Quick Tips for Writers…

Here’s a list of resources and ideas that you can implement on your journey to perfecting your craft, publishing and networking.

  1. Read newsletters- Read any newsletter you can get your hands on, they offer a wealth of information in terms of new info and updates on publishers. Two examples of great newsletters are Children’s Writer and Children’s Book Insider.
  2. Read Guidelines-Never send anything to anyone without reading the specified guidelines…otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and your manuscript could end up in the recycle bin.
  3. Visit Bookstores-Check out current issues magazines in your genre and ask about what’s new in store. Find out what kids and adults are buying. Spend some time studying what the bestsellers are and why.
  4. Use the Internet-There is SO much valuable information available to writers on the internet! Visit blogs, social networking, e-mail other writers and sign up for writing groups on-line. This will keep you on the pulse of the writing world and you’ll be able to do some self promotion as well.
  5. Attend a Writing Workshop/Conference-These are SO FUN! I’ve been to a few over the past couple of months and have met some great people who are really talented. Workshops and conferences offer a chance to connect with other writers and to have your work critiqued. It is invaluable in terms of gaining insight into what’s working and what’s not in your current manuscript. Plus, you never know who can help you and who you can help in terms of networking.
  6. Network-Get yourself together with as many like minded people and great things will happen. You could meet the right contact who know the perfect illustrator for your book, or perhaps you’ll meet someone who can offer editing services, or you might just meet a publisher or agent that can take your book all the way to the top!

Most of all, enjoy being an author; It’s one of the greatest freedoms in the world to be able to tell your story in your own way.

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Network! You never know who you’ll meet…

True or False?..

Does writer’s block really exist or is it just a writer’s way of being lazy, unmotivated or distracted? My personal opinion is that it’s the latter. We’ve all been there at one point or another in our writing careers and we know that some days are harder to write than others. I find the only time I get writer’s block is when I’m distracted; pick up any paper, or scroll through any news feed and there are hundreds of headlines that prick at your imagination and problem solved! You can and should write about anything because it keeps you in a routine and allows you to further develop your craft. Here are a few examples of  actual headlines that I’ve seen that might spark a thought or two…

  • Woman switched at birth reunites with her mother who is her co-worker
  • Man survives lightning strike only to be hit again
  • Lotto winner loses fortune
  • Bird stops roller-coaster leaves riders hanging upside down for 20 minutes
  • Car stolen with three month baby inside
  • Computer algorithm detects drunk Tweeting
  • 91 year old finally earns PHD 30 years after starting
  • Pet stolen from front garden finds way back home 1 year after disappearance
  • Conference interrupted by protesters
  • Cat Burglar (an actual cat and a true story!) obsessed with men’s underwear steals 61 socks and pants in two month span
  • Man builds the world’s fastest shed

It’s hard to believe that the above examples are true but I assure you they are! The point is that there is no such thing as writer’s block-go to the mall and watch people, listen to a conversation happening beside you in the doctor’s office, listen to the news and headlines, read the paper, surf the web and talk to neighbours…you’ll have more than enough ideas to work with! Try it and get the wheels turning again.Feel free to use the headlines as an excellent writing exercise. Happy Writing!

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