Why Now is the Best Time to be a Writer

Johnny Cat wants to write his memoir...

Johnny Cat as Evil Editor…

Those of you who follow my blog know that optimism IS my super-power. Yes, The Digital Age can be daunting. We are entering uncharted territories and often we have to learn by trial and error. One of my peeves is when “statistics” compare earnings or “success” of traditional authors with self-published and indie authors.

Traditional has had generations to shape and mold a business model, whereas the new forms of publishing are still in their infancies. But, I promise you those babies are gonna grow up FAST and boy will they have an appetite.

Just to throw my in two cents; one of the LARGEST blessings of social media is we have unprecedented access to experts. Need to know about guns, law enforcement procedures, geography, whatever? SOMEONE is happy to give the answer. I had a writer friend in Europe who wanted to set part of her book in Texas, and I directed her to my Facebook pictures for ideas about what the terrain really looked like. I was also available for any questions regarding culture, food, dress, and dialogue.

Recently, I finished a novel based off a real cartel, but for safety reasons, the cartel name HAD to be fictionalized. The former DEA agent I’ve been working with advised to change the name lest I end up with my head in a bucket.

Since NOT ending up with my head in a bucket is at the TOP of my daily priority list, I needed a cool-sounding cartel name. But *sigh* I was stymied. I went to Facebook and asked my community, and, not only did I get the coolest cartel name EVER, but I had lists of wonderful suggestions for future books. I was able to tap into outside creative reserves and WHAT a time-saver. My FB community came up with ideas WAY better than I ever could have.

Today, I have a generous guest post from Jessica Baverstock to give her reasons why this is the BEST time in history to be a writer.

Take it away, Jessica!

***

All industries go through periods of change. The writing industry is no different. When faced with changes, it’s common to wonder what’s going to happen to the familiar way of doing things. The writing life can be a hard slog some days. With the rise of self-publishing, getting our work into the world and noticed can seem even more daunting.

We’re told that publishers are not taking chances on new manuscripts, that people are reading less and that self-published authors are flooding the online shelves. The term ‘book-saturated market’ makes the situation sound dire. But the truth of the matter is that now is the best time to be a writer. I can think of at least 5 reasons why.

Community

Writing is no longer a solitary endeavor. The advent of technology has connected all our little writing desks from around the world into an incredible online support network. The MyWANA community is a sterling example of this, as we’ve seen just recently. It’s not uncommon for writers to provide emotional, and at times even financial, support to their fellow scribes from the other side of the globe. Just pause for a moment and consider how spoilt we all are.

Another upside to community is the generosity of knowledge. Rather than having to struggle through the haze of writing inexperience, we have fellow authors who freely share the blueprints of how they reached their level of success. Whatever our question, whatever our problem, there’s someone ready to lend a helping hand and encourage us to keep going.

WANAs at play at Huntington Beach...

WANAs at play at Huntington Beach…

Common Goals

More people than ever before are sending their writing out into the world. At times we may view this as a negative but the reality is our fellow writers’ successes are a boon for us all. Why? Because when a reader experiences a compelling read, a book they enjoyed and savoured, that reader is left wanting more books.

As a community, our job is to entice readers into the literary world and convince them that books are just as immersive as other forms of media. We’re not competing against each other, we’re competing against TV and other distractions. Therefore, the more writers we have working towards this common goal the better! Look around you and see all the wonderful books being released. Join the cause and make your book the best read possible.

New Methods to Get Our Writing Out There

New mediums are opening up for sharing our writing. E-books are making short stories and novellas more popular. We no longer need to worry about reaching a certain length for print. Instead, we’ve been given the freedom to choose the best length for our story.

Smartphones and tablets mean far more people are listening to audio recordings.  Audio books and podcasts are becoming easier to produce which increases the potential for new readers – or should we say ‘listeners’? Some writers are even turning their books into aps or experimenting in other ways. What a creative wonderland we live in today.

Meet the Readers of the Future. These kids EAT books, but not in paper ;)

Meet the Readers of the Future. These kids EAT books, but not in paper ;)

Online forums and webinars provide writers with the ability to connect with readers wherever they may be found on the globe. The opportunities are limited only by our imagination and determination.

