My two cents…
One thing I wish I’d done a lot sooner in my writing career is to seek out other writers. I didn’t feel that my lack of connection to a writing community was such an awful thing when I was writing for my own pleasure, though surely even then it would have been helpful. But once I decided that I wanted to publish, knowing other writers really would have come in handy. Instead, I started submitting stories, no beta readers or kindly mentors or any idea of what I was doing. And really I have no excuse for that. There are so many wonderfully supportive writing groups out there that if I’d only looked around a little bit, I wouldn’t have gone into the whole publishing thing so unprepared.
If you’re a romance writer like me, the RWA (Romance Writers of America) is an incredible resource, not only for established writers but also for people just starting out. There are a lot of great local groups who meet in person to discuss the industry, bring in guest speakers and have workshops.
There are also a ton of online groups where you can get to know other writers. If you’re a new-ish writer, Absolute Write is a good place to start. You can participate in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place during the month of November. They have an active forum section and can put you in touch with local writers who often meet up during the month for write-ins. You can follow your favorite authors on social media to see how they manage the writing and business side of things. You can also participate in writer blog hops like Weekend Writing Warriors with Teresa and me. I’ve met a bunch of wonderful authors through that group and it’s a lot of fun, too. J
Finding your tribe is such an important and satisfying thing. I really wish I’d started looking sooner.
Eleri Stone is a RITA-nominated author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She was born in New Jersey, but now lives in Iowa with her husband and their three children. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction in them and they all end with a happily-ever-after.