Tag: Writing

Romance Blogs

The Five Top Author Blogs in Romance That You Need to Check Out

If you’re a budding romance author looking for inspiration, there are lots of fantastic blogs out there to help you get past any writer’s block or shake in confidence. As there are so many to choose from, here are some great ones to get you started!

1. Writers Helping Writers

Written by Angela Ackerman this blog gives superb advice for writers on how to construct believable storylines, characters your readers can empathise with, and relationships that all your readers will be rooting for. There really is no substitute for first-hand experience, so make this blog your go to in times of crisis through the writing process!

2. The Creative Penn

Joanna Penn has created the perfect place to go for advice on creating your hero characters, but she also gives advice on book marketing and lots of other pertinent topics for budding authors.

3. Romance Divas

This is the place to go for excellent insights into the writing process from other established authors. If you have a conundrum that you need another author’s help solving, go to the forum and ask the community of authors for their help and expertise. This is such a great resource as it brings together aspiring writers with more established authors to help you to realise your potential as an author.

4. The Romance Studio

This site is designed for all romantic fiction authors and can be a great resource for writers looking for advertising services or the latest industry news. A true all-in-one resource, this should be on your list of places to go for the most up-to-date advice and practical resources for becoming a romance writer.

5. Harlequin

Finally, we have Harlequin – go behind the scenes with your favorite romance authors, see the latest updates and releases from the authors you love, and learn about their personal stories and how they have overcome the same challenges every author faces.

I hope this gives you a good place to start when looking for help as an author in the romance world. All of these resources are designed specifically for romance authors, making their advice tailored to you.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash

Writing Advice

Writing is a Solitary Venture – Publishing is Not

Writing is the most solitary of careers. Crawling inside your head to tell the stories of characters others have never met is a unique experience. Most of us will beg for quiet as we work our way through getting these new tales down on paper. You can’t be chatting with coworkers and writing or fixing breakfast and writing, and so most have “writing caves” to help facilitate the creative process. The concern is that this most solitary of careers must become the most public and k when that same work becomes ready to publish.

Find Your Army

Many writers I know are introverts that enjoy the entire process of writing start to finish; publishing, though, is not their cup of tea. It’s not the process of getting the book to readers, but the garnering reviews, marketing, social media, and a million and one other details that must be considered to now make that story reach its intended audience. This is where finding your army of helpers is critical. Those critical resources can take your manuscript and help you find new and unique ways of getting it into readers’ hands—the resources to launch it to traditional literary agents if that be your desired course to publishing. Luckily in the technology age, our army no longer has to be physical, in-person people but rather those we can find in many corners of the internet.

Ensure Support and Positivity

From a good editor to beta readers that provide helpful feedback on the book, you need to have those you trust in your corner the minute you finish the manuscript. This is a hard and thankless job that can easily go to the side of the road and never see the light of day if the wrong team gives you advice after pouring blood, sweat, and tears into it. I can’t tell you the number of people I have met, even friends that immediately let go of the publishing dream after a solid writing experience because of someone’s sharp-tongued, mean-spirited advice. The right resource needs to help you balance good solid feedback to ensure you tweak, edit and rewrite pieces of the work needed with the support your confidence needs to continue forward. Many people out on social media and even publishing use a razor-sharp tongue to hold many hopeful authors back. Find those that can make you better at your art and bolster your confidence along the way and ignore the rest.

Resources

Social media has become a great resource not just for marketing but networking also. Readers and writer groups have popped up in various forums and platforms to collaborate on writing prompts to the best promotion sites available to authors. Arguments on traditional and indie publishing can also help provide the input for your path to getting your work seen by others. This can be a bit overwhelming when you see all the “vanity” publishers and “experts” out there that will inundate your box. Wading through to find the voices that resonate with you, and then truthfully, a bit of trial and error will be needed to find the best resources. Work the system, build schedules for marketing, networking, and other activities away from your writing that fit your current lifestyles and goals. At the end of the day, though, remember it is the writing that started you down this path, and it is the writing you will need to return to continue publishing.

