Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Bookmarking the Writer's Journey

Merry Christmas, happy Chanukah and happy New Year to everyone out there in the Blogosphere!

I’ve been in my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware (that’s between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, for those of you who haven’t driven all of I-95 and thus crossed into the First State) visiting family for the holidays. I'm still sane--mostly--but looking forward to having my own space again once I get back to Boston. I have a fairly large family, and they're all concentrated in this area. At the moment, they're all concentrated entirely too close to my person.

One of the last things I did before I left Boston was mail in my application to join the Romance Writers of America (RWA). Now, it really only occurred to me a few weeks ago that joining RWA might be a good step for me. I mentioned it to a few writer friends and chatted about it to Jana, then visited the RWA website and the websites of a couple of the chapters that interest me—specifically the chicklit chapter and the New England chapter, which meets ten minutes from my office. I will probably end up joining both of those chapters, and am already planning to attend both the New England conference in April and the national one in July.

Until recently, I have thought of writing as a very solitary occupation. You know, a la Henry James, all “we work in the dark, we do what we can.” That kind of mindset. But after attending a few author chats on the Knight Agency web site (which are not to be missed, seriously!), I’ve changed my mind. Chatting with other writers in pre-arranged author (or agent) chats, getting tips from the Yahoo! Chicklit e-group, schmoozing at RWA meetings, trolling the boards for the occasional "OMG--it's [fill in name of amazing author]!" moment--all of this gets me really excited about my own writing, and makes me strive to write more, write better.

All this brings me to the question of the week: what "writers'" sites do you frequent and why? Some of my answers can be found in the links at the right; now I want to hear yours. Help out your fellow writers--post a link if you've got it!


Blogger Demented M said...

Hello! To answer your question, I like Paperback Writer, Pocket full of Words for sf/f. For romance, I enjoy Alison Kent and Diana Peterfreund.

Sorry don't have the links at hand, but they are on my blogrool and googleable.


8:40 PM  
Blogger Demented M said...

Oh and you sold your very first novel--wow. That's pretty impressive even if you've been writing a long time.

How do you approach your writing process?


8:41 PM  
Blogger Jana J. Hanson said...

I usually read the blogs on my 'Links' section, plus Shannon Stacey (http://www.shannonstacey.com/).

I also subscribe to Publishers Lunch which gives daily snippets about the publishing biz.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Melanie Hayden said...

Thanks, guys! I'm adding those to my list of resources.

Wanted to clarify, too, that I haven't sold a novel yet. I have an agent, but am still in the shopping phase. Hopefully that will change soon!

5:56 PM  
Blogger JaneUntangled said...

Melanie, I've been writing novels for a long, long time and, each time I've written 'the' book it just misses or is perhaps a bit too ahead of the next big thing. I've had agents and nearly sold a book in a very big way only to have it slide away at the last minute due to bad timing and slippery luck. Why am I telling you this? Wait, I know: because I wanted you to know that studying the market only works to a degree. After excellent writing, you need somebody on your side who has faith in you to keep you fueled--an agent who speaks your language.
You'll get published.

10:48 AM  

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