Paper. Smartphones. E-readers. For some readers, the smell of ink and the feel of the pages under their fingertips lead them to pick up a hardback or paperback book. For others, convenience and technology have converted them to e-book fandom, liking the ability to carry ten, or even one hundred, books around wherever they go. In fact, technology has changed not only readers’ habits but has also impacted how writers capture their stories as well as the publishing world itself. Over the past thirty-nine years, Georgia Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, has worked with writers to enhance their craft and promote the romance genre. In this changing industry, GRW is seeking new ways to serve writers. To this end, the organization is unveiling a new opportunity, a blog that will deliver different looks at topics revolving around craft, question and answer sessions, the publishing industry, inspiration, marketing resources, and GRW itself as we try to deliver something new, something fresh, and something applicable that can be read in a few minutes yet still have an impact on your writing.
Craft books, podcasts, social media, conferences. All are resources that convey tips and methods about the basics of writing and enriching a writer’s understanding of setting details, sensory aspects, and characters to take writing to a new level. Different writers are naturally drawn to different resources based on their learning styles, and sometimes time itself dictates what a writer turns to in order to take their writing to the next level. One of my hopes about this blog is that it becomes a resource for you where you can drop by, spend a few minutes, and take something worthwhile to make your writing better.
With that in mind, here are three tips regarding the writing life, writing itself, and marketing.
Writing life tip: Think about your top three writing tasks for the day and get those done first. Put the actual writing of your manuscript first, then also consider how to get everything done. Writers are no longer only writers. We are marketing executives, accountants, business executives, and more. We help our local writing chapters and often have critique partners, run our street teams, write blogs or record podcasts, and more. Preserving our writing time is hard enough but balancing everything that needs to be done can be a challenge. For two weeks, record what you do during your writing time. If you log onto social media and lurk and that’s taking time away from your writing, don’t lurk. If you take time away from your writing by decorating a beautiful handmade planner and then spend more time looking for supplies rather than adding words to your WIP, challenge yourself to figure out what needs to get done and don’t spend your writing time on that planner. If you’re going online to research but find yourself sucked into the web, make a note of what needs to be researched and stick to that. If you write first, then take care of the other basic writing time necessities, you might find yourself getting more done.
Writing tip: Ask yourself why. Then ask why a couple of more times. Why do your characters act the way they do? Why do they make the choice they made? Why do they talk the way they do? Then make sure you have consistency in those choices. Motivation is an important part of emotion, and emotion is the heart of romance writing. When you know why your characters act and talk like they do, you can create a bond between the character and the reader which will lead the reader to not being able to put your book down because the emotion and the story together compel them to turn one more page.
Marketing tip: It’s okay not to be on every social media platform every day. Spend a couple of hours a month thinking about getting better use of the platforms you like best, but also give yourself permission not to be on every platform every day. Your WIP will thank you.
These are the types of tips we hope to provide through this blog. Georgia Romance Writers has a long history of serving writers and giving them the tools and resources to mold the best story they can at this point in their careers. This is one more way we want to serve you and help you write your story. Please consider blogging for us and consider making GRW part of your writing career.
And most of all, please leave comments. Helping each other is one way we learn. What about you? What’s the biggest time obstacle you have to overcome when you sit down to write and how do you overcome that?
GRW President Tanya Agler