Starting out as a writer is exciting and worrisome all at the same time. It is an adventure than many enter blindly and without a specific plan. Here are five things that all new writers should know:
1) Pick a genre! Recently, I was talking to someone on Twitter, who told me that they weren’t sure what genre their work in progress fell into. When I asked them how far they had gotten, they told me they were already half way through. Eek! You must pick a genre and write to that audience. If not, it is going to be extremely hard to market your book in the future and convince people to read it!
2) Social media is your new best friend! Seriously, I’m not joking! Go sign up for a Twitter account, create a Facebook author page, join writing groups online, and get on Goodreads. Of course, there are other social media networks, but the three I mentioned are, in my opinion, the most important! Start finding other authors, people who enjoy reading your genre, editors, publishers, etc. Before your book is out, you want a following of people who will give your writing a chance. This will help increase your popularity in the literary world and increase your sales.
3) There are a ton of resources for writers online! Websites, blogs, and writing groups are all amazing! I highly recommend joining SCBWI! I met my critique group members and other amazing authors and illustrators after joining this awesome group!
4) Writer’s block is a reality and when it happens it sucks! In order to move past these horrible incidents, have a plan to get out of your writing funk. When I get stuck on a particular scene or just can’t figure out what I want to happen next, I do a number of things. I talk to my critique group members, I watch a movie for inspiration, or I read a book in the same genre by one of my favorite authors. All of these actions help propel me out of writer’s block!
5) Have a writing plan and set goals! For instance, my writing plan is to publish Grishma this February and write the next two books in the series this year. My goals are to write at least 3,000 words a week and continue to work with my critique group members.