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Pumps and Prose—How To Use Your Womanly Advantage To Advance Your Career
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Women and words go together.

Our wiring makes us natural communicators; which is why some of the most celebrated authors of our times are from planet Venus.

J.K. Rowlings, the creator of the Harry Potter series, tops Forbes Magazine’s richest women’s list, while renowned novelist Terri McMillan captured the hearts of millions with her “oh no she didn’t! “ style of chronicling the frustrations of today’s woman in finding a good man. And who hasn’t been deeply touched by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s, “How do I love thee, let me count the ways?”

Because of this great marriage that exists between women and words, freelance writing is a popular career choice for females of varying stages in life—from stay at home moms, to displaced workers, to retirees, and those of us who are convinced that writing is a way not only to make a living, but to make a difference.

But too many of us fail to “optimize” our gender related gifts to get the most out of our careers.

THE GIFT OF GAB—It’s no secret that women love to talk and share, whether it’s through water-cooler conversations, girls’ night out, gossip, or weekly phone chats. Use some aspects of that exchange to chronicle human behavior, parenting tips, quick recipes, relationship advice, health tips, politics, etc. Chances are, no matter what the topic, if you and your female friends found it engaging, so will other women.

GUT FEELINGS—Have you ever just known something was right, despite any outside validation, simply because it felt right? Women have that gift. Call it women’s intuition or skills of discernment… but use it when exploring creative ideas and determining the appropriate path for you in your writing career.

MULTITASKING—Hope Clark has a rule of “keeping 13 in play.” Let the average man try to do that while juggling and balancing the other demands of life. Capitalize on the ability to handle many things simultaneously. Work on several creative projects at a time, and submit often.

BEING EMOTIONAL—On a regular gig, being too emotional can be viewed as a deficit, and a sign of sissies. Not so with writing! In fact, my ability to tap into what others have felt through lost love, parenting guilts, griefs, and regrets has served me well and made me quite profitable as a relationship columnist for several publications. Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve, if it allows you to share your humanity and help someone to live better. Show your audience that they are not alone in their imperfection.

RIGHT BRAIN THINKING—The right side of the brain is attributed to creativity. Research has shown that different regions of the brain cause certain behavioral activities, and that men and women differ in how these characteristics are displayed. Tap into your powers of creativity and know that your source of supply is endless.

Of course this is not to suggest that men don’t possess these divine qualities as well; some do! But by following these five tips you’ll be able to use your inherent strengths to make you a stronger and more profitable writer.

© Copyright 2008, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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