Writers are often solitary types who work alone and spend hours each week without communicating with others. As a writer, I always look for opportunities each month to get involved in activities where I will meet other writers, authors, publishers, and booksellers.
This past weekend, I was selected to do a poetry reading at Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. While spending the entire day at the festival, I also staffed the exhibit table of one of the several writers’ groups I belong to.
If writers don’t meet other writers, publishers, and booksellers, they are missing out. A writer always gets ideas from other writers and business people in the writers’ marketplace.
When I wasn’t staffing the exhibit table, and before my reading, I walked around the city blocks of this massive festival to learn from other writers, book/journal publishers, cultural, literacy, and educational organizations, and bookstore owners who had booths there. I learned so much in the way of what others are writing and publishing, and about what organizations are doing to promote literacy at all levels.
It was particularly revealing to see what books are being published. I always tell fellow writers who are working on their first books, that in order to come up with an effective title for their book, they should do their homework. They should study what other titles in their field are out in the marketplace.
Coming up with a title for your book that everyone will remember is time-consuming, but it is also one of the most important things an author can do. A great title can sell a book, and conversely, a book that may be a great book, may fail to get anyone’s attention because the title isn’t interesting.
For example, if you want to write a novel, investigate titles of novels recently published. When you write a book, whether or not you realize it, you are working on a product that, at some point, you may want to sell.
As a writer, don’t live in a vacuum. Talking to others in the field of the written word is essential. You will also form friendships with others who share your goal and who can give you encouragement when you are burning out on writing. Even the best of writers experience burnout and discouragement. It’s normal.
Being a writer doesn’t mean being a hermit in an attic. It means being an active person in your field who sees the value of keeping your pulse on the literary world, just as any professional keeps a pulse on their chosen field. That’s how you grow! And, someday, you may want to make writing a full-time job, if you’re doing it as a hobby or part-time now. Never say never about anything.
Copyright 2015 by Charlotte Digregorio.