Do you feel it, deep in your chest? That tingling spark that expands, radiating outward. You’re lighter. Breaths come easier. A smile tugs at your lips. All because your mind is casting forward to the year ahead, the weeks and months to come, each an unwritten page of what you will accomplish as a writer.
I love the start of a new year, even when it brings change and difficult challenges.
The end of a year is when we glance back at what happened (or didn’t) on our writing path, and as we review, it’s easy to lose sight of our accomplishments. We might focus too much on what we didn’t get done, or worry about the struggles and problems we identified but didn’t manage to resolve. So January is a great time to turn a fresh page and let go of the can’ts and didn’ts.
To start a year off right we want to think about what we can do…and choose goals that are within our power to achieve.
I recently posted about how to How to Build a Roadmap to the Author Future You Want. (If you missed it, I recommend having a read.) In the post I talked about how defining what we need is important as then we can seek out resources and tools which will help us grow.
Today I’d like to focus on a few of the women in our industry that I’ve learned from, experts I think can help us all with the learning curve. So please check these ladies out as you chart your course in 2020!
Becca and I have known Jami for eons; in fact, I think we probably started blogging at the same time. Jami has great insight and I recommend following her blog as her articles demystify So many important aspects of storytelling. You can find beat sheets to help you with story structure (for pantsers & plotters!) and she has workshops that will help you grow by leaps and bounds.
Janice is another superstar when it comes to writing. Her site (Fiction University) is a goldmine. I honestly don’t know how she manages to continually post such a great variety of topics, everything from writing craft to the author mindset and beyond. Janice is an amazing teacher and will be launching a series of courses this year. (I recommend signing up for her newsletter to stay in the loop for those!)
Katie has mastered the art of teaching writing craft. How? She’s really thought about the delivery of education by making it accessible through different formats: blog posts, books, video, and software. I love how she shares bite-sized lessons that are easy to digest so you can grow your knowledge without being overwhelmed. The more time you spend with Katie, the more you see how all the different elements of story are connected. Check her out if you have not yet done so!
Publishing & Marketing Experts
Kristen is a wicked smart writer’s advocate who studies the industry and shares her thoughts so writers can better navigate publishing without being bitten by its dark side. Her other superpowers are marketing and branding, and she guides writers on how to master both by focusing on connection, relationship-building, and living your brand. These are things Becca and I live by and unlike many of the shortcut solutions that some marketing folks try to peddle, they work, helping us grow our reach and build a tribe. Kristen’s a great writing teacher too, so visit her blog and check out her classes to take your knowledge to the next level.
There aren’t many who don’t know Jane because she’s one of the most trusted sources of knowledge when it comes to publishing. With a long history in the industry and as someone who studies its currents, Jane is very savvy when it comes to the different routes, best practices, and the technology and resources to help you. If Jane’s blog is not yet on your radar, make sure it is for 2020. You may also wish to subscribe to the Hot Sheet, an essential newsletter on all things publishing.
Another leader in author advocacy is Joanna Penn, a successful author who shares what she learns at her site, The Creative Penn. Joanna is passionate about personal growth and evolving her career, and while the business side of writing can be intimidating to many, it isn’t to Joanna. She thrives on understanding the ins and outs of publishing and loves to research and experiment with new processes and technology. Thankfully she shares all this hard-won knowledge on her site, in books, and her stellar podcast, The Creative Penn.
Experts Shorten the Learning Curve
To avoid this post becoming novel-length I’ll stop at these six, but our community is full of leaders who can help you move toward your writing goals. So I encourage you to think about what you need most and then to seek out experts in those areas.
Building a career is much easier if you don’t try to do it solo. To see a much, MUCH larger list of experts (and a giant database of incredible resources), visit this link.