Ergonomics

Thanks to the technology we have around us today, the actual act of writing couldn’t be easier. I personally would be permanently crippled with repetitive strain injury in my wrist were it not for my ergonomically friendly keyboard. Other writers may have great difficulty writing with pen, but through typing or even voice-recognition software their words have finally found the page.

And think how easy it is to edit a manuscript without having to write or type it out completely afresh each time we want to change a typo. Gone are the days when you could tell a writer by the ink stains on their hands. The next generation of writers might not even know what a ‘writer’s callus’ looks like.

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Kenny Louie

Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Kenny Louie

Online Research

While the Internet is likely the single biggest writing distraction ever invented, it’s also the most incredible tool for research. Think of all the information that’s literally at our fingertips now. With a quick search we can pull up details and images that could have taken us months or even years to find in the past.

It puts us in contact with people who can answer our questions and provides us everything from recent weather to historical fashion and even ancient recipes. Photographs, videos, audio recordings and virtual maps give us almost instant access to just about every piece of sensory information needed to bring our characters and worlds to life. I don’t know about you, but I for one am ecstatic to be a writer right now! New opportunities are opening up all the time for us as a community to explore together.

Those are my five reasons as to why now is the best time to be a writer. What are yours? Do you have new technologies that make being a writer easier and more efficient? Are you excited about multimedia and all the creative ways to deliver stories? Do you enjoy audio books? Are you thrilled that forms of writing that were almost rendered extinct (poetry, short stories, novellas, etc.) are now making a big comeback?

***

Thanks, Jessica! I love the new paradigm and thanks for reminding us how richly blessed we really are.

We LOVE hearing from you! And comments for guests count DOUBLE!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of January, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novelor your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less)

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 9.28.33 AMJessica Baverstock blogs at Creativity’s Workshop where her creativity writes in purple text. Her latest e-book Creativity on Demand covers how writers can access their creativity whenever and wherever they need inspiration.

Announcements:

WANACon is a virtual writing conference loaded with top-tier industry professionals—authors, agents, editors and best-selling authors. Right now we have an Early Bird Special. Sign Up Here.

I hope you guys will check out my latest book Rise of the Machines–Human Authors in a Digital World and get prepared for 2014!!!!

Also, TOMORROW, I have a new class, Many Roads to Rome—Which Publishing Path is Best?Use WANA15 for 15% off.

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  1. #1 by Tui Snider on January 24, 2014 - 11:27 am

    I agree! Prior to the internet, I did not know a single writer in real life. They were like mythical creatures, and as a person with a strong writing compulsion, I often felt like the only Sasquatch in the woods.

    Now – wow! The internet is like a library that never closes, and social media has connected me with so many wonderful Sasqu-, I mean, writers. I love it!

    Jessica’s Creativity on Demand book sounds right up my alley, too.

    • #2 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 8:53 pm

      Greetings from a fellow Sasquatch!

      I know what you mean. Before the internet it was easy to think there some something dreadfully weird about one’s writing habits or other eccentricities. Now, we’re just one of a crowd of like-minded people. It’s brilliant, isn’t it?

      If you’re interested in Creativity on Demand, you can download it for free from my website: http://www.creativitysworkshop.com Let me know what you think. I’m always interested in feedback. :)

      • #3 by abdul j. on January 25, 2014 - 1:51 am

        Hey Jessica, just had a peek at your blog and gave it a follow! Just looking through the ebook too now :)

        • #4 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 25, 2014 - 3:48 am

          Thanks, Abdul. :) Hope you like the e-book.

          • #5 by abdul j. on January 25, 2014 - 10:46 pm

            Yeah, turns out it was simple and easy to read lol. I liked your idea of making an inner voice to counteract the inner editor. Never considered that before :)

  2. #6 by sknicholls on January 24, 2014 - 11:31 am

    Thanks for all the positive reminders :)

  3. #7 by emeraldobrien on January 24, 2014 - 11:31 am

    Great article! I have to admit, at times I actually hold my breath before opening a link to an article regarding the current state of writing, and publishing. The title of this post made me relax. I will be self publishing my debut novel shortly, and I have read many mixed messages about the future of publishing. It was refreshing to read such a positive perspective for a change that focused on the here and now. The points Jessica raised are some of the reasons I am enjoying this new journey so much.

