"I'm Writing a Book"
I run into aspiring authors all the time. People who have ideas running rampant in their heads, or stories of their families they long to put into memoirs. Does this sound like you? No matter what you’re writing, you have a story and you want someone to read it.
Welcome to the club, fellow writer! 🙂
Part of the story of what inspired me can be found here and many more stories in my blog, but I’ll get to the reason you came to this page. After you realize you have a story to tell, what the heck do you do with it?!
Seems obvious, but the first step is to write all those ideas down. Doesn’t matter if it’s perfect, in fact, it’s not, nor should it be. Employ the viewpoint that you are “writing for the trashcan.” Pretend no one will see it, not even your cat (who is probably sleeping on your keyboard), and just go to town. First drafts are about getting those ideas clattering around in your head onto the page (or screen), not about perfection.
To publish or not to publish?
That is the question. And the only right answer is the one you have. I’m considered a “traditionally published” author, meaning I sell my manuscripts to a publisher and they are in charge of cover, marketing, and providing me with an editor to help me polish that previously crappy first draft.
Other authors choose the “indie” route, which means they are self-publishing their books. If you go this route, make sure to talk to someone who is already independently published and get their advice on hiring an editor, cover designer, and marketing. It’s a very profitable and successful route for many authors. Only you can decide which direction to turn.
Everything in between
Now, between writing that first draft and getting an agent, there are about a million other steps. If you’re in that stage of your writing career, you have come to the right place! I spent two and a half years chronicling my journey to publication through my blog Sm:)e Feel Good and I left the blog up for people like you who want to sift through my many posts and see for yourself where I was at each stage.
I’d read somewhere that writers do two things: read and write everyday. I was already reading (devouring romance novels like meals) and I knew my genre and my craft. Now to get into the habit of writing everyday.
Blogging is the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to write and see something published almost instantly.
That’s really the most useful tip out there. Most of us do not find our writer’s “voice” until we have written several books. After you finish that first beautiful manuscript, put it down, let it rest, and write another. At some point, you will find your voice. Your true voice. The one that is yours and not anyone else’s. You will know it when you find it. Until then? Just keep writing.
As a romance writer, you can find lots of valuable online classes and get a trade magazine with articles written by published authors. Join HERE.
NaNoWriMo happens every November. You can join this (free!) challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in one month’s time and find out what you’re really made of. A great challenge for writers, seasoned or not.
Once you have edited your manuscript no fewer than twelve times (I’m kind of not kidding. You need time and distance and a few solid passes PLUS a few unbiased readers to review your words before you attempt to pursue an agent), you can get get thee to QueryTracker.netwhere there are forums and boards listing agents who rep every kind of book imaginable.