A Post By JonathanHi all. This probably isn't going to be my most groundbreaking post, but I do think I've got some advice that could be useful for new folks out there who are just getting into this whole writing gig.
When I was just starting off and was in that super-exciting period that all new writers experience --where you're like, this whole imagining all the time and creating characters and new worlds and all that is really cool and I could do it everyday of my freakin' life!!!-- I made it a point to join every list serve, writers community, author page, blog, magazine, forum, website, Facebook page, Pinterest board, YouTube channel, twitter feed, and any other online thing I could find. I basically wanted all the knowledge I could gain on the writing craft and I figured the more the better.
What I didn't realize was that this would result in a continual, and often contradictory, deluge of writing advice, promos for this product or that, a million webinar/retreat/workshop/conference invites, information of all kinds that I could never in a million years keep up with or ever have time to engage in even 1% of the things that were/are constantly being pushed on me. It's just too much for a new writer to handle, so my advice to you is to pick your subscriptions wisely. I would choose two or three really good writing sites to follow and stick with those. I can't even begin to give advice on which ones are the best because I joined them all. I guess I would try to go as genre specific as possible. As a Middle Grade/Children's writer, the best site for me is the SCBWI Blue Boards. And stay away from the ones that are always asking for money. Don't these people know we're starving artists? Geeze!
But there are all kinds of resources out there. Just be discerning. I know you can unsubscribe anytime you want, but once they have your name you somehow end up on a ton of other lists. Not to sound paranoid or anything (okay, where'd I put my tinfoil hat?). I guess what I'm trying to say is don't try to drink from the internet firehose. Especially when you're just starting out.
The other thing about being part of way too much internet writing crap (hopefully this post doesn't qualify) is if you're in one of those non-writing periods, which I so often am, getting pinged about writing all day does not really help you (not me at least) get out of a writing slump. It's like, shut up already! Good for you, you're writing. Now leave me alone.
Well, best of luck out there folks. And be sure to subscribe to Across The Board!