Thanks, again, Serena, for this chance to visit your blog and chat about my passion: writing. I hope everyone enjoys “Drawing Closer”. I will be giving away one Kindle copy of Drawing Closer to one commenter today.
Writing is Not a Solitary Craft
Being an author means building your support network. Next time you’re reading a novel, flick back to the acknowledgements page of the book. You’ll see the author thanking all the people who made the book possible. She’s not kidding. An author is a professional who knows she’s part of a team.
There are the people in your life who aren’t authors, aren’t in any way connected to the publishing world, but they’re family and friends who support you because they love you. They are gold. Stop reading this and go hug them.
Okay, so now you’re back I want to talk about the support team you’re building for your writing.
Start with author friends. These guys are on the writing journey, too. You won’t walk quite the same path as one another, but you’ll be walking close enough to shout encouragement, pick each other up when you stumble and share gossip. Yes, gossip. Every profession has its own inner workings, trends and possibilities. When I say gossip, I’m not talking about nastiness. I’m talking about keeping an ear to the ground in your industry, publishing.
Where do you find these friends? A great place to start is by joining a professional association, such as the Romance Writers of Australia, which I belong to. Whatever point you’re at with your writing career, you’ll find people like you. But you can also find and build these friendships organically by joining in Twitter and Facebook conversations and commenting at blogs. Basically, you find a community that feels right for you and you join in. Sometimes you can also be lucky and have the community find you. When I had a handful of novellas published with Carina Press I became part of their author group and it’s proved enormously supportive.
Which brings me to my luckiest break of all. Editors. Great editors are an integral part of your writing journey. I’ve been blessed. From Anna Genoese who while she was at Tor rejected my first ever novel, but did so with such kindness and encouragement that she inspired me to keep going, to Nas Dean who has just edited “Drawing Closer” and taught me to delve even deeper into my characters’ emotional responses. Good editors are focussed on the manuscript they’re responsible for, but their comments and advice develop your craft.
Finally, remember and respect reviewers and readers. They provide you with feedback (sometimes negative! eek!) and encouragement.
For all that I was trying to keep this post short, I seem to have rambled on for quite a bit. I’m going to be brief then in my take on how, having identified your support network, you nurture it. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I first read this phrase, but it’s what I hope you take from this post: bank social credit.
Behave professionally. If you’ve made a commitment (revisions, a blog post, a review, a critique), then meet it. Promote your author friends’ work. Volunteer for a role in your professional association. Walk the talk that tells people you’re serious about being part of the community. Comment on blogs, retweet great reviews via Twitter. Be authentic.
I used the phrase “bank social credit” not because I think of nurturing your support network as a soulless transaction, but because I want to counter the Demon Doubt that says you should be WRITING and that anything else is wasting time. Nope. Building a support network is part of the author’s craft. In this world of social media craziness, it’s essential.
Jenny on the Web:
Blurb Drawing Closer:
Zoe Loyola has a secret. Just between her and her sketchbook, she loves sculptor Nick Gordon. Her drawings of him are hot and naked.
Nick has a secret, too. He’s being blackmailed. Protecting his family means ignoring his desire for Zoe.
But in the world of art, passion breaks every rule and secrets are made for sharing.
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