Many times, we writers suffer for our craft. It’s a fact. We either quest for inspiration, fight with our own stories, or struggle to find the support (and ultimately the outlet) that we need to share our stories with the universe. In short, a writer needs resources. Without them, expect to chew the contents of the cornucopia of chaos and wash it down with a mug of hot mess. These are the days that we get really dramatic and insist that we will never write a best seller, never find a literary agent, and never, ever write another word again. But then a little time passes and we find ourselves stunned and cautious, yet “back out there” like when going on a first date with someone new after a bad breakup. Well, congratulations. We made it through that emotional storm. But perhaps we can be a bit wiser this next go around.
Just like with any relationship, a writer needs to assess what went awry, what was lacking, and what could be improved upon just as much as the writer needs to know what worked well. The vast majority of the time, the issue comes down to not having the right resources. So, let’s take a look at some things to consider:
—Are you sufficiently inspired? If not, refer to TLM’s blog on finding inspiration.
—Are you giving your story and characters the authenticity that they demand? This is a “you” resource, where only the writer can give a voice to the
—Are you researching for world building, setting, diction/dialect, theme, tone,
etc.? Try people watching, interviewing, traveling, going to a library, etc.,
—Are you paying attention to the vast number of author dedicated websites?
Google your genre and look for sites that speak to it. There’s always tons of
information. Some things you may know, while some things you may not.
—Are you connected into a network of writers? There are many professional
associations for writers that you can join—locally, nationally, and even
internationally. Meetup is also a wonderful place to get connected, provided
that you actually participate in activities and not just sign up. Conferences,
masterclasses, and workshops can be wonderful resources, too. (Shameless
plug: TLM offers some great ones!)
—Are you submitting your work to as many contests and anthology
submissions as you can? Again, Google. Also, try subscribing to literary
Lastly, I want you to answer this question honestly: Are you performing self-care? The nature of writing is to pour out: ideas and words, energy and effort, blood and tears, as well as a piece of our souls. Without replenishing the things that we pour out, eventually our well-source runs dry. Self-care is, in my humble opinion, THE single most important resource that a writer has.
So, now that you have this information, don't be afraid to delve into the resources that are available to you. And, know that there is nothing that you can’t accomplish as a writer. So saying...
Write on, writers!