So this last summer I had the amazing opportunity to attend RWA (Romance Writers of America) Annual Conference. And I learned so much, and met a host of other authors who were in the same boat as I was. Trying to make our writing stand out from the pack and make a living with our writing.
One session I attended said the following: ‘If you don’t treat your writing like a serious business, how do you expect anyone else to take is seriously.’
This struck a deep cord within me, and I realized I had been treating my writing like a hobby. Even with 4 books published I still haven’t been treating my writing as the business it should be.
So after I heard that I took a couple of months (I’m not kidding but I wish I were), to understand what that meant to me and my writing. I really believe this means something different to everyone. But for me I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have been treating my writing as a hobby because when I didn’t feel like doing any writing I just wouldn’t. If I felt boxed in with anything that had to do with writing I just walked away. Maybe that’s why I haven’t written anything in over a year….
But now what? Just recognizing that I am treating my writing like a hobby wasn’t enough, I needed to make some important changes in order to move from hobby to living.
CHANGE 1: creating a business mindset. I don’t know about you but when I am writing the last thing on my mind is business.
CHANGE 2: Carve out time during the week to deal with the business of my writing. Marketing, list building, social media, blogging. I have failed mightily in these areas in the last several years.
CHANGE 3: My writing has been mish mash for the last year, and if I want to make it a business I have to write. So I am carving time out of every day to write. Some day’s that means I am only writing for 15 min but at least I am getting words on a page.
CHANGE 4: Setting appropriate goals. ie: when I want my next book finished, how I will grow my email list, building a tribe a like minded writers. I know this one is tough because writing is such a solitary process but having like minded authors and readers will increase my reading base and accountability
CHANGE 5: Taking classes, and learning how to make my writing better. It’s always good to increase your knowledge base.
Wow reading through these kinda makes my head swim, but if I want to make my writing my business I have to treat it like it is.
Hope this helped out, if you are struggling with making your writing a business you are not alone. Let me know in the comments.
So this past weekend I was privileged to participate in RWA of Utah’s annual readers luncheon. I have been lucky enough to attend all 3 events. And this event gets better and better every year.
The point of this luncheon is to focus on the reader! Show the reader some love and gratitude. Because without readers where exactly would we be after all. Readers get a ton of swag from the authors participating, and they do a ton of baskets and giveaways. You get to sit at a table and have lunch with the author of your choosing (you have to sign up early to reserve your seat with the author you want to have lunch with).
Being an author is a very solitary type of work, so getting the chance to get out and meet and mingle with my readers just means the world to me. Plus writers, I think, are some of the biggest fans out there. And getting to rub elbows with other authors is just too much fun.
This year we were lucky enough to have ReaAnne Thayne, and Jill Shalvis speak and they both gave amazing and wonderfully inspiring presentations about being a writer, and more importantly the love of reading. They are both New York Times best selling authors.
So overall if you ever get the chance to attend a readers luncheon grab that opportunity with both hands. I know if you come to the Utah luncheon that we hold every Oct. you won’t be disappointed.
Where you can find me
After writing for so long you would think it would be hard to pin-point exactly when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t always want to be writer, in fact I had a reading disability when I was young. Going back and asking a young Christie if being a writer is something I would have wanted to be it wouldn’t have been on my radar until—I was in my teens and I read a certain trilogy. A trilogy I didn’t like — I loved, and twenty years later I still love this trilogy.
But here is the thing I might have loved the trilogy, but I detested the ending.
How can you love a set of three books but detest the finally? Ohh, it’s so easy look at the books on the market today. Twenty years ago it was a very rare, but today not so much.
Anyway back to my story, hated the ending. So at fourteen I sat down and put pencil to paper (no really, pencil and paper no computer, no pen) and I wrote a new story. About how the hero and the heroin found each other and had a happy ever after. Because dammit that is how it’s supposed to end up!!!
And that is how it started. That was how the seed was planted, my imagination door in my mind sprung open and I haven’t ever been able to close it. And frankly I never wanted to close it.
Every once in a while I will pull that story out and read it, I do have several collector versions of that trilogy and it will always be one of my favorites. For starting something inside of me, and for just being a damn good story.
Where you can find me
What I’ve learned from watching Criminal Minds
And how they’ve made my writing better.
In case you don’t know Criminal Minds is a television show about a group of FBI agents who profile serial killers. Now that I’ve explained that to you I should also tell you that you should crawl out from the rock you’ve been living under.
I mean who doesn’t know what Criminal Minds is? I mean it’s on syndication and on like ten different cable/satellite channels any given time any given day of the week. So look it up ladies and gentleman you have no idea what you are missing. And here is why…
- Things can always be worse.
- Always, I mean ALWAYS double check the locks.
- It doesn’t always end with a happy ending.
- When there’s a twist… The evidence (the smallest pieces) are all there. You have to be able to follow the bread crumbs back.
- The bad guys have to have a purpose and a reason.
- And last but not least… anyone can be a bad guy so watch the f*&^ out.
What I’ve learned in the years I have watched Criminal Minds
Do you have a favorite show, or do you watch Criminal Minds? And if so has it influenced your writing in anyway? Let me know below.
And watch out because like #6 says anyone can be the bad guy… you might just be in one of my novels as the one who did it, in the study with the lead pipe. Please tell me you got that reference…
Where you can find me
A while ago I bought a bottle of champagne and put it up on the wall. If you walk into my house you would walk past it and not think anything of it. It looks like any other bottle of champagne in a wall hanging. But to me it’s different.
Where you can find me
Sex Ed and the Modern Day Romance Writer
Knowing the human body before you write about it is paramount. Trust me you need to stay current on your education even when writing love stories.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t write erotica, or explicit sex scenes understanding the working parts can mean the difference between how a man holds a woman in a loving embrace to a choke hold.
Even if you write sweet romance understanding the fundamentals of a heated look and how it will make someone feel in a biological way instead of a physical. Making your writing JUMP off the page, make your readers feel it, believe it, fundamentally understand it.
Confession Time…In a former life I sold adult toys and products. Doing this; I was taught and learned more about the human body and sex then any one person ever needed to know. But in doing so I learned and changed and boosted my sexual writing to a different level.
My characters, and readers benefited immensely, I don’t write erotica (and not because I can’t haha), because I knew exactly what was going on with everything not only below the waist but above the waist as in the mind as well.
The human body is an amazing thing ladies and gentleman and staying current and learning something new about the human body every single year will keep your writing fresh and modern plus it will bring your readers coming back for more.