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.
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…