I graduated from the Institute of Children’s Literature in March 2006, and in April, I became a staff member for LDS Writers Blogck writing a weekly blog every Wednesday. Beginning in 2004 and for four years I won several awards in the yearly contest for the League of Utah Writers contests. This year, I planned to enter again, but instead had pneumonia which zapped all my energy and I missed the deadline.
I enjoy attending writing conference, but sometimes can’t go because of my work. Those I’ve attended are the League of Utah Writers, LDStorymakers, Forum on Children and Literature held at Utah Valley State College, Association for Mormon Letters, and Life, the Universe, & Everything symposium on Science Fiction and Fantasy. It is through this networking that I have met many published authors, other aspiring writers, publishers, and agents.
Maybe networking is a new word to you. It just means that you will meet people, talk about your writing with them, listen to them talk about their writing, share ideas with one another, and you will do lots of brainstorming. Networking is important to anyone wanting to break into the publishing world.
I’ve also joined a writing group. I belong to the League of Utah Writer’s, which includes the local branch called the Oquirrh Writers Chapter. The meetings each month have given me a connection to other writers, and I’ve acquired many new friends who have the same interest I have. These people critique for me and I’ve helped them. I also went on a writing retreat with one of those friends. I’m also a member of an online writer’s group, Author’s Incognito. Sometimes I participate frequently and other times, like now, I’m not as active.
Since I started writing regularly I’ve belonged to several critique groups. The first one started at Barnes & Noble bookstore, moved to The Coffee Shop, and lasted for the biggest part of a year. The Oquirrh chapter started a critique group and we met for about ½ year. My blogging group is great at offering writing advice, and I now have a wonderful online critique group. I hope this one will last a long time. Everyone needs someone to critique their work. Its best if they are a writer, but friends and family can also be a big help.
10 things I have found helpful in my writing are:
1. Keep your mind and heart open.
2. Make opportunities.
3. Take all the opportunities given to you.
4. Never give up.
5. Yes you will find dead ends.
6. You will also find keys to open doors.
7. If one thing fails try something else.
8. When someone gives you advice they are usually trying to help.
9. Only take the advice that you feel will really improve your work.
10. Keep looking for ways to improve your writing.