Thursday, April 16, 2015

Writer or Author? My advice to newbie authors: Introduction...

Courtesy of Pixabay
Are you a writer or an author? Are they different? They are for me.

First and foremost, I'm a writer. I love writing and telling stories; they've been bouncing around in my head my entire life, pleading to get down on paper. God knows I have boxes and binders enough to prove it. But when I wrote research articles for the historical society, was engrossed in my master's thesis, or jotted down opening chapters to stories that would never see the light of day, I never once introduced myself to someone as a "writer". It was a hobby, a passion, a past time.

Things have changed. This whole authorship-ism-ology situation I find myself in as of late is a lifestyle I've adopted, though still very foreign to me. I'm no expert when it comes to being an author. For me, being a writer by nature and becoming an author are very different. Now when I'm in public and someone asks me what I do for living, I say "I'm an author". It's been ingrained in me from the moment I wanted writing to be "a thing" that I need to get my name out there, to build a platform, and spread the word about who I am and what I do at every possible opportunity. It's only taken me four years to feel comfortable talking about myself and what I do for a living. People taking interest in you and what you do as an author is inevitable.

By veering away from writing as a past time and taking the authorship road, you're committing to a different lifestyle. For me, writing has changed, has become more--it's a science. You have to get the structure just right, watch your grammar, have a marketing plan, build a platform, all of which are very critical to your success. What? I used that word in the last chapter, crap, I'll think of something else. Wait which one is the inciting incident? I can't tell, better flesh that scene out again. Details and strategies matter.

Courtesy F.C. Malby
That's why I've decided to publish the upcoming string of posts for newbie and aspiring authors. These posts will outline my experience in the author world--my transition, what's worked and what hasn't, I'll name some great programs I love to use, provide insight into how to get going and stay focused for beginning authors to reference as they sail into the uncharted waters of authorship. They can learn what I have--no advertising or soliciting or preaching, but the plain and simple truth about what's worked for me along the way.

These are the 6ish topics I'll be covering over the next couple months (but perhaps not in this order):
  1. Webinars, Podcasts, and Social Media Tips - some experts in the field I've found helpful
  2. Helpful Writing Programs - to help keep you organized
  3. Genres And Finding Your Niche - my thoughts and struggles around this
  4. Book Covers - everyone's always going to have an opinion
  5. Co-Authoring - pros and cons
  6. Great Resources for Indie Authors
Keep in mind that these are my opinions and experiences, and they may not be for everyone. I like to share with people, so they can see the good and the bad, what's worked and what hasn't.

Each week, I'll be posting one of these topics, so all you new authors, stay tuned!

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