Friday, February 11, 2011

Investing in Your Writing

I’ve been thinking lately about what I mean when I call myself a writer. It’s not just about writing stuff when I get a chance. It’s about making an investment in myself, knowing that I'll be improving my writing. What kind of investment do I mean?

1. Making the time. Can you truly call yourself a writer if you don’t spend much time writing? It’s hard, but setting aside that time is about you telling yourself your writing is important. Slug through the hard parts and finish your project. Set aside some time to actually write.

2. Learning about the craft. They say you can improve your writing just by doing it. (Isn’t that cool? But see point #1.) Even more improvement can come by reading the work of other writers to see how they do things. And by finding out your weak points and learning more about them (now you know why I’ve been visiting The Plot Whisperer).

3. Going to Conferences. Okay, they are expensive and not for everyone (I haven’t been to one yet). It’s hard to ignore the benefits though. So much happens there that can’t be captured in a buddy’s blog post... all the great, inspiring stuff. And I keep hearing about people that get great agent and editor contacts, too.

4. Sending out queries. I have to admit I haven’t been so great about doing this. I’ll send out a few, then get some rejections. So I assume something is wrong with my novel and set it aside (because by then I’m already working on another one). Those queries aren’t always just about trying to get published. They are about you saying you are taking steps to reach your goal. No one will ever see your book if you don’t let them know it exists, right?

Investing in your writing is a way to say you believe in yourself.

How do you invest in your writing?


  1. It may seem a little trivial but I always viewed business cards as an investment in my writing. Not only are they helpful to pull out at conferences or when you meet a fellow, random writer at Panara Bread (happened to me and a writing buddy last time we had lunch) but they let the world know you take yourself seriously.

    I love Vista Print for business cards. They are inexpensive and well made and arrive quickly.

  2. I like your 4-step program. I can honestly say I'm doing all four...well, querying is on hold till march while I finish revision.

    As for conferences, totally worth it. I only went to one last year but it was a great experience. I met a bunch of great authors, became active in the writing org after the conference, learned great crafting & marketing tips and I actually pitched to an agent. He didn't request my manuscript because he pointed out a plot no-no (for MG, no kidnappings--it implies rape). He helped me brainstorm a work around and now that manuscript is almost ready for querying. Worth every penny. I plan on going to three this year.

  3. These are really great points. I just went to a writer's conference. FAB-u-lous! Now I'm actually querying. And I'm not going to give up this time like I so love to do. There. I said it in public!!!!!!


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