    • #8 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 8:58 pm

      Hi, Emerald. So glad you felt relaxed! :D

      I usually avoid reading writing articles before my morning writing session for the reason you mentioned. The negativity badly impacts my writing flow.

      Congratulations on your goal of self-publishing your novel and I’m very happy to hear you’re enjoying the journey!

      Industries always change, but we storytellers will always find a way to get our words out into the world. As a community we’re so much better off. :)

    • #9 by Zezelia on January 28, 2014 - 3:49 pm

      Agreed! This was a very optimistic piece. Writers are not always the most optimistic lot. It’s nice to be reminded that there are options out there. That this writing this isn’t a doomed effort and the publishing industry is rapidly changing and change often equates new opportunity.

  4. #10 by grfrazier on January 24, 2014 - 11:40 am

    Now is also an awesome time to be a screenwriter, for tv or film. The industry has grown exponentially with cable channels scurrying to find new shows and the advent of new shows airing directly through Netflix, Amazon, and so on. I’m excited by all the possibilities.

    • #11 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:00 pm

      I agree with you! Not all developments will be positive, but there will be plenty that will open new doors to storytelling. The possibilities are really exciting!

  5. #12 by Katya Pavlopoulos on January 24, 2014 - 11:42 am

    When it comes to doing what you love most, EVERY SINGLE DAY is the best time to be a writer :) But in terms of how easy it is to get published, make money, meet fans, etc etc — the Digital Age ROCKS. Thanks for a great blog post once again, Kristen!

  6. #13 by Christine Hayton on January 24, 2014 - 11:44 am

    Very positive article – just what I love to hear. I love writing and these pluses make it very easy to do. I can go with that light-bulb idea when it surfaces and research it in double time. I really didn’t give much thought to the other stuff – but it is an open field and I like the fact I can just post my work and get feedback from total strangers. Love it! love it! Love it! Thanks for the reminders…

    • #14 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:01 pm

      Christine, I’m the same. I love the fact that in this day and age we can just run with ideas and work out where to market them later. It’s so liberating!

  7. #15 by Eric on January 24, 2014 - 11:59 am

  8. #16 by ontyrepassages on January 24, 2014 - 12:03 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! To the core of my being I believe everything written here. Thank you for reinforcing my thoughts and providing more examples and ideas. What I love about self-publishing right now is that it’s full of wide-eyed wonder. In witnessing the industry’s transformation I find I’m most excited about the possibilities, that which will come to pass that we haven’t thought about yet. The greatest growth in the publishing industry is “choice.” How you read. Where you read. What extras are added to the experience. How the writing is presented. I’m thrilled (really!) that the wall between writer and reader is breaking down as never before. The interconnection possibilities are exploding. On my blog I’ve linked to Pinterest so readers can access additional images. There’s more I want to do, but at the moment moving is getting in the way, but February brings (you guessed it) more possibilities.

    • #17 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:11 pm

      You’re so right, Christina, there are mountains of possibilities out there. The options really encourage us as writers to forge our own path, not just follow those that have gone before us. Often the biggest success comes to the people who try new things.

      I’ve just moved house myself so I know what you mean about things getting in the way. I look forward to seeing what February brings for you. :)

      • #18 by ontyrepassages on January 24, 2014 - 9:35 pm

        Thank you, Jessica. I’m sure this move means better things in all aspects of my life. A sensational post and deeply appreciated. :)

  9. #19 by cynthiagrstacey on January 24, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    Reblogged this on Cynthia Stacey and commented:
    Great article by guest blogger Jessica Baverstock on Kristen Lamb’s blog.

  10. #20 by CPM (@signetseal) on January 24, 2014 - 12:04 pm

    This is a cheerful piece – let’s just say, I feel positively encouraged to keep at my writing after reading this. Thanks :)

  11. #21 by cynthiagrstacey on January 24, 2014 - 12:05 pm

    Wow great article. It is always nice to hear positive things about writing today. I wrote my first book, by hand…lol (I was stuck in the old school) it sure is different editing with a computer…and a lot easier.

