Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Don't forget your friends! (The friends you haven't made yet)

Ask just about anybody that's writing, and they'll tell you about all kinds of distractions. Life gets in the way of everybody's writing, and it takes dedication to stick to hammering out all those little words into one big, fun book.

But there is more to becoming published these days than just penning a gem. Getting published is becoming as much about networking and creating your own brand as it is about whipping up pretty prose.

The stupid internet might be the biggest distraction to my writing. I love Twitter. I love Facebook. I play fantasy football (Hey, I'm a sports reporter in a middle market. It's practically in my job description). That stuff sucks hours out of my day just like anybody else that's trapped in a cubicle.

The trick is to use it to move things forward not to just pass the time. I didn't know about this until one of my buddies told me that writing a good book wasn't enough anymore. So I started poking around the web to find out why. There's a whole treasure trove of stuff out there just for us - budding authors. And the support system is pretty fantastic in the fact that everyone seems friendly and helpful.

My twitter account has pretty much become a main contacting ground for people in the biz (or trying to break into the biz). Every day, I read posts and chat with literary agents, fellow authors that are both published and non-published. Some of them probably (hopefully) read this very blog. How on earth could that hurt me in the process of trying to get published? It can't.

Not only has all of that helped my writing immensely, but it's also given me a foothold on where I have to go once my product is finished. I'm not close to that yet, but at least I'm starting to understand how the process works when that time comes around.

I'm thinking about my novel all the time, anyway. If part of my free time is going to be spent on the internet, I may as well be learning about how to make it better -- and make some friends in the process.

But just like writing the dang book, it's a long process that takes patience. Sticking to making the novel is important. Sticking to making the friends to help the novel get to your adoring public is also just as important.

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