Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! I'm baaack! Every time I think I'm caught up, more must-be-done-this-minute stuff pops up again. When I'm working on my 2016 plan and goals over the next week or so, finding balance is going to be at the top of the list! What's on your list for next year?
My IRWA friend Aly Grady is here to add to those resolution ideas, especially where writing is concerned. Welcome, Aly, and thanks for visiting today!
Are you new to writing? OR, do you still feel like a newbie? What are some of the steps you’ve taken to get over that newness?
Honestly, my New Year resolution at the end of 2014 was to improve my writing career. Let’s face it. If you choose to start writing a book, seriously have a story in your head that just won’t stop talking to you, then you write. The problem is I’d already self-published three books, but still felt like a newbie. There are so many aspects to the writing industry that were, and still are, a mystery to me. So what did I do?
Early on in the editing process for my first book, Winslow Elliot suggested that I seek out a local Romance Writers of America chapter. What did I do? Brushed her off. Who needs a group right? Come to find out, I do! I don’t know about you, but sitting at home day in and day out—just the dog, me and my laptop—got lonely. Well, I would talk, but that stubborn dog wouldn’t respond.
Writing is lonely and I’m a social creature. That New Year resolution idea kicked in and I signed up for the national group. That’s all fine and good. But again, that was just an on-line thing. I needed people who got me and what I was doing with this writing thing.
Ta-da! Cue the bells and whistles. I found my local chapter of RWA. This group of ladies, and token gentleman, are a wealth of information. We come together once a month and learn writing techniques, strategies that have long been forgotten since high school or college. Discuss the latest trends in the writing industry and socialize.
We all come together from different places and backgrounds, but we have a common goal. We pump each other up and cheer on successes. I’ve felt less alone in my solitary career and, for me, that is priceless.
Have you looked for a local writing chapter and none are to be found? Well, since I’ve joined my writing chapter, I’ve also sought out more groups. There is a host of writing groups to be found on Facebook and I often use the hashtag #amwriting on Twitter. If you search that hashtag, you’ll see who else is writing. Go ahead. See who else is out there.
My latest endeavor to not feel alone in my writing was participating in National November Writer’s Month or NaNoWriMo. This is a crazy, stressful, exciting, and rewarding way to get 50,000 words written in a month. It is tracked on-line, but you can sign up to meet up through-out the month with others in your area. This is for any person who is interested in writing any genre. There are coaches to help you along your journey. There is a twitter sprint writing challenge you can participate in too. It’s fun tweeting with folks in Australia or Europe or anywhere in the world who are doing the exact same craziness as you. The whole thing is free, which is nice, and if you stick to their pre-prescribed plan, it can be relatively painless. Unless you are like me and you skip a day or five and push that last day to the limit of your imagination. Even if you don’t “win” by reaching that 50,000 goal, you still have the start of your amazing new work in progress.
So my point is—no matter what genre you write in, there are other folks out there doing the same thing. Seek them out, attend educational workshops designed for writers at industry events or local colleges. Most likely they want to find you too.
Talking to your Mom, sister, or friends about your writing struggles is nice, and they can pat you on the back and tell you that it will be fine. It’s a fellow writer who can work through that writing road block with you, because they know what you’re going through. They will also be the first to help you celebrate too.
So go find a writing buddy and then get to work on that next bestseller!
Aly accepted the challenge by her husband to write a book and created The Racer’s Widow, which was released in November 2012. Chasing The Dream and Taking A Chance round out the series. Aly is a member of Romance Writers of America, Indiana Romance Writers of America, and Contemporary Romance Writers.
Romance...With A Kick!