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Author Life 2: Make 2019 Your Writing Year

Author Life

Welcome to Author Life, the first of a series of blog posts aimed towards newbie authors keen to make a start in 2019. With each post, I’m going to offer some hints and tips about getting started, along with my recommendations on the best people and places to go.

Getting Started

I often receive emails and private messages on social media from writers asking for advice on how to get started. For most people, the answer is obvious: search the internet for advice. But the internet is so vast, so impersonal, and who’s to say the advice you’re being given is worthwhile? Not to mention the scammers and dodgy sites who offer empty promises in return for your hard earned cash. There’s nothing like a personal recommendation from someone in the know.

My Writing Life

I self-published my first book in December 2013. You can find it here. It was a bit rough around the edges and rejected by a handful of publishers and agents because the genre of true paranormal was not popular at the time. Surprisingly, it sold quite well. By then, I had built up a writing routine. I started writing fiction, a series involving a detective with an insight into the supernatural – it certainly was a case of writing what you know! You can read more about my writing journey here. I’ve been steadily writing two novels a year ever since. I’ve sold almost seven hundred thousand copies, with twelve published and a more to come. I’ve also published short stories in popular weekly magazines. My experience is the basis of my advice to new writers coming on the scene.

Courses

So who do I recommend in my very first Author life blog post? Whether you are looking for editorial advice for a recently completed novel or working out the nuts and bolts of it all, you can’t go far wrong with this great resource in the world of writing. Jericho Writers – pay them a visit. Check out their courses. No education is wasted, as long as you’re going to the right source. They know what they’re talking about and are one of the best in the business.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in courses, then check out my next recommendation for today. The Creative Penn is a fantastic resource for writers at any stage. She certainly was a huge inspiration to me when I first began. The Podcasts can be downloaded to your phone and you can listen to them on the go. The good news is that there’s a huge backlist, so you’ll be well versed in the writing industry by the time you’ve caught up with them all.

The Industry

So why do you need to learn about the industry, when you only want to write a book? If you’re one of the few hugely fortunate debut authors who has obtained a six-figure deal, then disregard what I’m about to say. If you’re not, then listen closely. You are going to have to immerse yourself in this industry if you want the best chance to get anywhere. Writing is about far more than creativity, it’s a business and you will be the wearer of many caps if you want to stay on top.

Finally…

I’m going to leave you with a task. It’s the beginning of a new year, a time for making resolutions, many of which have been forgotten by the end of January. Motivation is crucial if you’re serious about a writing career. I want you to watch The Secret (it’s currently on Netflix). If you’ve seen it already, watch it again. When you’ve done it, leave a comment below and tell me what you thought. Even if you don’t believe in it, give it a whirl. Then buy yourself a journal or diary and plan your year ahead. Work out how much time you have to write and set yourself a daily target. Accountability and goal setting is a great way of keeping track. Read more about motivated writing here.

That’s all for this week. I hope you’ll join me for my next blog post. If you enjoyed my post do give it a like. Please note the small print: I don’t get a commission for the links that I share. They are external links and have no connection with me. My advice is solely as a result of my personal opinions and experiences, and my willingness to #payitforward Please don’t hold me responsible for any problems you may encounter during your writing journey. Images courtesy of stocksnap.

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