March 29, 2021– We’re wrapping up our theme of answering your questions this month! I’m having a ball and I hope that you are too. Let’s see what today’s question is:
Q: “What is your number 1 piece of advice for aspiring authors?”
A: Hmmm? This is a tough question! My number one piece of advice for aspiring authors has to be, “You get what you work for, not what you wish for.” I know that many of you who follow my blog, social media, and podcast have heard me say this hundreds of times, but it still rings true. When I started out as an author, I had enough rejection slips to wallpaper the side of my house, but that did not deter me; I kept working hard, improving my writing, continuing my education, and submitting my work to publications. Stick with it and keep working no matter how hard it gets and be sure to take feedback constructively. Becoming an author is all about learning, improving, believing in yourself, and refusing to give up. Here are some tips to remember as you begin or continue your author’s journey:
- Write down your goals. You won’t ever hit a target that you can’t see, that’s why it’s important to figure out what you want. Your goals can be anything that you want to achieve in your writing career; best seller status, selling x amount of copies, seeing your name in print, getting published, selling your work to your favourite magazine, doing school visits etc. Your list of goals can be small or large, but I’m a big believer in dreaming BIG.
- Take action. Work on your goals every single day and ignore everything that will distract you from reaching them. It’s one thing to dream, it’s another thing to take action toward making your dreams come true. Dream it, but then do it.
- Define success. What does success mean to you? Whatever it means you need to define it so that you’ll know what it is when you get there. No one can tell you what success it, but you!
- Keep your chin up. Yes, you’re going to face rejection, a lot of it, but that’s ok, it’s all part of the journey. In this business we need to have a thick skin because sometimes people can be less than nice; as long as you’re learning and enjoying the process, you’ll get to where you want to go!
Best of luck in your publishing journey! Happy Writing X LLB
March 20, 2020-Book clubs can be a valuable source of ideas and recommendations from one reader to the next. Here’s what you can learn from becoming a member of a book club in your area. *Due to recent world events, the availability and creation of online/digital book clubs are an excellent idea!
- You widen your views, ideas, and perception of the world. Have you ever discussed a book with a colleague and you each took away a different message from it? Of course, you have! No one sees the world the way that you do, and that’s what’s most exciting! A good debate/discussion around a topic gets new ideas flowing and expands our thinking. It allows us, even for a brief moment, to experience the world through another person’s eyes.
- It betters your own writing skills. We know that the more we read, the better writers we become. Reading different genres that are offered at book clubs, expand our horizons and help us leave our reading comfort zones. Perhaps we’ve only been reading historical fiction, and our book club picks a new psych thriller! This will only help you in the long run as an author because it will expose you to different voices, points of view, narrative, and dialogue, as well as plot structures and character development.
- You’ll gain new friends. There will be people who you instantly connect with in your reading club and people who you won’t. That’s ok! Bonding over books is magical, and book clubs help develop life-long friendships in places all over the world.
- You’ll finish the book. This is an important one! I knew a woman who said one of the reasons she joined a local book club was because she had a reading goal that year, and the club was the only way that she was going to reach it! A book club will “force” you to finish the book, which is a good thing.
We’re working on a lot of things around here and with the current outbreak, we are trying to find new ways to connect with our readers. Soon, we’ll have an online book club that you’ll be able to participate in each month. We’re just figuring out the dynamics of that and the best way to communicate with our book club members remotely. Stay tuned for more details!
March 8, 2019- Up until about a year ago, I was a regular member of a local writing group that met each Saturday at a coffee shop in town. It was super relaxed and there were around eight of us, laptops in hand, armed with new ideas, and ready to write. It was a fantastic experience and some of the things I learned along the way, I still carry with me today. The only reason why I stopped going was that I ran out of time and my writing business took over with events that were held on weekends. Being part of a casual writing group was a great experience and here’s why you should consider joining one:
- You’ll get inspired and beat writer’s block. There’s something to be said about gathering in a small group and sharing ideas. Some of my best book ideas have come from just chatting with others and listening to their perspectives on different topics.
- You’ll develop discipline. Every Saturday for two hours from 9 am until 11 am is when our group met and started writing. This helped me develop discipline; it made me realize that I could sit down for two consecutive hours and write, uninterrupted.
- You’ll get and be able to give constructive criticism. This was the most important thing that I got out of joining a writing group. My comrades gave me constructive criticism and made me take a hard look at my writing. They saw the holes that I was blind to. They asked the tough questions that made me a better writer and for that, I’m eternally grateful. I was also able to give feedback and trust my instincts that I knew what I was doing and what I was talking about as a writer.
- You’ll get to network with like-minded people and make some friends. There are people that I’m still friends with from this group and I’ve also been able to do business with a few of them. We still talk about writing and bounce ideas off each other every once in a while.
I highly recommend joining a local writer’s group! You’ll have a blast and be able to hone your skills at the same time. Happy writing! X LLB