What it takes to be a 21st-century Writer

Do you belong in this day and age as a writer? Do you feel comfortable being an author of the 21st-century?

Over the past five years the face of publishing has changed drastically. Gone are the days where writers wait years to find a publisher who will like their work and see to it that it makes it into print.

We have entered into the age of instant gratification. In this day and age we want it and we want it now. Long gone are the days of having to search a street for a payphone to make a needed call. Almost everyone has cellphones.

Then there is the internet. In the beginning it was all dial up. At first it seemed instant but as time went on we learned that there were faster methods out there for us to use. That gave way to the birth of DSL and broadband.

Social Media began to develop next. We began to reconnect with friends we hadn’t heard from in ages. My Space was one of the first, quickly followed by Face Book and Twitter.

How has all this affected publishing in the 21st century?

Our Instant Gratification has led to an army of self-publishing authors who are taking the writing world by storm. They are like the zombie armies in the movie World War Z and they can climb over giant walls to get their books published and out there for their readers to find.

Being an author in the 21st century means you need to learn how to do it all. You need to learn to be your own marketer, your own publishing house and your own cheerleader. You have to be bold and persevere.

You need to learn that even though we are in a time period of instant gratification you need to learn to wait. Selling books to readers who do not know you exist does not happen overnight it takes time.

So if your book sales are not where you think they should be then do something about it, but make sure it is the proper thing to do.

You ask, what should that proper thing be? Well – just write another book and after that write another and then another and so on, eventually they will find you.

How are you surviving as a writer in the 21st century? I would love to hear about your trials and travails.


90 Minute Sprint Writing – #ROW80

Yesterday was my monthly NHRWA meeting. We always have such a great time. One of my fellow writers of this group is trying to research a particular question about how does a guy know when his man-hood is about to be activated when he has no clothes on. We have had our husbands answer with many different, but similar answers. None of which actually answers the question.

The number one answer has been: All the blood rushes from the big head to the little head. That’s it…

So how do you know if you don’t know???

The questions like this one are what causes the groups to be so hilarious.

NHRWA Guest Speaker – Miranda Neville

We had a guest speaker, Miranda Neville. She spoke to us about Social Media and Promotion.

She said, “First off, be genuine.”

In other words be yourself, write the way you speak. Don’t fake it. People will know if you are trying to be that which you are not. They just know.

Networking is important. It is not who you know, but who does so and so know. They may know someone who might be interested in reading your work.

It is much easier to promote someone else’s work than it is to promote your own.

And try to do as little direct promoting as possible. Plain and simple, people don’t like spam unless it comes in a can, and that too can be questionable.

She gave us a lot of good information and the above are just some of the tidbits she left us with.

Writing Sprints

This is something new for me. During the meeting yesterday one of the gals mentioned a writing exercise to help one write more consistently. I decided to give it a try.

This exercise is based on Interval Training. Just like what is used by those who do sports.

It is believed that by keeping work out intervals limited to 90 minute cycles one will build up greater stamina and have fewer writing blocks.

I gave it a try to day and found that I did keep writing longer. I would step away from the work in progress every thirty to ninety minutes and I was able to keep going until 2pm.

I have half the manuscript edited and added another 2k words to the story.

Most people have to cut their stories, I on the other hand have to go back in and add to it. When I write a draft, that is what it is – a draft.

ROW80 Update

The edit for Road Salt is half done. My characters are beginning to take shape.

It is funny how one simply placed sentence added in a chapter can make such a big difference in knowing more about the character. If a character asks a question, most likely they will receive an answer.

I am still keeping with my Christmas Goal of having the first edit done.

I know I can do this.

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