Balance is probably one of the hardest tasks I have had to master in my writing career. From scheduling time for posting to social media, blogging, website maintenance, and then word count goals for the day, this is not an easy or part-time gig in any way. Finding the quiet time to write and then balance that with your business’s public side for the other aspects of publishing can be difficult. The good news is so many others had come before and paved the road with amazing opportunities if you know where to look. Just remember, find someone that helps build you up, doesn’t just blow smoke in your face, and helps take that first draft to a published book the best it possibly can. That moment when you find your book on the shelves of the major distributors out there – it will all have been worth it. Happy writing!

Photos courtesy of Pexels

The Secret Ingredient – Write Something Every Day

How many times has someone asked you, a friend, or maybe even an online forum what the secret is to writing a book? Most people who write for a living will respond with one shred of undeniable truth – get writing. I know it sounds simple, but people tend to procrastinate, organize and overall talk themselves out of big goals all the time. The ones that finally attain an impossible appearing goal, such as finishing their first book of poetry, that novel that has been rattling around their brain, or a blog for their first content piece, have something in common – they sat down to write. The secret is that the piece you see will never have been their first effort; they probably have numerous drafts in the recycling bin before that. The difference is they kept trying.

Good writing or even just finishing a writing goal such as a short story to a novel is evidence of putting forth the effort to accomplish what others will not. Yes, ten thousand words or three hundred thousand seems an impossible task, but five hundred may not. When I first considered organizing some of my writing into something consumable by a wider audience, I struggled for about fifteen years. I had journals, so many started manuscripts and about six thousand ideas. I would stop and start, give up and leave there for a year and finally go back. Then one day, I went to see a presentation by a pretty well-known author who was speaking at the local University, and that moment changed my life.

He said he never writes a single book in one go of days and weeks. Normally, multiple projects, doodlings, and musings are scattered about his journal or laptop before the final work takes shape. What he did do, was write every single day. Set a goal – five hundred words a day, no exception was his challenge that I walked away with and have done every day since. And when I say every day, I’m not kidding. In a decade of publishing now, probably less than a handful of days have passed without me writing. I carry a journal with me to jot down thoughts, I always have a laptop with me, and my family knows I will write during some part of my waking hours. In fact, I recently had a pretty bad day and considered going to bed without writing, and my daughter asked me exactly how bad I was feeling, and I should possibly go to the doctor.

The other recommendation I took from my fateful presentation all those years ago was to carve out a place in the home that was your “writing” or “working” space. That place that when you sit your butt in the seat there, it is writing time, and nothing should distract from that. He again emphasized nothing should interfere, not social media, cute cat pictures, or the like. Oh, and don’t worry about editing and how good it sounds from the onset – just write. This is crucial for me and something I do to this day. If I don’t feel inspired to work on one of my current pieces, I write a blog, write articles for clients or ghostwrite. Yes, variety for me has been a savior as now I have written nearly 300 blog posts for various industries and people; I have over 125 books total from novella to novel length for myself and others for whom I ghostwrite. This allows me to have options when I sit to do my “work” and get my words each day. I will tell you that five hundred word minimum is now 5,000 words a day in a decade of writing. Yes, that seems impossible, maybe from where you are now – but it can be done.

Now, remember that the first five hundred words are just a stepping stone to great things. Next, it will be a thousand, then five thousand, and soon your finished book. Don’t spend copious amounts of time editing so heavily as you write; discouragement will take hold. Let it flow. Whether it is handwritten in a journal or on a laptop, sit down and write something today—your thoughts, story ideas, or simply what makes you made. Like so many other skills exercising the ability to write soon breeds confidence and your ability to finish that writing through editing and then to publish. You can do it – make today that first day in your writing journey, and let’s see where it can take you.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash

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