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.
What experts do you rely on to navigate your writing career? Leave a link in the comments so we can expand our connections!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
Ann Gomez says
Thank you Angela! This is a very helpful list.
I would highly recommend adding Daphne Gray-Grant, The Publication Coach (https://www.publicationcoach.com/).
Daphne is a true writing expert. She coaches writers on how to get their writing done (and done well).
I have been part of Daphne’s group coaching program for over two years and cite Daphne as the #1 way I was able to write my first book (along with many other writing projects). Daphne is also an expert editor and prolific writer herself. I always learn something from her frequent blogs and engaging tweets.
Traci Kenworth says
I would add C.S. Lakin, Ann Allen and Ruth Ware, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, and all the authors who’ve been interviewed by Yin on 88 Cups of Tea. Really, there’s a lot of others I learn from, Indie authors such as John Howell, C.S. Boyack, Sally Cronin, to name a few.
BECCA PUGLISI says
I love our community. So many good people sharing what they know, and so many wonderful people like you, telling others about them. 🙂
This is exactly what I needed! Writing is a fun challenge, but publishing and marketing… Well, let’s just say I wish it was as fun as writing. Perhaps these ladies can make it fun.
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
I bet they can! And while marketing is a lot of work, it is also rewarding when you do it well, and these ladies know how to do that! 🙂
Kay DiBianca says
Angela, thank you for this great resource. I also clicked to the larger list of experts and resources you mentioned. What an incredible treasure trove! I bookmarked that page and I’m sure I’ll refer to it many times in 2020.
As a novice (first novel published in 2019), I had the good fortune to interview a number of craft experts on my blog in 2019: James Scott Bell, Kathy Ide, Steve Laube, Randy Ingermanson, Renni Browne, Dave King, and K.M. Weiland. My blog is intended to encourage and equip other new writers, and my guests provided us with an awesome amount of information and guidance. I plan to continue this blog series in 2020 and intersperse interviews with new novelists.
Thanks to you, 2020 is already shaping up to be a great year.
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
Congrats on your recent debut! And that is some serious talent you’ve interviewed. Each is so knowledgeable!
I’m familiar with all these brilliant ladies, largely due to YOU, Becca and Angela 🙂 And I add YOU to this list 🙂 It’s extraordinary how much all of you do and the invaluable info and advice you offer. Thank you! And Happy New Year to EVERYone 😀
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
You are lovely, Donna! <3
K.M. Weiland says
Aww, thanks so much for the kind shout out, Angela! Great way to start my year. All the kudos right back at you and Becca! Keep doing everything you’re doing!
Mona AlvaradoFrazier says
In 2019, I began viewing more YouTube content. I’d say iWriterly hosted by Meg La Torre (who used to be a lit agent) give worthwhile information for new writers and debut authors. Her website also has resources, query hacks, and other info.
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
I love Meg as well. She makes a person not feel alone during what can be a frustrating time for so many of us. Publishing isn’t easy and getting an insider’s view is such a boon. Plus she’s very knowledgeable across the board when it comes to writing & the writer’s career. 🙂
Jami Gold says
Aww, thank you so much for the shout out! <3
(And if anyone has writing questions, ask away! I'm always looking for new topic ideas for my Resident Writing Coach posts here. 😉 )
Jemi Fraser says
These are all great people – knowledgable and generous.
I would add Elizabeth Spann Craig to the list.
ANGELA ACKERMAN says
YES, absolutely. She’s fantastic. I like how she tries new things and reports back with her experience – so helpful. And her #amwriting curation and Knowledge Base…LOVE!