What I'm Listening to Today: Arsonist's Lullabye - Hozier
In my last blog post, I got on my soap box about new writers finding their tribe. I also said I’d be paying forward what I learned in the last year, so here we go my new writer friends. Where can you find your tribe? The answer is simple.
Twitter is your jump off.
It feels like all things writing and publishing spring forth from the loins of the Twitterverse. You must get a twitter account. You must tweet. You must learn the hashtags for writers and publishing alike. You must befriend other writers, learn the endless acronyms and actively participate. It’s perfectly fine for you to sit on the sidelines for a spell, until you feel like you have a handle on some of the goings-on, or on twitter itself, if you’re new to it–but…Big But…It will do you no good to hug the walls forever.
Eventually, you must get involved or you’ll stagnate. If you’re writing simply for the pleasure of writing, never wish to be published (independent or traditional), don’t care to have anyone else see your work, that’s one thing. Observing will serve you well. However, if you aspire to share your work with the world. Get. Involved…ASAP.How do you find the other writers? There are several ways, but let’s start with the hashtags, shall we?
STALK THESE TAGS!
#amwriting– Pop in on this hashtag anytime for random tidbits about how the writing is going today. Does it make you want to crawl under a rock, or did you spit out 13K words in 36 hours straight while you main-lined monster in a fit of inspiration?
Share it with other writers! Reading about other writer’s ups and downs when their getting words on the page will help you feel not quite so solitary in your writing cave.
#amquerying– Much like above, this hashtag is for writers in the querying trenches to connect and support each other. The angst that comes with waiting, querying resources, the ups and downs of requests and rejections. This tag is a place to connect with other writers who are in the query process with you.
A WORD OF CAUTION – Don’t use this tag to call out agents who’ve rejected you, gave you constructive criticism, or take a while to get back to you. If you want to kill your dream before you even get started? Go ahead, call some busy agent buried under a pile of queries an asshole for sending you a form rejection. The writing community is very small, and you’ll get yourself black-listed faster than you can write your next mean-tweet.
This tag also isn’t for gloating about requests or offers––be a good sport, dammit! There’s no need to rub success in the face of your peers. It’s not a competition. Plus, they may remember that shit when they’re a NYT bestseller, and you’re still pitching your stuff to agents.
#amediting— Just as the other two, this hashtag is for people who are revising. Published authors, revising on your own, revise and resubmit requests, or re-writes from you critique partner, it’s a place to connect with other writers currently editing.
#1linewed – This tag is so much fun, and one of the first I stumbled upon when I decided to get active in the writing community.
Hosted by the Romance Writers of America – Kiss of Death chapter, each Wednesday they tweet out a different theme and writers from around the globe search their manuscripts and work-in-progress’ for that particular theme in their writing, then tweet a line that fits into the140 characters and includes the hashtag.
This is a great way to meet other writers. There’s no pressure, it’s just fun. Go through and read the tweets and like, or re-tweet, the lines you think are great, follow those people, ask them what they’re working on. Tweet your own lines and talk to the people who like it.
But please, for me, don’t screenshot half a page of writing and post that instead of your 140 characters––It’s cheating, it makes me pissy, and the character limit is part of the challenge! Oh, it’s open to everyone, you don’t have to be a romance writer to participate.
#2bittues – Similar to #1lineweds except it’s on Tuesday, a new theme is tweeted every week, you search your manuscript for the theme and post your 140 characters including the hashtag. Started by indie author Angela D’Onofrio, some of my favorite tweets and lines are from people who get creative and must stretch to find lines that fit with the theme.
#ontheporch– A hangout for unpublished writers, it’s a place for writers to help each other along, whether providing moral support, or stuck on that one line you just can’t get right. Even contest prep.
Started by Ali Labdon and Tammy Oja, it’s a relatively new tag that is a great place to find resources, links to helpful blogs, and writing advice from your peers.
#tenqueries – This tag isn’t really for writers to post, but to follow. Agents and publishers will often go through ten random queries in their inbox and tweet on the tag the reason they are either passing or requesting material on a certain query. It’s an excellent tool to learn what specific agents are looking for, get a picture of trends in the industry and a good grasp of what not to do in a query.
– Pitch Wars is an annual contest created by Brenda Drake where hopefuls vie for an agented and/or published author’s attention to spend two intensive months learning from a mentor’s experience. Using your completed manuscript, you submit a query and ten pages to the specific mentors you would like to work with and, if chosen, you get to polish that manuscript to make it the best version of itself, while learning about your craft from experienced writers.
The tag is for mentors and hopefuls to interact, get to know each other, and meet other hopefuls, but you don’t need to be planning entry to get involved and follow the tag. Many mentors are active daily and always happy to answer questions.
– 2016 Pitch Wars Mentee, Lacee Little’s brainchild, this accompaniment to Pitch Wars is new this year. 2016 Pitch Wars alum decided to give away as many Pitch Wars submission package critiques as possible (almost 190) to the 2017 hopefuls. The winners were randomly chosen, received a a critique from someone who’s been through the process, to give them the best possible chance of being selected by a mentor.
The contestants have already been drawn and announced this year, so what can you do with this tag? Use it to connect, find a writing tribe and find a critique partner. Connect with past mentees to ask them about their experiences and what you can expect if you plan to enter and get chosen. That’s what. Check the website for updates
I hope, with a little luck, perhaps the 2017 mentees will carry the legacy forward to the 2018 hopefuls. (Psst. I gave away two critiques this year as a part of the drawing.
href=”https://twitter.com/clpolk”>C.L. Polk, Kimberly Bell, Robin Lovett, and Alexis Daria pose questions of interest to the romance writing community, and discuss topics relative to romance authors.
An outstanding resource for romance writers, you can visit their website to access transcripts from past chats, interviews with agents and more. If you’re writing romance, I highly recommend this tag. It is an excellent opportunity to get in touch with your tribe.
That’s a shit-ton of hashtags to follow, I know, and it’s not even close to all of them, but more like a, “Tricia’s Favorites” overview. Don’t get overwhelmed, you’ll find a few that you return to time and again, and hopefully get involved with the community. If you have a favorite writing tag that I missed, feel free to add it, and a brief explanation of its purpose, in the comments section.
The BIG FAT DISCLAIMER: It is NOT appropriate to pitch your writing/manuscript on any of these tags directly to agents, publishers or Pitch Wars mentors––unless specifically and directly asked to by said agent, publisher or mentor.
Do NOT spam these hashtags with adds for your book or any other products you may be hocking on the side. These are things that will push you to the fringe of the community, if not completely out of the community, rather quickly.
Finally, follow the rules. No mean-tweeting. Be supportive of one-another, and in general, don’t be a troll. If you turn into a troll on any of these tags you found because of this blog…
Well, me and my posse will find you…