionate about; and having conversations with other people. A well-written newsletter can serve as an extended conversation between author and reader.

One of the extended conversations I’ve been having is with Amanda Sue Creasey.

In late 2021, she invited me to be a guest on If She Can Do It, So Can You!, a podcast that allows women to share their wisdom, wit, and grit. Soon after my interview, I started following her newsletter. I immediately connected with her honesty and vulnerability. I’ve also found her resources super helpful. Yet my favorite section is the one with her dogs, Soda and Nacho, aka “The Littles.” I think of her photos as my biweekly dose of delight. 

Here’s my interview with Amanda:

How often and when does your newsletter go out? I publish it every other Tuesday, with issues on January 17, 31, and so on.

How would you describe your newsletter? My newsletter is a fusion of three of my favorite things: writing, dogs, and nature. Content includes updates on my own writing, celebrations of other writers’ accomplishments, a calendar of upcoming literary events and opportunities, and photographs of The Littles (my two dogs) and nature.

How can people subscribe? People can visit my website, AmandaSueCreasey.com (scroll down until you see the subscribe field), or subscribe via Substack at amandasuecreasey.substack.com/.

Your book An Expected End will be published this year. Can you tell us about it? An Expected End is a work of literary speculative fiction that takes place in a not-so-distant future when people can find out the date of their death, and almost everyone does. The story explores how this knowledge affects not only individuals, but also society at large.

Literary citizenship and community building play a significant role in your newsletter. As an author preparing for a book launch, what role does literary citizenship play in your author platform? I really hope to create an author platform built on community, both for readers and writers, and between readers and writers. Groups like James River WritersVirginia Outdoor Writers Association, and the Poetry Society of Virginia have provided me with a writing community that has been instrumental to me as a writer, and I want to foster the types of connections that encourage and support people in their own creative endeavors. I feel really accomplished whenever I can help someone else get closer to their goals, and of course I hope that people would also support me in the same ways I try to support them.

What advice do you have for writers who are still working on their books? Keep writing your story. You’re the only one who can tell it. And enjoy the journey; it’s probably going to be a long one.

Your podcast puts the spotlight on “women sharing their wisdom, wit, and grit.” How does this work influence your writing? Much of my nonfiction writing focuses on life lessons, inspiration, and personal growth. Wisdom, wit, and grit are three attributes I want to express in my daily life, as well as through my writing. Writing, I think, requires all three of those. Wisdom in what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. Wit to make the work approachable and enjoyable. Grit to keep on writing—to persist. 

You always post photos of your adorable dogs in your newsletter. I absolutely love this. If a writer is interested in doing something similar, can you share why you do this and what the response has been from your readers? If you come to my newsletter for nothing else, come for the photos of Nacho and Soda (aka The Littles)! I post photos of The Littles in every issue because I’m obsessed with them, and I want to include them in everything I do. They paddleboard with me, hike with me, sleep with me, sit with me while I write, even come with me on most of my nonfiction writing assignments. They do just about everything with me. As such a big part of my life, it only seemed natural that they be part of my author newsletter.

If you’ll sign up for your biweekly dose of delight by subscribing to Amanda’s newsletter, especially since she’s a member of our beloved writing community. Once you’re done, send me an email with the names of the newsletters you subscribe to and what you enjoy about them.

Next week, we’ll dive into Seeking Wisdom by writing guru Julia Cameron. Until then, keep writing on.

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