  12. #23 by sharonhughson on January 24, 2014 - 12:06 pm

    I keep telling myself the current positive publishing paradigm is the reason I put my writing dream on hold for so long and all the more reason to keep pushing until I have my series published. After that? The sky will never be the limit again.

    • #24 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:15 pm

      Yes, Sharon, keep pushing! Our expectations are the things that limit us now, so keep working towards publishing your series and stay positive! :D

  13. #25 by Paigesommer on January 24, 2014 - 12:07 pm

    Thank you!! I need a reminder to read this everytime I start to think I’m crazy for wanting to write!!!

  14. #26 by Stephanie Scott on January 24, 2014 - 12:17 pm

    Thank you for a refreshingly optimistic post. I feel like a storm cloud is hovering overhead today, so this was welcome.

    I like the point on technology and the ergonomics. I also struggle with carpel tunnel, flaring up when I’m most productive at writing, of course. I invested in a trackball mouse (work and home) and I make adjustments, finding most of my relief from writer suggestions online (not a whole lot of thanks to the actual medical professional I visited, unfortunately). I just attended a class on how to use Scrivener more effectively and even though I’ve used it for 2 years there is so much more in the software I can use to my advantage. It makes the tedious parts of writing more enjoyable when technology can make it easier.
    :)

    • #27 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:20 pm

      You’re very welcome, Stephanie! :) Glad to add some sunshine to your day.

      I also have a trackball mouse and it’s done my wrist the world of good. I also have a squishy mouse pad that supports my wrist and is a constant writing distraction (it’s just so fun to poke!).

      Scrivener is a great program. I’m always finding new features! They’ve done a great job of packing it full of everything a writer wants.

  15. #28 by Carina Bissett on January 24, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    Wonderfully put. If I had to write by hand or on a typewriter, I would never have written a short story, let alone book-length manuscripts. Can you imagine having to retype every page countless times? And the research opportunities are another amazing boon. While it’s true I can spend days with research spiraling out of control, it also gives me ideas that might have never occurred otherwise. Thank you for this positive post. Nice way to start a morning.

    • #29 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:22 pm

      My pleasure, Carina.

      I used to have a typewriter when I was about 8. My little fingers were so soft that I ended up with blisters on my fingertips and the skin peeled off! SO glad computer keyboards and kinder to the skin.

  16. #30 by Stephan Miller on January 24, 2014 - 12:23 pm

    Yes! I am a first time indie author and I could not agree more that this is indeed a great time to be a writer. More published work brings more people to the party. The price points open even more doors than ever. A buck used to buy a comic book if it was on sale. Now a buck buys a full blown novel. Just this morning I read a chapter from a dollar novel and it was incredible! It felt as if I was reading Stephen King.
    Great post Jessica!

    • #31 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:24 pm

      It’s true. I think we will gradually see more people become readers again as they find it easier than ever to impulse by on their electronic devices. Our job as writers it to make the result as enjoyable as possible!

  17. #32 by ndolo95 on January 24, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    Reblogged this on matheasamuel and commented:
    there is no other time like now

  18. #33 by Aften on January 24, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  19. #34 by Troy Lambert on January 24, 2014 - 12:55 pm

    Well done post, and absolutely spot on.

  20. #35 by Real Laplaine on January 24, 2014 - 1:35 pm

    Good article. Like the internet, which has only opened up more markets, more ideas and more more – indie authors are making books MORE accessible to readers, with a greater and wider variety, not just the ones that traditional publishers want to sink some money behind. It is empowering to people to be able to self-publish, and I agree, that baby is going to grow.

  21. #36 by jim9311 on January 24, 2014 - 2:16 pm

    Reblogged this on The Blog.

  22. #37 by 1authorcygnetbrown on January 24, 2014 - 2:48 pm

    This certainly is an exciting time for me as a writer. I was thinking just this morning how easily I am able to research the historical aspects of my blog. No longer do I have to leave my chair and search dusty library stacks for my information. In a single hour I researched information for three post that I am going to post next week! I started writing on a manual typewriter. (I was never any good at it.) One little mistake required either using white out or starting over. Times have certainly changed and all for the better for us writers!

