It’s never too early to get your name out there. This is another thing I didn’t realize right away, but once I got more involved in the online writing community I wished I would have done it sooner, and honestly I’m still working on this myself. I have a really hard time self promoting, which I REALLY need to get over. You’d think it’d be easier considering how much I love to talk! Problem is I have a hard time talking about myself. I’m working on it though!
Join twitter and follow authors, agents, publishers… everyone having anything to do with writing. Their tips, advice, and experience is extremely helpful. Follow helpful blogs and create your own blog. Get out there, join writer groups, find a conference to attend, whatever it takes. If you want a future in this business you have to start somewhere. Networking can only be in your advantage!
Find a critique group!!
I can honestly say I waited way too long to do this myself. I think I had the fear lots of new writers have: What if they hate my work? How do I even find a group? What if we don’t mesh well?
First of all, if you are writing at a level with hopes of one day being published no one will hate your writing. Have confidence in yourself! You may have different styles or different tastes, but I think in general all writers share the common interest of loving words, a good story, and meeting other writers. Lots of people are going to be reading your work on the road to getting published, might as well get it out there and get used to it.
Finding a group is easier than you think. Join online writers group or local ones. There is really no excuse to not join one, you don’t have to go to meetings or have some huge time commitment. Most writers have lives outside of writing too, they will understand if you can’t get always get to their work right away. My partners live in completely different states than me… we make it work.
If you find a writing group that focuses on what you write (I’m a member of YALitChat and met my group there) then your group should mesh well from the get go. If you don’t then no biggie, part your separate ways and try again.
Quite honestly, I got super lucky, my group clicked immediately. Reagan and Jessica are super awesome, positive, helpful, sweet…(I have lots of adjectives for them) can you tell I love my group! I’m indebted to them for all the help they provided on Gossamer, and it wasn’t just reading my MS and offering invaluable advice, it’s the support they provide as well.
I was writing this really big, pivotal chapter in the second book of the Gossamer series and listening to music and made an awesome discovery.
I was trying out spotify which I’ve never used before. They have a list of “what’s new” so I checked out one song from this band, liked what I heard, so I popped in my earbuds with their full playlist going and began typing away. Well during this big scene, I started paying attention to the lyrics, it was crazy–it was the perfect song. It is totally Kyla and Grant’s song!
It’s called Safe and Sound by Tonight Alive. You have to check out the song, I’m kind of in love with it now. Here’s their fb page and the entire debut album is up on spotify. https://www.facebook.com/tonightalive Check it out! The whole album is worth listening to, but if nothing else check out Safe and Sound.
I know most of you still have to wait until August to even read Gossamer, but think of it as a little taste of what’s to come. 😉
My second complete work has entered the submission phase. Which is super exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I wonder if, as an author, I will ever get to that point where I don’t hover over the send button second guessing everything I’ve written. Part of me hopes that happens, the stress of submissions sucks, but at the same rate maybe it keeps pushing me to try harder, improve my craft, and hopefully produce quality work.
So a little bit about my new work–Dream On is a novella length adult paranormal romance with a bit of an urban fantasy feel. It’s fun, filled with humor and crazy situations. I loved writing this story and was sad to see it end. Hopefully the submission goes well and I will have good news to report in the near future.
Being Valentine’s Day, I feel this post should have something having to do with love. Unfortunately anyone that knows me, knows I don’t really get the hype surrounding V-day. Which is extremely ironic considering I always write stories full of love and romance. So, I will write about love, but it will have to be about the love of writing.
You don’t write a novel to get rich, famous, land a movie deal, etc.–you write because you love to. If you don’t truly love telling a story, it’s probably not for you. You may love to read, you may even love to write, but you have to REALLY love writing to produce a novel length work.
If you feel you love writing enough to accomplish this than here’s my tip. Find your voice, be true to it, and write something you will love. I read this somewhere (which I cannot remember where) but it said if you are bored writing, your audience will be bored reading it. It’s very true, if your story isn’t captivating you, how do you expect to grab the reader? That being said, you won’t always love everything you write–each author is their own worst critic–but you should feel a strong connection to it and in the end you will LOVE it.
I have learned so much this last year, the biggest thing being–getting published isn’t easy. That’s putting it lightly, it’s down right hard, frustrating, complicated, emotionally exhausting, the list goes on and on. Most non-writers will probably never fully appreciate the process, I honestly didn’t before. I loved to read, knew writing a novel was work but never imagined how much.
Then of course, once you finally get a contract the work begins again. By the time the book reaches the reader it has been through several rounds of edits and checked over repeatedly to get it just right. It’s a lot of work! It’s a huge misconception that authors write a book, hand it over to a publisher, where they then work their magic and finally publish it. It takes a lot of time and hard work from the author, editor, and publisher. So if you read something and enjoy it, write a good review. Everyone that worked on producing the book deserves to hear it.
I’m sure everyone that plans on writing a manuscript has already done this but it’s worth repeating. Learn how to properly format your manuscript. Check your margins, your spacing, page numbers, page breaks, etc. But also remember to check the things to avoid. I learned the hard way about tabs. Do not tab, set your first line indention’s to 1/2 inch. I don’t know how I missed that along the way, but needless to say I had to manually remove a LOT of tabs. And as always, double check the requirements for any place you plan to submit, they may have specific request you need to follow.