I recently attended a webinar on networking the writer’s market. The challenge for this two week class was to find 100 useable blogs, email addresses, or phone numbers for people in the writing industry. Sounded easy enough till I realized they all had to be genre specific. I’m a romance writer, or at least am today, and everyone else in the webinar wrote mainstream or young adult. Go figure.
At night I dreamed about colorful webpages and endless book covers and agency names. Overwhelmed seemed like such a small word for the endless abyss of information I found. And now, amidst never-ending edits, outlines, and resuming a busy real-world work schedule, I have to make some kind of sense to it all. Frustrating, I should say.
Like thunderbolts sent from the raging sky of my own, one and only, book cover, it hit me. I’m not the only one fending off this slush pile of facts, trying to find the path to a full time writing career. Chances are if you’re reading this you are too (or a good friend who I’ve begged to join so I don’t look like a loser without followers).
In this blog I hope to share my journey of becoming a published author. My goal, you are my witness, is to secure a book deal where a) I actually get paid up front, b) I get paid, and c) I get some money from the deal. In all honesty, the name of the game is getting paid, right.
Even more than that, I hope to create a network for growing artists to use on their own journey of discovery. After all my first contract came from someone willing to lend a hand to an aspiring writer. (By the way, thanks for the billionth time. You know who you are.)
So, without further ado, here’s a tip on the smartest thing I ever did as a writer.
Join http://www.writing.com/ This is an on line writing network with thousands of members. The best part is you can join for free, although I do recommend the upgraded membership. Once in, post something. Anything, and start reviewing other’s works. The more you put into the site the more you get back. Join a group, enter a contest, post a question on one of the many forums. I can easily say every break I’ve gotten so far in writing has come from somewhere on this site.
Now for my sage advice. Watch what you post. Once posted to the public (posting to the whole site) the work is considered e-published and therefore not very eye fetching to an agent or publishing house. I post short stories or ideas for novels and maybe a few chapters, then remove the work before completing and editing. It’s still a great way to test your writing skills and receive comments from other like minded people. The mantra is ‘Write on!’ exactly what I should be doing right now.