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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Bev Robitai on focusing your aim as a writer.

If you’re looking for competent, sensible, successful writers to follow for inspiration and advice, you could take a look at Joanna Penn. One of her latest blog posts has advice that is worth revisiting several times in your career as your aspirations and skills change. Here’s the link

Her basic premise is that you need to decide what you want to achieve with your writing. Fame? Fortune? Literary prizes? Or simply the satisfaction of holding a book in your hand (in print or on an ereader.) It shouldn’t change HOW you produce the work – you’ll always want to make it the best it can be and produce it to the highest standards, but it may help you decide how much work you’re prepared to do to promote it.

If you want to get your book on shop shelves, are you willing to spend time trying to find bookstores to stock it? If your definition of success is to be in a major book chain it will take considerable effort and resources. Even getting into indie bookstores is an uphill battle at times. If that’s not for you, you might prefer promoting your ebook online. Can you face contacting reviewers, listing it on Goodreads, doing promotions and giveaways? It takes a fair bit of time and effort to achieve that miraculous overnight rocket to stardom! If you seek literary prizes, will you hunt out competitions and pay the entry fees?

I like Joanne’s last points – you can seek to make a liveable income from your writing, and you can aim to leave a body of work that you’re proud of. The two are not mutually exclusive but you’ll need to have a clear idea of what’s important to you to achieve success in either.


Happy writing!


Bev Robitai

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