So far, I have been running this rat race on the tails of others. What I mean by this is, I have been reading and watching webinars of expert ‘coaches’ and bloggers. I am in a few writer’s groups, but never put myself out there far enough to make a true connection.
For a minute or two, I did follow a few writers that were very informative and willing to help inexperienced authors such as myself. I stopped commenting and connecting as much, I don’t have any real reasons why, I just did.
I am wandering around the marketing and self-publishing community with a blind-fold on, hearing voices calling me this way and that. I do my best to listen and follow but without a mentor I will never really see which direction to go.
Bryan Cohen sent an email about a major mistake he recently made. Well, he’s considered a big deal and if he is making mistakes at this point in his career, anyone can.
His advice on how to avoid mistakes as a newbie, find a mentor. I have heard this before by a blogger I follow. She mentioned more than just get a mentor. She also stated to find a mentor in your genre, if that’s possible. Vania Margene Rheault is a contemporary romance author that gives a lot of great advice on different topics. She also answers comments or questions clearly if you have any.
Another great blogger that I like to read is Suzanne Goulden She is a YA and MG fiction author and editor. Her blog contains YA or MG book critiques/ discussions and self publishing tips/ proper grammar topics. I like to comment here and there, I like some of the books she discusses and a few of the self-edit articles caught my attention.
I am not an author of romance or young adult fiction. The two bloggers are valuable to my development, but I think someone closer to my genre would be more suitable.
What happens if I’m too shy to put myself out there you say? I will tell you, take it slow. I am still not at that point, but we will need to suck it up buttercup. At some point we are going to need help or we will not advance.
I ask various questions on my FB groups and on Twitter. On occasion I will comment or ask a question. Listen, nobody knows you right now, you’re safer online than in person. I am outgoing in person but really shy online…I have no idea why. I’m weird like that.
I can write this blog and publish a bunch of books but it takes me REAL STRENGTH to get the kahunas to ask advice on one of these writer’s groups. Let alone make a real connection for a mentor. Ridiculous but true.
We have to take it slow, find our people (authors in our genre) and make it a point to ask questions, comment on posts, like a post here and there. Even if your comment is ‘congratulations’ or ‘great job‘ that’s a start.
When you find yourself in a rut while trying to do something and you need help, instead of wasting three hours on the internet Googling ‘how-to’.. just go on a writer’s group and ask. If you think of something while writing your story, jot it down for later. When you are on your schedule for social media, then ask.
Take it slow (I know I keep saying this but it’s important if you don’t feel comfortable), you’ll see the ones you connect with and the ones you want to ignore. I am starting to see it in my groups. There are a few groups I ignore now because of certain people. You can leave groups and try others.
The important thing is to start connecting with authors and find those you are comfortable enough to ask. Trust me when I say, it is not them…it is you. All of the groups I have been in so far have been welcoming and helpful.
You are the one too bashful to ask for the help. Don’t be.
Go on Twitter and add some hashtags like #amwriting or #writerslife some stuff like that. I am sure you’ll find authors all over the place.
When you are in groups with other authors, it is to talk about writing, not try and sell stuff. Authors are not there to buy books. I make that mistake still on occasion adding the wrong hashtags. I’ve had Twitter for a while but never really used the hashtags. I just followed people and read their tweets. I’m getting better, I think.
Well, until you find your mentor, I hope this advice helps. Stay fabulous newbies! Have a great weekend!