Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. Cyril Connolly (1903 - 1974)
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

It Takes A Village To Write A Book

It Takes A Village To Write A Book

Most book covers only list the author’s name on the front. This leads many readers to envision the author holed up for months on end in some isolated cabin, laboring over their typewriter. (Because these visions aren’t quite right without the old manual typewriters. Laptops just aren’t romantic enough.) In reality, for many authors, including myself, writing is a social activity.  There is no way I would be able to stay motivated enough to finish a novel without the encouragement of others. And how about those times when I write myself into a corner and don’t know how to get my characters out? I need someone around to talk me off the cliff when I am ready to chuck my laptop over the edge. So today I want to tell you about all the people who help me to take a story from the glimmer of an idea to a book.

Coffee shops are the modern writers’ equivalent of the office water cooler. Every author is different, but for me, networking with writers in person grounds me. I live in a community that is very artistic and author friendly, so it is easy for me to get out and network with other authors. For the past several years, I’ve been meeting weekly with a small group of local writers. We are all very different. We write different genres, have different skill sets and are traveling down our career paths in different ways, but this only helps us to learn from each other. Whether we are talking through plots, reading chapters to each other or sharing publishing insight, these meetings remind me that I’m not in this alone.

Don’t know any other writers in your community? No problem. Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites make it easy to network with other authors. When I decided to write my first book, I had no idea where to even start. (Other than the beginning, obviously.) Twitter was, and still is, the single most important tool in my writing arsenal. I have found authors to be amazingly supportive toward each other. I will spare you the economic explanation, but just know that our industry is unique in that while authors are technically competitors selling a product, we all do better when we help each other succeed. A reader doesn’t read one book over and over for the rest of their life.  They read many books, hopefully hundreds or thousands, over their lifetime. The more authors work together to promote reading in general, and to improve the overall quality of our products, the more books the public will buy. Truth.

And lastly, there are beta readers. (No, beta readers cannot take the place of hiring an editor, but that’s another discussion.) Every writer should work hard to cultivate a network of strong, honest beta readers. I’m not talking your mother or your best friend. You need someone who is not afraid to be brutally honest with you. Sometimes these are people you know, but often times they are people I find over social media. Readers who are interested in my subject, but don’t really know me on a personal level. When you find a good beta reader, do whatever you can to keep them happy. Whatever. You. Can. These people don’t get paid to read your work and critique it. They do it because they love books. When dealing with beta readers, respect them. Appreciate them. Bake cookies for them if you have to. For authors, beta readers are the true unsung heroes.

On behalf of all authors, thank you to all who contribute to our success.


Follow the Arcadia’s Gift and Arcadia’s Curse #Book Tour

 Find The Arcadia Novels here: Amazon (Arcadia's Gift)Amazon (Arcadia's Curse)  AUDIBLE Audio Book of Arcadia's Gift 

Author Bio:

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two exceptionally naughty kitties.

Stalk Jesi Lea here: Facebook/Twitter/Website/Blog


Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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6 comments :

  1. I think that the world is smaller in a sense now with all the social media. Great tip in reaching out to others in the same field.

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  2. Social Media does make it so much easier to connect with others who do the same as us. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be wonderful and still lonely eh.
      But it is quite a tool indeed.

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  3. Social media has been amazing for me. The author community is wonderful about supporting each other. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting Jesi. Very interesting name.
      I'm glad there is such good support among authors. I've seen it in my group.

      Keep writing!

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I appreciate your thoughts - Colette

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