Finding Your Feet As An Aspiring Novelist, by Belinda Dorio
by Steve Rossiter on February 25, 2013
When I started writing seriously at the age of eighteen, I was floundering to get a grip on the writing industry and all the people in it. One of the biggest challenges I faced was learning how to network and get myself in the loop, so here are some tips for those of you who want to meet like-minded people.
Writers Victoria is a great resource for aspiring writers in Victoria, with monthly email updates and articles about writing, opportunities and competitions. It also has information on a host of writers groups, one of which is sure to be nearby.
Or, like me, you find it hard to commit to a weekly or fortnightly meeting – get yourself involved in online networking through various social media sites.
Goodreads is one of my favourites as it allows you to connect to other readers, not just writers. You can easily find writers who read and write within the same genre as you. Of course, don’t limit your contacts to just those In your own field but keep in mind that I’ve found that those who write in your genre will ‘get’ your writing a lot easier. This is especially helpful if you are ever going to have someone critique your work.
For example, you don’t want to have to explain the pace of the novel, the lack or over abundance of descriptive language or the voice of your characters. I write books for teens, and so my manuscripts are going to be incredibly different from a murder mystery for adults.
LinkedIn is a good site for connecting with writers in a professional context, but I find myself preferring the informal forums on Goodreads.
Twitter is a big one, but I do find it tiresome. Am I the only one that can’t think of interesting thing to post at least once a day? I tried, I really did. I even bought a ‘twitter for dummies’ book, and I’m probably the only 22 year old that owns one.
Facebook and Goodreads are my top two picks. It groups everyone together and I don’t have to think of witty things to post online each day.
The main thing is that it’s important to be connected, no matter who you are, what your day job is or how often you write.
Be interested in other emerging writers. You may think you’re a star waiting to be discovered, but if you don’t care about others they are less likely to care about you. Follow people’s journeys, make new friends and open doors for yourself and your writing.