Are you a writer who’s ready to build your writing career in 2021? You may think, I’d love to, but with the current state of affairs, I’m not sure how to go about it.
In a recent interview that I had with Laurel Thomas of Write with Laurel, we talked about the opportunities that have made the biggest difference in my career. Even in this COVID-sensitive world, you can improve your writing and your writing business. Let’s look at two opportunities:
Build Your Writing Career with Writer’s Conferences
I always tell writers to go to multiple writer’s conferences every year. That will help launch your writing career more than just about anything else. Even after 25 years, I still want to go to conferences, like WriterCon in Oklahoma City, as much as I can. They make a big difference.
First, they help you make business connections by introducing you to editors, agents and publishers. There is nothing as powerful as being able to sit across from an agent and pitch your idea face-to-face.
Even if you don’t have your book or article finished, you may get their email and have them say, “Yes, when you send this to me, flag me in the subject line, and I’ll look at it right away.”
It leaps you over all the competition by giving you direct access, helping you avoid the slush pile. In turn, it helps them by putting a face to a name.
It also helps you hone your skills. Sitting in classes taught by seasoned writers and authors, you learn pitfalls to avoid, how to spot cliches, tips on structuring articles and books, how to conduct interviews that give you more than a Wikipedia search. At the end of classes, speakers often open up the floor for questions. That’s your chance to ask questions and get answers from real people living in the real trenches.
And let’s not discount how fun it is to gather with your writing tribe. Writing can be a lonely existence, so going to a writer’s conference can feel like coming home after a long trip through the desert. It’s a living representation of “iron sharpening iron” (Proverbs 27:17).
“What about COVID,” you might ask?
More and more conferences, including WriterCon, are online or have an online component. So if attending in person is not possible, you can still hear from speakers and make connections with attendees through the conference app.
Yes, attending in person is better, but don’t discount the benefit of attending virtually, if that’s all that’s available to you. You can still reap the benefits of hearing from professionals and connecting with other attendees.
Build Your Writing Career with Online Groups
Online groups are another great option for improving your skills and meeting other writers. Where can you find these groups? The social media platforms all have communities. Twitter and Instagram have wonderful online writing communities. Facebook has several groups that specialize in specific genres too.
Other writers, like Laurel Thomas, host mentoring groups where authors can learn craft and make new friends. These groups aren’t limited to emerging authors. Seasoned authors can benefit from these kinds of groups, too.
At Writing Momentum, our motto is: “We put writers on the fast track to success.” Over the years, we’ve learned the value of these kinds of connections. Writer’s conferences, social media groups and mentoring groups are ways you can invest in yourself and build your writing career. Trust me, you won’t regret it!