Dyslexic tales · Masters tales

My USP (unique selling point)

I know this may sound a little too much like business, but this year I went on a writing for publication course and this was a huge part of it. And lately it has been on my mind.

The lecturer had said that you need to get the publisher, agent or even reader to want to see the rest of your book. And one of the hooks can be your USP. I immediately said – well, that would be my late start to writing.

Really – she said – why did you start late?

I thought about it… I was steered away from writing – I said.

Why? – she asked.

Because of my dyslexia – I said.

You’re dyslexic?

I nodded.

That is your USP – she said

Well, that is one way to look at it, but should I use it? I mean I have a variety of coping mechanisms and a support worker. Should I use it as my USP or should I make my MA or writing ability the selling point?

I thought about changing my biography but then I wondered at the future. At some point I will have to say goodbye to my support worker and I will be on my own. Don’t I have a right to use the dyslexia? Except I feel slightly guilty each time I do… It also feels like I am slightly less.

It is like my confidence is a large block of stone and each time I say – I’m dyslexic – I chip a small piece off. It feels like I am making an excuse in case my writing is bad. But it is a USP.

My business head says use it but the rest of me says don’t. Eventually there will be no stone left to chip a piece off.

In competitions I don’t mention it and in most of the submissions it has never come up, but when I am writing to agents and publishers I have been advised to use it.

I don’t know and luckily I have time to think about it. I’m not ready to submit anything yet, but it will happen soon. I think this is one I’m going to have to sleep on…

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2 thoughts on “My USP (unique selling point)

  1. Hi Kate,
    Your USP is your own voice as a writer, your feelings, your imagination, your creativity and how you use those things to craft your stories.

    I understand what you’re saying about dyslexia and can see how it must have impacted on your aim of being a writer, but to me it’s the least important thing, because being dyslexic only affects your technical ability to write, not what makes you special and unique as an artist. I absolutely sympathise, because for many years i didn’t have the confidence to believe I could be a writer, because technically, my writing wasn’t – and still isn’t perfect.

    It took me a long, long time to understand that being a good writer isn’t about whether you can write perfect sentences, or know all the rules of grammar. It’s about what’s in your heart and soul and mind and how you express that through your work, That’s what makes a writer, not whether you can spell!

    I wish you all the best of luck. x.

    1. Hi Veronica

      Thank you and it is hard at times to separate yourself from the problem that you cope with everyday. I have started to refer to myself as a writer and not a dyslexic writer. My problem ought to not define me as a writer, in fact the trouble it causes shouldn’t impact me as a writer, not my ideas or productivity. Sometime though, when everything is a struggle, you feel defined by it.

      It’s a mindset I am trying to get out of.

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