Since I’m horrible at choosing blog topics, I’ve decided to write a series of short advice posts for aspiring writers. You may contribute to these posts by submitting your own advice or asking questions!
My first piece of advice is to build a team. Even if you are an introvert, nothing will benefit your writing more than engaging with other writers and readers (even if your “engagement” is reading blog posts and book reviews).
Your team will look different based upon your needs. It may even change based upon your project, which stage of the project you’re on, or it may change over time as you mature.
First and foremost, I recommend finding a coach, a mentor, someone to help guide you through the writing process. My mentors are Stephen Moran and Joe Lansdale. I realized they gave great writing advice and answered questions readily, so I nurtured those interactions.
You should also have teammates. These will be other writers, what Angela D’Onofrio calls the “writing tribe.” This is a network of writers – large and loose-knit or small and tight – with whom you can grow with, exchange banter, writing advice, get opinions, and encourage one another. Camp NaNoWriMo is an excellent way to find others to write with.
Nurture fans. In industry lingo, this is called “building a platform.” These are your readers. To attract them before you publish, I recommend having a blog (such as this one) or Wattpad, on which you can share your content and writerly or readerly experiences. (Note: I recently discovered having a well-established book blog is also the best way to encourage publishers to send you ARCs!)
Both your writing tribe and your platform may serve as beta readers, who provide invaluable feedback pre-publication. If your beta readers are part of your writing tribe, nurture that relationship by beta reading their content, or posting reviews on their published works. If they are part of your platform, find out what type of content they love and share it with them. Engage with them and show how much you value your opinion.
If your team looks different, let me know how!
Tell me about your team in the comments section, or tag me (@JettimusMaximus) on a Twitter shout-out!
Want more Avery Rhodes? Check out https://becomingcolossus.wordpress.com/