Blogger: Mary Keeley
Some time ago I posted a list of recommended books on writing here. It isn’t exhaustive and there have been valuable new books written since this blog post. If you’ve been writing for a while, you probably have a library of well-worn copies of craft resources at the ready. But today, let’s take inventory of a writer’s career resources, those people and intangibles that are sometimes overlooked and neglected but that need to be nurtured for good, all-around vitality in your writing career.
Writer friends. Writers find it easy to stay connected with writer friends and to meet new writer friends via social media and writers groups. And oh, do we love being together at conferences and anywhere in between. Writers understand the ups and downs and stresses of the writing life, which makes it easy to connect.
This network operates at its best when each one is proactive about celebrating each other’s victories, large or small, and providing encouragement when needed. Not to mention going all out to help promote each other’s books. Besides emailing, try sending a personal card once in a while. I’ve resorted to e-greeting cards for special occasions, because I’m not good about maintaining a stock of printed greeting cards. I know my colleague Wendy Lawton is cringing at this revelation. She is the most gracious sender of beautiful greeting cards. I rationalize it’s the thought that counts.
Beta readers and influencers. Most often, they work for you free of charge. Show your appreciation with a small gift card. If possible, choose gift cards individually to correspond to each one’s personal interests. Then send them a signed copy of your book with an appreciative note when it’s published.
Publishing house team: the VP/publisher, editors, book designer, marketing and public relations teams, production team, and sales reps. Most employees at your publishing house work there, not only for the income, but also because they sincerely want to be a part of producing quality books for readers. Thank-you notes for special efforts and monthly email updates with expressions of appreciation keep them encouraged in their work and enthusiastic about your book. Thank-you gifts of chocolates or pizza (on a date arranged in advance) or something more creative for special occasions make you a popular author with your teams. Treat these as an investment in this career resource rather than an expense.
Your writing environment
Assess your work area and take inventory. If it needs organizing, schedule time to do it. If the arrangement of your desk is awkward, change it as best as you can. Does the ambiance lift your spirit? If not, maybe changing the color of your walls is a good idea. Is the lighting right for you? For example, direct sunlight energizes me, but my office is on the north side of my house. On sunny days when I’m tired or feeling dull of mind, I’ll take my laptop to a room with southern exposure to recharge.
Your writer brain
Your brain is a core career resource, but do you value it this way? Are you nourishing it with God’s direction from daily time in the Bible and other reading? In stimulating conversations with family and friends? Are you giving it frequent breaks just to go out and smell the roses? And are you getting enough sleep regularly?
Your author business
You’re reading this blog, which means you are interested in keeping up with the industry. The pace of change continues to accelerate so continue to research publisher websites and agency and author blogs. Author platform is more important than ever so schedule time daily to work at building it.
How do your career resources shape up? Having taken inventory, which of them need better nurturing? What creative things have you done to express appreciation to your career resource people? Have you read a book on writing recently that you’d recommend to other writers?
Take inventory of a writer’s career resources and assess the vitality of yours. Click to Tweet.
A writer’s career resources need to be nurtured for optimum results. Chick to Tweet.