10 Tips for Writers.

Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I thought I'd share things I know to be true - for me. Maybe some of them will help. Maybe you can gleam something remotely useful. That's my hope.

1.  Write what you want to write.

You don't have to write what's selling. The world has plenty of billionaire bondage books, and vampire romance, and dystopias. If that's your thing, and what you're really passionate about writing, then for goodness sake - write it! But if it's not - don't. I want to write about the old west, and so I do. I also sometimes want to write contemporary erotica, so I do. There's room in the world for lots and lots of stories. Tell the ones you want to tell.

2. You Do You.

Do you like to write with paper and pen, or a computer? Do you like silence, or music, or tons of noise around you while you write? Do you like to dictate into an app and transcribe later? COOL. Do what works for you. No one cares/minds. There'll be plenty of time later on in the process of submitting your stories and books where you'll have to format it to fit a publisher's standards. (I saw a call once where the company wanted Georgia font, size fourteen, and page borders. What?!) During the writing process, it's yours. DO YOU.

3. Find Your People.

Surround yourself with people who think that your writing is cool. Go online and find people who read and write the same stuff you do, and talk to them. Start a book club with people who read the same things you like, or the things you read. I'm lucky enough to have an incredibly supportive husband, son, and friends, the ladies of my filthy book club, and my darling beloved college friend Aleisha who is the best beta reader I could ask for. 

4. Make the Time.

"You have the same number of hours in the day as Beyonce." - countless mugs and memes.

Well, yeah. But I don't have handlers, a personal hair and make-up person, a nanny, a housekeeper, a chef, and a personal trainer, so... In the real world, time is precious. I'm the stay at home/homeschool Mom of  little dude. My days are wonderful, but noisy and full of distractions. So I write after my son goes to bed, in the car and park while he's in classes, and any little ten minute nugget I can find. Make the time.

5. Read Everything.

Just because I love and write Westerns doesn't mean I don't read everything. I love Stephen King, Christopher Moore, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Roald Dahl, and tons and tons of romance writers. But I also like non-fiction, and graphic novels. You can learn and become inspired by anything.

6. Learn Everything.

Writers who can only talk about writing are dull. Make sure you're paying attention to the rest of the world - travel places, eat food, listen to music, keep up on the news, and take it all in. Go to museums and stare at art and exhibits, walk outside and look at nature. It's all full of pieces you can use, and it'll make you

7. Don't drown in research.

I could read about Upstairs Girls, Chuck Wagons, and corsets for days -- but, sometimes, you have to write first and research later. Research is awesome, and educational, but it can also lead you down a distracting path to not actually writing. Pay attention to your habits. 

8. Be wary.

As a new author, there are people just waiting to scam you. There are bloggers who want to be paid for reviews, which I don't trust/understand, and other things that should raise an eyebrow. If it gives you pause, you probably shouldn't do it.

9. Don't drown in Social Media.

I utilize Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and this website. But there are seemingly endless other things you can use to promote yourself - Pinterest, Youtube, and apparently all the kids these days use Instagram? Do what you're comfortable with, what you want to do, and what you have time to do. In the end, you won't not be successful because you don't Pin.

10. Remember, it should be fun.

If you're miserable, maybe it says something. No one is forcing you to write, so ask yourself what the trouble is - are you writing something you don't care about? Are you being true to the story you want to tell? THIS SHOULD BE FUN!

I hope some of that helps.