I decided in December of 2017 to take being a writer seriously. The town I live in offers very little in the way of writing help. I turned to the internet for answers. By January 2018 I set up a website, started an author account on Twitter, participated in a few online writing contests, and received over 30 rejections for stories (that number grew to well over 200 by the end of the year). There was one thing that I knew for sure; I was addicted to writing.
Not just putting words to paper, but connecting with other authors, editors, and artists. Creatives that pushed me to my limits and beyond. By the time March of 2018 hit, I was enrolled in college (on my way to an MFA in English/Literature) and had sent out over 50 stories for publication consideration. I was a newbie, a noob as my son calls it. Everything felt like high school all over again.
All the cool independent authors, well the ones I thought were cool, all chatted with each other via social media and fed off each other’s creativity. I would be able to slide into a thread occasionally, and 10 likes for one of my micro-stories sent me over the moon. I soon fell into the Twitter trap of following everyone. At one point I followed about 1500 accounts and only had 80 following me. I realized that if I wanted to leverage my talent as an author to its fullest potential, I needed a battle plan to generate measurable success.
2018 was the year that I reveled and enjoyed every minute of being a newbie author. My goal over the next few weeks is shared knowledge gained via hitting every bump in the road. I will explore such topics as networking, pushing writing limits a.k.a. getting out of your comfort zone, hashtag navigation, social media etiquette, time management, and several others.
If you made it this far into the post, you may be asking yourself why should you even listen to me? What makes anything you say/write more valuable than the thousands of other resources out there?
The short answer: My planning involves laying a firm foundation, realistic/measurable goals, and I am very thrilled with the results so far.
The long answer: Everyone starts somewhere. On Writing by Stephen King or Damn Fine Story by Chuck Wendig may be suggested long before you landed here (I own and re-read both of those books all the time). First, I recognize that I am a new writer. There are a million others out there with similar goals and dreams. I am you from a few years ago, or a year from now.
I observe what works and doesn’t work with my writing. I don’t surround myself with sycophants that tell me what I want to hear. I open myself to critique. I encourage others to pursue their dream of writing. I helped two unknown authors get their first ever publishing credits in 2018. I wrote and published 46 stories in 2018, if you count my tweets as stories then that number is easily in the thousands. I tried writing in several different genres, to include non-fiction. My first ever published story was romance.
Buckle up buttercup! This ride may take a while, but by the end, I promise that you will have a better understanding of your wants and needs. Hit me up with questions or comments anytime @ArthurUnkTweets on Twitter.