|Photo by Jaclyn Bartz|
It has been three years since I started writing professionally. Writing and drawing have always been hobbies of mine, and now I have finally taken this brave step forward. Through the years and the difficulties, I had learned a lot and remained persistent. This blog is written with my past experiences in mind and the intent to help you grow as well. Being an aspiring author starts with the desire to write; but not necessarily the knowledge on how to do it. It takes a lot of ambition and desire to follow this path. The road is paved with failures and doubts; but, remember, there is no success without it. As I transition from being a writer to an author, there are many things that have helped me along the way. The following list is a compilation of my favorite resources. Please take a look. I hope you find these useful. Good luck on your journey.
1. The Dictionary & The Thesaurus
Plain and simple--these are by far the most valuable books to have. I use them daily. They are really great for looking up the meanings of words and for eliminating redundancies.
This site is loaded with information. I have looked up all different topics--from writing author bios to marketing. Anything you are wondering about is located on this site. And there are many experts willing to share the inside of the business with you.
Another great source for information and a place to connect with like-minded individuals. I believe the only way to succeed in your chosen career is by asking for mentoring from other professionals. They have gone through different experiences and their knowledge is valuable. As I have stated in an earlier post, they are willing to help you if you ask. Don't be afraid to reach out because they were once in your shoes and have fretted over the same fears. They are also passionate, just like you.
Yes, self-help. Confidence is key in this field. Self-doubt ruins many potential artists from reaching their dreams. In fact, it stops them dead in their tracks. Having the confidence to talk in public or to strangers or other professionals is the greatest trait you can have. There are many self-help books, videos, etc. to help guide you through your fears. Again, YouTube is a great source for free self-help videos. My favorite speaker is Brian Tracy.
5. Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are a great way to connect with friends, fans, and professionals. These sites are wonderful for sharing tidbits about yourself, providing information on things you care most about, and, of course, promotion. When I use these sites, I like to share fun things and tips I find around the internet. I like my pages to show my commitment to learning and my fun sense of humor. These pages should be reflective of your unique personality and it should be relatable to your audience.
6. Writing Children's Books for Dummies by Lisa Rojany Buccieri and Peter Economy
I am a children's book writer, so this book was a valuable one for me. Naturally, if you are writing adult fiction, then this will not be the book for you. On a serious note, I love the content this book contains. It goes over everything from storyboarding to illustrating. It explains effective dialogues and character development. It also includes creative writing exercises. This book is a great starting point.
7. 2014 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market by Chuck Sambuchino
Do you need more information about this market? If so, this book is a great resource for finding out more about it. This provides great insight on the publishing market, including agents, contests, and conferences. This helps with prepping manuscripts, writing query letters, and some very valuable contact info for industry leaders. This book is specifically for the children's market; if you are looking for another genre, then look at the other collections in the series. They have some tailored for only writers, graphic designers, etc.
8. The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard-Johnson
What do you do after you write your book? How are people going to be aware your book even exists? Well, this is where the scariest phase of being an author starts. (And, yes--this makes me really nervous.) Marketing, of course! This book I really like because it is tailored for beginners with limited budgets--which I am. Ms. Carolyn does a wonderful job explaining the ins-and-outs of book marketing, while helping to calm those crazy nerves we all experience. Her writing style is equivalent to having a conversation with a close friend. This is my personal favorite. Of course, you want to look for a marketing book that fits your needs, but please check this one out. You won't be disappointed.
This site is loaded with information about writing, editing, and publishing--regardless of the publishing route you are choosing to take. CreateSpace is a part of Amazon; so if you do pursue self-publishing, this is a great way to get your book out into the mass market. This is a must to check out. I am sure you will find something you like.
Why a typing course? Well, if you are like me--a terrible typist, who is lucky to do 10wpm--then this is a valuable ((free)) resource to get this essential skill up to speed. I love this because it shows how well you are progressing and it is easy to use. The courses are laid out in a logical format--starting from the home rows keys to typing words. Overall, it has helped me type my handwritten manuscripts faster on my computer than I could if I still used my "two-finger peck".
There it is, my list of favorites. If you have any favorites you would like to share, please feel free to comment below. Feedback is always welcome. Peace and love!