Number 27 involves offline groups. What the hell is this – some of you may ask. Easy. Join a group where you meet face to face. Shock! Horror! That means having to go out of the house and actually physically meet with people. Yes it does. And for a very good reason.
I am a member of the Romance Writers New Zealand, and we have a local chapter that meets once a month. As a result, I get some inspiration, some laughs and encouragement from like minded people. But I can do that online – yes, you can. But you don’t get that feeling of camaraderie that you get when you meet face to face. I also catch up with a couple of writer friends and have a write in. We used to do this on the weekends, but now we have switched to a Monday at the local library, because it is quiet, has a nice atmosphere, and no one really cares what you are up to when you pull your laptop out.
Basically, meeting face to face gives you a chance to leave your house and have some human contact.
No 26 – Social media can be a minefield, but it doesn’t have to be. In number 12 we were advised to get a social media management tool. I have got hootesuite for my twitter account. I use facebook all the time, so I will post in my authors page when I have something to say, and this posts onto my twitter account. However I don’t use twitter – I barely go in there, except to retweet something, or thank someone. Having Hootesuite, I am able to schedule tweets to come out around 24 hours, which is helpful when you consider that you are only awake for 16 of them.
You can get social media management programs that will schedule to facebook as well, and of course, you can set up wordpress (and I presume other blog sites) to post to your social media account.
No 27 – get business advice. Yip, you are about to set up a business, so you need to have some advice from a business professional, be it a small business advice group, Citizens Advice Bureau, or an accountant. It is important that you talk to someone so that you know what the expectations are, what the tax requirements are and any other details that may be required.
28 – Join LinkedIn. This is a strange social media group – but since I have signed up, I have found that people have been requesting to make contact with me, because I have writer as one of my interests. There are even groups on LinkedIn that you can join and connect with others who are in your interests. I am on there as myself, so I might have to go in and create another account for Catherine Mede.
No 29 – Add to your list of influencers – not only your readers, but those who are big in the industry, other writers, reviewers. Keep a list of them on hand, because you might actually need them at some time.
No 30 (because there is nothing like pushing the envelope) Create an editorial calendar. This was something that I did the other day, with an old whiteboard I had. I put the title of my story, where I was at (writing, editing, proofing) and when I expected to have it finished (end of August 2014, February 2015 etc.)
There is also a really cool website where you can download and write up your own calendar for your events – this can be found at Literautas – You can create your own calendar there. I also have a weekly calendar where I write down all those obligations that I have to do (work, volunteer work, appointments) and it allows me to see where I have gaps that I can write in.
We are nearly a third of the way through this exercise. If you want to get ahead of me, check out Your Writers Platform for more details.