Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stay Connected - Information Is Power

I love the movie Wall Street. Maybe it is just that 80's side of me, but, despite a lot of the negative
role models and messages in the movie, there are also a lot of great nuggets of information and inspiration from that movie. The one I always find myself going to is Gordon Gekko's comment, "The most valuable commodity I know of is information. Unfortunately, in the publishing industry, or I should say, for writers, this can be one of the toughest things to gain.

As writers, we are often isolated away in the confines of our make-shift offices, sitting alone behind the computer banging out our stories. We aren't in an office with cubicles or other employees. We aren't sitting down in the corporate lunchroom discussing issues. We are alone. And this is simply not going to move our career forward. Sure the writing can be fantastic. Sure we can send out those queries and manuscripts, or attend conferences and pitch sessions, but that information is simply going to be limited.

This does not mean you have to be limited though. This really is why we have things such as social media. This is why we have organizations such as the Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc. and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. These informal "get togethers" start streamlining information to the writers. By taking time every day, between working on that story, and probably all of your other daily activities, to "troll the Internet" you may be amazed at what you find.

When you do find a nugget of information, let's say on Twitter, start to "follow that link". Put that organization in your Favorites Folder and monitor it for a week or so. The important thing is to keep your eyes and ears open.

Of course, having the information is one thing. Taking advantage of it is another. If your story fits what that person is looking for, then get that story ready, and get it in the hands of that editor or agent.  

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