Saying that I’m writing sounds like I spend the whole time creating new stories and characters, but actually, there are so many other things that I do in my writing time. Here are just a few of them.
I’ll often tell my friends or family that I spend my Saturday mornings writing. But recently I’ve realised that they may not know what that means.
Writing a new story
This is often the fun part. When I have an idea and I have the time to sit down and discover where it will take me. I am a discovery writer, so I don’t usually have a plan, but I usually have an idea of what form the story will take. For more on this, check out 5 Tips for Finding Your Story’s Form
Unfortunately, no story is perfect the first time. If I have written something new, I try to put it away for a time and then reread it with fresh eyes, looking for mistakes that need correcting or things that can be improved. I also send out my word to my critique group and my wonderful beta readers who give me valuable advice.
I am a member to the Creative Kids Tales Cacoon Club. Once a month the critique group reads my submission and gives me feedback. When it is not my turn to submit, it is my turn to critique, so once a week I am reading other people’s stories and giving them feedback. This actually improves my own editing skills and often the advice I give will apply to my own work in progress.
Researching agents and publishers
Every writer wants to find a readership, and the way we aim to do this is to be published. Trade publishing and self-publishing are two options that are available. Both avenues require a lot of research. For me I spend a lot of time researching which publishers and agents are open for submissions, if they have put a call out for a specific genre or style, as well as keeping an ear to the ground on the latest trends and learning who is who in the industry.
Preparing a submission
This is a big one. In the past I have succumbed to my perfectionism and fear and rarely sent manuscripts to publishers. Instead, I sent a lot of stories to competitions, because there was less at stake. This year, however, I am aiming to polish and send out a lot of my stories. I am going to celebrate every rejection as evidence that I have been submitting my work, and hopefully sending things out will help my stories find a home.
Listening to writing podcasts or workshops
I do this while washing the dishes, walking the dog or doing the ironing. Mixing my writing passion with household chores definitely makes them more enjoyable. It also means I’m learning how other writers write, more about the industry and all about the new books that have recently been released. (Reading is one of the best ways to improve your writing, after all, and its always good to have an excuse to go to my local independent bookstore.)
Preparing content for my website
Sometimes I’m not writing fiction, I’m writing a blog for this website, or researching competitions to let other writers know about. Other times I am working on my website appearance or functionality.
Being active on social media
Networking on Facebook and twitter is another aspect of a writer’s life. I also have a Words and Books board on Pinterest where I collect bookish photos, writing quotes and creative inspiration.
Whichever way I am spending my writing time, I always have a cup of tea at hand. What more could a writer want?