Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Business Of Writing

By Sarah Herlong

It dawned on me recently that I wasn’t doing enough with my writing. I was concentrating on upping my writing hours and completing stories. But what about all the other aspects of writing I need to do?

For instance I need to spend time educating myself about writing as a craft. I get called out sometimes about my problematic point of view. After doing some research, I bought some good books. Now my goal is to spend a certain amount of time per day studying.

Because I write children’s literature, this is another area I need to research. I need to learn all about the different genres for the various age groups. I also need to read inside my genre to learn more about my audience.

But as a writer I shouldn’t just read within my genre. I should read anything and everything I can get my hands on, newspapers and magazines as well as books. I never know where my inspiration will come from. It could be that magazine I just picked up at the doctor’s office, or a column in the newspaper about an upcoming poultry festival. By the way the poultry festival did inspire me, and will eventually be showing up at a critique group near you.

Then there is the aspect of getting your work ready for submission, working on query letters, and synopses. If I don’t put in time for this, I need to question my reasons for writing. I have a format query letter I can personalize for the person and story I’m trying to sell. I’m also working on doing my synopses ahead of time to prevent that rush to complete one at the last minute for an agent.

Next in the business of writing that I need to work on is finding literary agents to submit my writing to. Those don’t usually fall into your lap. You have to search for them. And this for me is the area where I drag my feet. Hopefully you don’t have this problem. Not only are there agents to submit to, but magazines, contests and publishers. All of which are just waiting to be found.
There is one other area that is an important part of being a writer and that is the need for a platform. My only foray into that realm is being on this blog and on twitter. Being a recluse, I plan to use my expert skill of procrastination to avoid working on this one for a while.

1 comment:

Leigh Stevenson said...

Yes.Everything you are doing is the process. Of course, not every writer goes about it the same way. But all the methods you are using enrich you. I can relate...Not being a recluse is a challenge and an occupational hazard. Writing is a solitary occupation.