Romance Author University: On Writing: There’s Always Something New to Learn by Ally Mathews
Whether you're working on your first book or you have thirty published books, there is always something new to learn about writing. I’ve been writing for about eight years and have been published since 2013. Both myself and most of my writing friends have times where our tried and true writing methods stop working for us. Maybe you won NaNoWriMo last year, but this year you’ve been lucky to write a hundred words a day. Maybe the method you use to plot your story all of a sudden doesn’t work for you anymore. No matter what the problem is, there’s likely a solution right at your fingertips.
Craft Books – Refresh or reset your writing by reading a book about the craft of writing. There are a lot of them out there. I’ve had luck with On Writing by Steven King, Ann Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Donald Maass’s Writing the Breakout Novel, and the Writer’s Digest Write Great Fiction series.
Writing Blogs – There are some great ones out there, and the advantage is that these are free resources that you can access anytime. Some I find useful are Writers in the Storm, Romance University, The Creative Penn, Writer Unboxed, Jane Friedman, and KidLit411, though there are many more out there.
Online Workshops – I am a member of the national organizations Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), as well as some of their local, regional and online chapters. As a whole, both organizations and their chapters provide resources and support for writers, but one of the best, easiest to access resources they offer are online workshops. You’ll find a myriad of topics to choose from, from writing craft to time management to marketing and promotion. Margie Lawson also offers some fantastic online workshops that are worth a look.
Writer’s Conferences – The organizations mentioned above also hold regional and national conferences each year. I always try to go to at least one in-person conference every year. It’s extremely motivational and energizing to be at a conference with hundreds or even thousands of other writers. Not only will you make new friends and possibly some business contacts like editors and agents, but you’re sure to learn some new to help with your writing.
Local Chapters/In-Person Meetings – I have local chapters relatively close to me in both of the organizations I belong to. Sadly, with family and work obligations, I don’t attend the meetings as often as I would like, but every time I go it refreshes me and my commitment to my writing. These are my people, the ones who will support me and help me get through the bad times and celebrate the good times. I love to hear the successes of my chaptermates, and especially authors who have just sold or published their first book. Don’t underestimate how important and empowering the support and understanding of other authors can be.
What did I forget? Please share your suggestions in the comments."
Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, four dogs, two cats, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband. She likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she's saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head waiting for the opportunity to escape onto paper.
When she’s not writing, you can find her reading or binge watching Psych, Scream, Younger, and superhero movies. She loves to cook but hates to clean up afterwards, and strongly believes that Disney World is truly magical. You can find Ally on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.
Isabelle Oster has dreamed of being a prima ballerina her entire life, so whenthe only male dancer backs out of the fall production, she’s devastated. Without a partner, she has no hope of earning a spot with the prestigious Ballet Americana company. Until hot jock Garret practicing stretches in one of the studios gives Izzy an idea, and she whips out her phone. But does she really want this badly enough to resort to blackmail?
All-state tight end Garret Mitchell will do anything to get a college football scholarship. Even taking ballet, which surprisingly isn’t so bad, because it means he gets to be up close and personal with the gorgeous Goth girl Izzy while learning moves to increase his flexibility. But Izzy needs him to perform with her for the Ballet Americana spot, and he draws the line at getting on stage. Especially wearing tights.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a bit of blackmail, a lot of sarcasm, and an ending guaranteed to melt your heart.