1. Write a blog!
Ha ha, see what I did there? So this is my very first blog. Six months ago, I didn’t do Twitter, Facebook or have any idea how to build a website, so I like to think I’ve learned a lot. On the other hand, I still have a long way to go, so bear with me if I state the obvious and say that Social Media is really important. Writing can be lonely and it helps to connect to people experiencing the same thing. Just so long as it doesn’t become a giant moan-fest, so let’s get to the next point already…
2. Make Friends
I was told to join the Romantic Novelist’s Association and I’m really glad that I did. Not only is it great to meet other writers who share a love of the genre (who don’t instantly tell you they don’t read romance!) but it’s massively helpful too. I went to my first conference this year and met Virginia Heath, who I now call Yoda because she gave me so much great advice. I’ve also become friends via e-mail with Therese Beharrie, whose first book for Harlequin Cherish is released on the same day as mine, so who understands the combination of excitement and panic that comes with being a first-time author. You might expect writers to be competitive, but most of the ones I’ve met have been really supportive. So if you haven’t read Virginia’s Regency novels yet then you should. Because she’s Yoda and try them you must…
3. Buy a Coffee Machine
I don’t know why I didn’t make this point number 1. It’s so important.
4. Take up Jogging
Or swimming, or aerobics or anything that isn’t sitting in a chair all day staring at a computer screen. I’m an expert at convincing myself that sweet things are necessary brain food (I’ve eaten 3 chocolate-covered marshmallows just writing this blog!) So I started the Coach to 5K challenge to compensate. Then I gave up. But now I have an exercise bike so at least I’m still trying to follow my own advice.
5. Find a Routine
Definitely easier said than done, especially when deadlines are looming and time just seems to disappear at the keyboard. Now I get up early to write before the rest of the house wakes up, mainly because my brain is too tired by the evening. It was difficult at first, but now it feels weird not to. Even if it is dark and miserable outside.
And that’s it for now! Four hundred words and nothing about actually writing… Maybe next time.