My work style is more productive with tasks, deadlines, and lists. I’m an IT manager (an ESTJ with Myers Briggs and Red/Dominance with the DISC). I have the same style and preferences in my writing life.
I am a list maker. There is a certain level of satisfaction with crossing off items when they’re done. I also like to see what was accomplished. I make lists to make sure I hit deadlines and keep promises.
Continuing education and training are important. There are always new things to learn. There are a lot of low cost/free courses on book marketing and the writing craft. Check out YouTube. Also a lot of writing groups offer courses and conferences. James River Writers offers a great conference in Richmond each year that covers all aspects of the writing life. My Sisters in Crime and Guppy chapters offer courses and stipends to promote learning.
Years ago when I decided that I wanted to write a novel, I bought or checked out every writing book I could get my hands on. Finally, I had to stop reading and start writing. You learn by writing, revising, and editing. The pile of how-to books went to the Friends of the Library book sale. (I did keep two. Stephen King’s ON WRITING and Janet Evanovich’s HOW I WRITE.) Just do it! Sit down and start writing (or outlining).
Find a critique partner, group, or beta readers in your genre to help you improve your writing. My critique group and beta readers are great for pointing out plot holes and inconsistencies. You agree to read their work, and they read yours. My Sisters in Crime - Central Virginia group just returned from summer hiatus, so I’m excited to get back in the swing of reviewing manuscripts.
If you’re getting ready to query a manuscript to an agent or editor, make sure you have everything ready to go. You may not need all of this to send out the query letter, but if you get a request for follow up information, you’ll need to have it. I build out a file for each book. Include:
A Professional Headshot
Summary of Your Story
An Elevator Pitch for Your Story
Your Author Biography
A List of Links for All Your Social Media Sites
A Synopsis (with the Ending)
A Character List
My News from Last Week…
Last week was full of news. I found out that the Library of Virginia added my Delanie Fitzgerald books to their permanent, Virginia Writers’ collection. That is exciting. I love the LoV. If you’re in #RVA, you have to stop and see it. It’s part library, museum, and historical archives.
I was also very fortunate last week to sign with a literary agent for my cozy series set in Charlottesville. I am very excited to work with her team, and her stable of authors have been so welcoming and encouraging!
I also passed my Professional Scrum Master exam last week. Look out IT world!
What things have you done this week for your writing life?