Blogging for me today is Michelle Davidson Argyle, who is the author of the e-book CINDERS and the upcoming MONARCH, which will be released on September 15, 2011.
I will be blogging over at Michelle's blog today--after you read her post, head on over and read me there!
In honor of our topic, Michelle will be giving away one free copy of her ebook CINDERS. Instructions for entering our awesome contest are at the bottom of the post.
You Give, I Give!
When I first started writing, I didn’t blog. I didn’t connect with people online, and I certainly didn’t know many other writers. I thought writers were all hermits, holed away in their houses typing away so they could ship off big envelopes stuffed with their manuscripts to their publisher. I had no idea that a few years later I would be asking other writers for advice and handing them my novels to read. Little did I know that conversing with authors would become a daily activity.
When I self-published Cinders, I was shocked by how many other authors stepped forward to help me promote the book. Many read the book and did reviews and passed on the news to other friends who weren’t online. The book would not have been such a success without everyone’s help. Now that’s all happening again with my novel, Monarch. I have lists of readers willing to help out. I’m floored. I’m honored, and I want to give back.
I want to give back.
See, that’s what happens when you help other writers. They’ll help you when your turn comes around.
I’m already giving back where I can. Starting next month I’ll be offering one free manuscript, short story, or query (your preference) critique every two months to those who enter the drawing. All you have to do is subscribe to my mailing list. If you’re subscribed, details about that will go out soon. I don’t believe in helping only those you’re good friends with because, honestly, lots of people who helped me out with Cinders are people I don’t know very well. Writers in general are nice and open and willing to give back wherever they can.
Here's a few things I've learned...
Writing does not have to be lonely. It shouldn’t be. Good writers live. They interact. So make sure you’re interacting in real life, online, wherever.
Good writing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Every single writer I’ve ever met shares their stuff with someone, even if it’s only one other person. We seem to have a need to share, to get feedback. Don’t ignore that. Let others help you. Just keep it in perspective and realize that YOU are the one that makes the final decisions. Be in charge, but let others help you.
You’d be surprised what you can get if you JUST ASK. I’ve had writers ask me how to find beta readers or critique partners or blurbs for their books or reviewers. You ask. Simple as that. Some people might ignore you and not even answer your email - the really busy ones. They’re the ones you don’t want to be talking to anyway. There is always time to answer an email, even if it’s a polite no.
Connect to those like you, but don’t turn your back to everyone else. That’s self-explanatory. I don’t write straight YA fiction, but I certainly interact with a lot of YA writers because they rock. It’s amazing how many of them help me out, too, no matter what genre I’m writing.
Be genuine in everything. Period. People can tell, and when you honestly want to help out, it will come back two-fold right when you need it.
Thank you to Robin for hosting me here today!
Isn't she great? Don't you want to read her book? Watch this trailer, and you'll REALLY want to:
You want to read it, right?
Okay, to win a copy of CINDERS, here's what you do:
- Comment below AND on my post at Michelle's blog to qualify (one point for commenting on both)
- You get extra points for tweeting, blogging, or Facebooking about the contest--one for each mention, and you must include what you did in one of your comments
- Contest ends midnight on Thursday
- Check back on one of our blogs on Saturday for the winner
And that's it! Obviously, we'd love for you to follow both blogs, as well, but Michelle didn't want it to be a requirement. She wants people to follow because they want to! :)
So what do you do to contribute to the writing community?