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7 Surprising Reasons to Connect with Other Writers

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Where do you begin to write and publish a book?

That’s what first-time attendees to my meetups and workshops most often want to know. They have often been writing or contemplating their book idea for years. They are convinced it is a one-of-of-kind compelling story, sure to become a best seller.

Two things you must do before you can publish.

  1. Read voraciously in your genre.If you tell me you want to write historical fiction, but you’ve never read historical fiction, you aren’t ready to write yet.

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
Stephen King

  1. Form your writing habit.Some authors have a daily word count goal. Others write for a set amount of time. Write whatever comes to mind, crappy though it may be. This practice keeps your writing muscles lubricated. DON”T EDIT. Save all that crappy writing and keep going. The book you are meant to write will eventually emerge, but we’re talking about getting started.Get more detail about writing habits here http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2015/07/03/habits-writing-productivity/

While you continue to read and write, begin to connect with other writers in your genre and in the business of publishing whether you plan to approach a traditional publisher or self-publish

Where do you meet other writers?

  1. Begin with almighty Google. (You knew that was first, right?) Search for your genre, such as “memoir writers”, and you’ll discover online groups and organizations. Skip the paid ads at the top and right side of the Google results. Open the other links checking out what they are about, what they offer free and for pay, who are their affiliations, and discover if they are online and offline opportunities.
  2. Visit meetup.com to see what groups are available in your area. Read the guidelines, check their times and locations, and make a plan to visit several of them. You will likely have to join the group before you can see the details, but you can also unjoin if you don’t like what you see.

If you are just starting, getting acquainted with local writing groups will help you decide what will help your goals best. Do you want to improve your writing by getting critiques, get tips on finding a publisher or learn how to self-publish?

  1. Search the major social media such as Facebook and Linkedin for groups in your genre. Again, do your research and join the groups that resonate with you.

Once accepted in the groups you selected, participate regularly first by observing the ongoing activities and discussions. Soon you’ll have questions and begin to build relationships with the group. Check out http://facebook.com/groups/GutsyIndiePublishers

Here are the 7 reasons to connect with other writers that will surprise you

  1. Get validated.

It’s comforting to discover there are others like you. After all, if you’ve been writing since you could grasp a pencil you weren’t always sure you were inspired or just disturbed.

  1. Build confidence.

Even if you have written the world’s next great novel, you are probably terrified to show it to anyone, especially an agent or publisher. As a member of a writing/publishing group you get more comfortable with showing your work.

Two Kiwi authors who were selected as finalists in an international awards competition attribute their success to  their membership in Romance Writers of New Zealand. Through this organization they built their confidence and skills, as well as served as officers and attended conferences.

  1. Become more discerning.

Our fragile egos cave in easily the first time someone suggests changes or questions our writing. We feel exposed, attacked, and defeated. As you get your sea legs, you will no longer feel queasy at critiques and grow wiser about which are useful and which are optional.

  1. Build resilience.

As you receive feedback you get stronger, even the harsh truths you didn’t want to hear. You will grow to appreciate useful criticism that helps untangle snags in your writing. You also learn that you don’t have to agree with all critiques, and that’s good.

  1. Discover tools and techniques.

Since the onset of the digital age, many unique tools and techniques make it easier to create and publish your manuscript. The input of group members will expose you to more of these than you could discover on your own.

  1. Stay informed of changes in the industry.

The way you format your manuscript, submit your book to digital platforms, and other procedures change. Since some settings can’t be changed you need to know about them in advance.

Then, there are the sales on tools and services. Did you catch Bowker’s recent sale on ISBNs?

  1. Learn about emerging trends.

Crowdfunding, for example, was once primarily used by entertainers to raise funds to pay expenses. Authors are increasingly used this way to pay their publishing and marketing expenses. Connecting with other authors will help you learn how to take advantage of this trend.

Tell us in the comments if you have benefitted from connecting with other writers or bloggers?

 

 

Comments

  1. Writing can feel like a solitary endeavor when it is really important to connect. We can learn so much about the writing craft and how to move forward when our books are complete as well as receive support from people who really understand or have “been there”. Sometimes when I work from home I can get in a rut or a funk and connecting with others always gets me back on track. Thanks for the reminder to get out and connect.

    • You’re welcome, Linda. We all know what you mean about getting into a funk. As writers we certainly have to hunker down and work alone to get our writing done. But when it comes to getting the support, rejuvenation and resources we need to succeed, there’s no substitute for connecting with other published writers. Glad you liked this reminder. Thanks for stopping by.
      Flora recently posted..7 Surprising Reasons to Connect with Other WritersMy Profile

  2. What an excellent blog @Flora
    in particular items “Get validated” and “Build confidence”. You eluded to that criticism will come from some end. It won’t hit so hard if writers follow your advice. Also, it is helpful when other writers recommend your work.
    Great Blog!
    Thanks for sharing!

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