I have a personal goal to constantly improve my craft. The past few years, my classroom has been my world of self-publishing. Slowly building an awesome team – like my editor, my critique group, other authors, etc – has been invaluable on so many levels. Even more important, writing, writing and more writing has helped me to find my voice, discover a method that works for me, and even learn from mistakes. (What? Mistakes? Oh, my friends, that’s one of the best parts of writing.)
This year, I have decided to more formally focus in how I go about growing as an author. How, you may ask, do I intend to pursue the quest?
First step: find resources.
I started by looking at websites for authors in my genre(s) who I particularly like/respect/read/admire. Many successful authors post blogs that include helpful tips for other authors. Rebecca Zanetti, for example, has a section on her website for authors. Apparently she and I share a similar method for writing. Larissa Ione, Carolyn Jewel, and Lucy Monroe are just a few other authors who have similarly helpful sections on their sites.
As I dug around on my favorite authors helpful pages, I started to run across frequently cited resources that they use/recommend. Let me just say there are a TON of resources for writers out there. Filtering through all of that to find what will be helpful to you can be overwhelming. The fact that many of my authors recommend the same resources really helped me narrow down the options. As an example, based on my findings, I am currently in the process of becoming a member of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and I have spent a good deal of time on the Writer’s Digest website.
Another decision this year is that the time has come for me to actively pursue traditional publication (look for more on this later). Rather than fire out query letters in a shotgun approach, I am taking a great deal of time to research agents and publishers/editors who I feel would be a best fit. Okay, okay, I admit it. I am an industry stalker. As part of this research, I am finding great resources for writers. For example, I am now part of an online writer’s workshop run by Candace Havens.
As I have gone along in this resource finding frenzy, I have bookmarked those sites that most interested me. My next move. Start going through those all my discoveries more methodically. Look for another post on Step 2 in a few weeks after I’ve had time to take action.