Monday, January 30, 2012

First Time Writers

Three years ago, I sat down to write a novel.  The thoughts flowed, and four months later a first draft was born.  Then came the many rewrites, the critiques, the editing, then more rewrites to reduce the word count, and more editing.  I endured.

Most of all, I have experienced the true process of writing a novel from beginning to end. The more I write, the more I read, the more I learn.  There are so many great instructional books, bloggers, agents, publishers, and other authors to teach you the process, if you are willing to put forth what it takes to reach a desirable end. 

Invest in books that teach your interest.  Be willing to take criticism (constructive), and be willing to join writers' clubs, and attend seminars to meet and learn from others with like interests. 

Writing is a job, a journey, and a joy, and it can be very rewarding. Whether you make it a profession, or write for enjoyment, the choice is yours.

The process is not an easy one, and I knew that would be the case when I started.  I rolled back my shirt sleeves and decided from day one that I was going to see it to the end. With a lot of determination and grit, I pressed forward.

Along the path, I learned that it is so easy to get caught up in Contests.  Although this can be very rewarding, time is involved.  I had to decide what is more important, the writing or the contest.  Contests can get you recognized and give you experience.  The reward could be the opportunity to have your manuscript read by an agent/publisher. In my case, time was my most valuable asset.  I decided to write a minimum of four hours a day for at least five days a week.

Finding balance in the writing process is the key.  Decide how much time you will spend researching and actually writing, then stick to it.  Managing your time wisely when writing, researching, blogging, platforming, contests, following agents, writers, and other novelists is necessary. There comes a time when you must say, "Enough! I've spent enough, I've read enough, I've blogged, twittered, facebooked, learned how to build a website, how to market, how to platform enough."  Enough is enough.  Time is the issue with my busy schedule.

Getting an agent can be difficult due to the battle between eBooks and hard copies, and the collapsing economy.  Times have changed, and we have to be willing to change with the times.  Keeping abreast of the publishing industry is important.  There are many great people out there that can help you figure out what method of publishing is best for you.

There is no right or wrong answer.  You must make the method to publish your own personal decision.  If the first path you choose does not work, than try another.  Whatever your choice, I wish you the best while you traverse the world of writing, platforming, finding an agent/publisher, or self-publishing.  Enjoy your journey.

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