Tuesday April 3, 2018 ~ The Letter C
This month, I write about being a writer, alphabetically.
I’ve written nonfiction, short stories, and poetry. My media has included everything from keyboard to fountain pen to crayon. And yes, I’m working on a novel.
Please join me each day as I explore this craft and career of playing with words as I participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2018.
The Letter C
It’s a Lonely Undertaking
Tapping away at the keyboard to create something awesome can be lonely work. With the exception of screenwriters, our creative process is mostly solitary. And we’re more likely to be introverts than, say, talk show hosts. Despite all that, we should take advantage of opportunities to meet and mingle with others in the industry.
These People May Know Good Stuff
Your epic work may not be quite ready for prime time. Feedback from other writers can help you refine your work and get it ready to be seen by decision-makers. Those informed opinions may identify something that moves your work from good to great. Friends and family may be your biggest cheerleaders, but might also be too kind to mention that your antagonist’s eye color changed twice before the end of the store.
When you connect with other writers, you connect with people who have (or will) shared experiences. They won’t look perplexed when you obsess about the right cover art. They’ll share your joy when you get a positive response in a mere four months. And they won’t be bewildered by terms such as Scrivener, ACX, CreateSpace, Kobo, Amazon metadata or IP. Other writers are on the same page, after all.
Others Help You Keep Current
The publishing industry these days changes faster than I can type. If you’re plugged in to the writing community, you’re likely to hear the most important bits that may affect your career. When someone with experience recommends (or doesn’t) a certain tool or app or service or process or subscription to help you along, well, that’s so much more valuable than a web page advertising “ours is the best”.
Meet a Whole Lot of Industry Insiders All at Once
Writing conferences, retreats, and other events are a great way to get plugged in. Be prepared for information overload, remember you may bump into important people, and, yes as old school as it is, bring your business cards. Do your research – it would be a shame to spend a long weekend surrounded by romance writers when your niche is fantasy.
Easier to Find than You Might Think
How to find all these great opportunities to connect? Hello, google. Search for writing groups in your city or state. Check out your local library to see if they host events. Social media, Meetup, and the blogs of other writers can be great resources. If you’re brave, you can strike up a conversation with that guy in the grocery line who’s wearing a NaNoWriMo shirt.
Like We Need An Excuse
We writers are collectors. We collect observations and memories and captivating word combinations. We collect because we cannot possibly remember every single inspiring sound, smell, view or whatever that inspires. Keep a small notebook (for old-schoolers) or your smart phone at hand. You know you’ll always have it with you. After all, that conversation that you overhear while waiting in the grocery line may just be the inspiration for your next great novel. Just don’t be weird about getting that inspiration down
Books Because, Well, Books
Some writers collect books. Okay, who am I kidding? Pretty much all writers collect books, because, well, reading is part of our skill development. If you’ve got a space shortage, periodically go through your shelves and gift a few of those babies to someone who will appreciate them. Or, consider an appropriate device for e-books. I know, not the same. I agree. But that little electronic screen holds tons of books, and such a teeny tiny space.
It Isn’t Just Books and Notes…
I know writers who collect media beyond books- photos, music, videos. These files may be for reference or inspiration, such as a photo of Angelina or Brad because that’s what your protagonist looks like. Or the media may be for your process. I’ve met more than a few successful authors who have playlists for each novel they’ve written. They build the list and play it while working. Genius.
I’ve exceeded my word count. Therefore, just two words that start with C.
Tomorrow, the letter D …