While I’m pretty sure playing Avenger’s Alliance all weekend is not the way to pass any class, it does link into my reeeeally long-term career goal of being an Avenger creating a successful, fictional franchise. Which, ideally, starts with a novel.
But where do I start on the road to becoming a published author? The first thing that really has to happen is words. Networks are important but it also takes a long time to write even a first draft.
This is the point where I will head on over to NaNoWriMo for my annual dose of utter writing chaos that comes when people get together and try to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s a formula that I know works for me so I’ll take my place alongside thousands of writers as we line up on the starting line of November 1st.
NaNo is online and encompasses the world, which is great when I need to murder someone with a cabbage at 3am but not so great for human relations. So I should start hanging out with local writing groups, like Shut Up and Write! Melbourne. Plus, they meet fortnightly all year round which is more sustainable than NaNo’s fervent but short term writing fever.
Once all the words of a draft are down, the next step is editing so I’ll need some new contacts. The MelbourneLit Writing Group is designed for writers to help each other with the editing/proofreading/critique necessary for the painful growth of their creative projects.
Groups like The Wheeler Centre and Melbourne Writer’s Festival, who run events on every topic under the sun, will come in handy. The chance to listen to experts can only help fix the gaping holes in my own knowledge.
Library memberships are also priceless investments. The Melbourne Library Service provides physical and e-resources, runs creative workshops and holds writing competitions. Additionally, as a La Trobe student I have access to their library, as well as a few thousand students and academics, each of whom could potentially provide connections into the world I’m trying to break into.
It is entirely possible that I will go batty before finishing a final draft. However, that’s a hard assumption to work with so let’s assume that at some point I manage to claw my way across the finish line.
Again, the Wheeler Centre and Melbourne Writer’s Festival are incredibly valuable resources and making use of them early on will exponentially increase their value now. Not only do they provide access to experts and debate about a myriad of topics, they also serve to make connections that could now help me find someone to publish my creative brainchild. The Writer’s Festival even offers events specifically for advising new writers about getting their work into the world.
At this point, personal networks will become incredibly important. Rejection is a part of life. That makes it no less soul destroying to hear that your baby is right for someone. Networks of supportive friends and fellow writers are just as important to develop and maintain as professional connections when devastating rejections batter my unshakeable confidence until even my best seller is uncertain of its own brilliance.
And then. And then.
Someone says yes.