Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Writer's Block on Saint FM


Last night I was a guest on Writer's Block, a weekly radio show hosted by the lovely Sarah Banham. Despite deciding our topic thirty seconds before we went live, we managed to cover a whole range ideas on how writers can help themselves, whether you are just starting out or are a published author who needs a little bit of self promotion assistance.

Sarah recommended grabbing a pen and notebook for our hints and tips - and if you did that, fantastic! But for those of you who didn't, here's a brief run down of the tips we discussed on the show. 

1. Get yourself out there, into the real world. 
Writers groups are brilliant for improving both your confidence and your writing skills. Social media is fantastic but getting out there and talking to other writers help keep you focused and helps you hold yourself accountable to your goals. It's also about networking and meeting new people, you never know what opportunities will arise once you get started. 

2. Publish your short stories online.
Websites such as Figment and Wattpad are free to use, and helps you learn to handle other people reading your writing. It also gives people a chance to get to know you and your writing style, and they could end up being a potential reader of your novel one day. It's all about making connections with readers, and of course other writers. Plus, learning to accept critique is a very useful skill to have. Of course, take it with a pinch of salt - you don't have to agree to everything someone else says!

3. Use Social Media
Social media is your friend, its free and can help you regardless of what stage you are at with your writing. Twitter is arguably the best for networking, the #amwriting hashtag is a gateway to writer chatter (although don't procrastinate tooo much!). Keep it friendly, it's okay to develop your own style and voice on social networks, after all you are not a robot and will get much more interaction if you appear approachable and friendly. 
Keep it varied and avoid constantly posting about yourself. Mix it up with posts recommending other books or writers, or asking questions - engage in discussions. If you are constantly sell sell sell, it will put other users off. 

4. Enter Competitions
There's a ton of writer based competitions out there, and again this tip is great regardless of what stage of writing you are at. Some are free, some come with a cost, but generally speaking the competitions that come with a price tag usually offer a pretty decent prize. It can be costly, so enter the ones you think suit your work the best.
No matter who you are, there's a competition out there for you, whether you write short stories, or have recently completed a novel. There's competitions for self published authors too, it isn't just for unpublished writers! Google is your friend - go! 

5. Book Karma
Help others and they will help you, it really is that simple. Whenever you post a review, make sure you pop it on both Goodreads AND Amazon, and also tweet your review too.Of course, you should always be honest - people will respect your for it and I firmly believe you don't get anywhere by sucking up to people, because they will see through it. But remain professional, tactful and polite. If you go out of your way to help others, when it's your turn they will do the same for you. 


I hope this helps a few of you who didn't have the time to write down everything that was said, please feel free to retweet this article and share :)


The Book Life

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