Advice for New Writers

I’m tackling interview questions for my November/December blog tour.  Yes, I know its 2 months away, but I’ve told you before that I’m a geek.  I always had my homework and term papers done way ahead of time.  Otherwise I can’t think because I feel like Wile E. Coyote with an anvil poised over his head.

Anyway, the best piece of advice I can give any beginning writer is to join a writers’ organtization.   Yesterday I attended the Liberty States Fiction Writers meeting.   I can’t describe how good it felt to mingle with other writers, to have them cheer when I held up the gorgeous ARC (advanced reader copy) of my debut novel, She Can Run, to pick the brains of the experienced authors in the group. (Thank you, Caridad Pineiro, yet again.)

Writing is a solitary life, but writers need to leave their writing caves and mingle with other humans occasionally.  But books are about people and relationships and the outside world.  How do we write about these things if we’re holed up in our PJs guzzling coffee and muttering to the dogs for months on end?  Professional organizations also provide important resources to help writers in all states improve their craft, learn to promote, and talk about what happening in the business. Liberty States Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America have both been instrumental in helping me with my career.

So, that’s my big piece of advice: join a professional organization.  For those of you with experience in the writing world, what advice can you give to beginning writers?  For the newbies out there, what’s your biggest obstacle?

If anyone has other writing organizations they’d like to list here, go for it!

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12 responses to “Advice for New Writers

  1. What great advice. As one of the newbies, thanks!

  2. You’re welcome, Neeks! I’m so glad I could help. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Perfect advice, I concur! And awesome ARC!!! Congrats!

  4. My writing skills and knowledge of the industry skyrocketed after joining RWA and finding a local chapter. Just being able to talk to other people who understood what I was doing and could answer those newbie questions was worth it.

    I also think a good, trustworthy CP or two to go over your WIP before submissions is worth her weight in gold! Congrats on the new release.

  5. Thanks, Jenn!

    Gwen, more good advice! CPs are awesome.

  6. I second the critique partner, and will say that the internet has really opened up the stream of information available. Don’t have an organization’s chapter in your area? Join one online! take advantage of all the resources, like Predators & Editors and forums like Absolute Write and Romance Divas.

  7. Sisters in Crime is a good one if you write crime or suspense, romantic suspense.

    After joining SinC join the Guppies (THE GREAT UNPUBLISHED) which has both published and unpublished authors and always eager to talk about any writing issue.

    MWA – Mystery Writers of America is another crime related organization.

    Historical Novel Society

    Deadly Prose — this covers all genres despite the name. It’s also a good place to get critiques.

  8. WOW. These are all great ideas. As a writer, I benefitted greatly from taking courses online at the Writers U. Mary Buckham, writer extraordinaire, runs an online university of sorts, and offers courses on writing at a reasonable price. Several years ago I signed up for Virginia Kantra’s Deep Point of View. It changed my life. They send the lectures to your email. You can copy and keep their ideas forever. Great examples. Plus you can read the questions/comments from the other students who are taking the class with you and the responses from the teacher. Invaluable!!!
    Take care, Melinda. Good luck with She Can Run.

  9. These are all great ideas. Keep them coming.

  10. Congrats Melinda on your ARC! How wonderful. I also just joined Liberty. I belong to quite a few writing orgs that are offshoots from RWA. Though Liberty is not one of them, I found the group open and inviting.

    I don’t think I could survive my writing life without the support of the wonderful men and women that make up the group of writers in these groups.

  11. I belong to RWA, local chapters, KOD and several writers groups online, but the biggest support I get comes from a critique group who help me see what needs to be done to improve my manuscripts.

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