Doing It Right

When I decided to document my path towards traditional publication through this website/blog, I knew I wasn’t the first person to do this. But I had not seen anybody take all the steps in a way that grabbed me:

  • declare themselves a writer
  • tell the world they’re going to finish a manuscript
  • do the research, do the work
  • complete a first draft (only 3% of people who say they’re going to write a book ever finish a first draft, so congratulations!)
  • rewrite it multiple times based on feedback from critique partners and beta readers
  • possibly hire an editor
  • polish their manuscript to the point that it’s ready for an agent
  • query, rewrite the query, rewrite the first pages (or more) based on agent feedback
  • and then, eventually, find a literary agent, sell the project to a publisher, and become an author (being a writer fills a need in me, but being an author would be cooler in my opinion)
  • and work on other manuscripts while all this is happening, so the pipeline stays full

Anyway, each writer is unique so each will take a different path. I figured there was room for me to share my “traditional publishing” story. Some days I’m excited to share, other days I’m not sure my legions of followers give a rip.

However, I recently found another new writer with a similar idea, and I love her approach. I don’t know this lady, though I hope to meet her someday at a conference and congratulate her in person. Her “writer on the path to publication” website is warm and welcoming, and does several things better than mine. She’s got me thinking about what I should update or rework.

Welcoming. Strange word for an autistic person. I can see “welcoming” when someone else does it, but it’s not something I think of on my own. My landing page has a photo of chokecherry tree blossoms, because the original title of Beautiful was The Chokecherry Tree. The photo is quite pretty but is unrelated to my WIP except historically, so it may not be the best use of that space. Danielle the Writer’s home page makes me want to look through the rest of her website. I’ll give some thought to how I can up my homepage game.

Another thing I like about Danielle’s website is that she provides value. She put together a variety of writing lessons/tips/how-to’s, things that clearly took many hours of her time, and they’re available for free. In addition, she lets you download a scene outlining guide in exchange for your name and email. That’s fair. And it helps her build a list of people who are interested in what she’s doing.

Finally, I notice Danielle’s website provides links to her social media accounts and her Goodreads. I’ll figure out how to do that on my site. The harder part will be remembering to post stuff on all these various accounts. For example, I read all the time but I forget to update my Goodreads.

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