  23. #38 by Marilyn Hudson Tucker on January 24, 2014 - 3:39 pm

    I totally agree that this is a great time for us. I do not have to convince an agent to take me on. I can self-pub if I wish.

  24. #39 by 43fitness on January 24, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    I feel so validated! Yes it is a wonderful time to be a writer. Based on my content, that is a term I use VERY loosely. However, having the internet as a platform has allowed me to become very bold with my message (except for Twitter…I still don’t get it, but I guess my age is showing). Thanks for the great reminder!

  25. #40 by Christie Wright Wild on January 24, 2014 - 4:34 pm

    Do you have a website aside from your blog? Do you have a place that showcases all the books you’ve written? I clicked on the link for your latest book, and it took me to Amazon. Then I also did a search for your name in Amazon and I saw The Coffee Break Guide book too. But I’m wondering if this book: Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer and this book: We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media are still available to buy somewhere for less than $125 and $2,340. Thank you!

  26. #41 by patriciaawoods2013 on January 24, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    Reblogged this on Patricia Woods and commented:
    If you are at all interested in writing, this is the blog for you to read. Kristen Lamb is my go-to person for all things writing. She has common sense, a sense of humor, and sensibility about the human condition. I highly recommend her work and words to all writers. This is just a little something extra for your weekend fun. Good luck with your writing and believe in yourself.

  27. #42 by patriciaawoods2013 on January 24, 2014 - 4:39 pm

    Thank you, again and again, for your insight and wisdom. I just had to pass it on to other people. This is a great time to write and to pay attention to other writers. You’re the best!

  28. #43 by Sarah on January 24, 2014 - 5:20 pm

    How helpful.
    As a new unknown myself I’m trying to build an audience not just for myself but other authors, I have started “The Book Club” on Facebook and I will happily include anyone that wishes to join. Little steps but every little helps I believe.
    Thank you.

  29. #44 by Sinistra Inksteyne on January 24, 2014 - 6:47 pm

    I still have ink stains :-)
    But that’s because I draft better in longhand – gives me time to think. Rewriting I do on computer. And research. And blogging. And – yes, all right, I will never make it as a Luddite! But I do like to keep the best of both worlds – which is really what writers have at the moment, isn’t it?

    • #45 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:30 pm

      I still have ink stains too! :D

      Definitely use the best of all the worlds you have at your disposal! I find I have to change from typing to handwriting for different passages. Sometimes I need different pens or books to bring out the right feel. This week I was writing a speech for my character and found I had to stand up while typing in order to get the right tone.

      Go with whatever works for you and your project on the day. ;)

    • #46 by Gry Ranfelt on January 26, 2014 - 11:54 am

      Plus, writing in hand FORCES you to rewrite when you type it in on the computer :P You catch things you didn’t otherwise.

      • #47 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 26, 2014 - 7:29 pm

        Very good point! Typing up your handwritten notes gets you easily into the flow as you make edits.

        • #48 by Sinistra Inksteyne on January 29, 2014 - 3:16 am

          This is why I stopped typing up my longhand as I went – I’d redraft as I typed and then I’d either get way ahead of myself or totally confused. Or both :-)

  30. #49 by danielfbowman on January 24, 2014 - 7:22 pm

    Great optimistic ideas. (While remaining a realist.) I especially liked your comment how writers are not opponents but actually work together against other activities like TV.

    • #50 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 24, 2014 - 9:35 pm

      Thanks, Daniel. :)

      I think that it’s very important to view other writers as colleagues working towards a greater cause. It’s too easy to get irritated when other writers are receiving the success and recognition we wish we had. If we view their success as a ‘win’ for us all, then it motivates us to continue writing!

  31. #51 by Sarah Weaver on January 24, 2014 - 10:36 pm

    I guess I never thought about it that way. The actual act of writing is still solitary for me, though I’m enjoying the benefits of poetry and novella’s making a comeback. Although I still mainly do my poetry by hand. (It’s more like a style reference book anyway.)

    Although I’m leery about audio books, one benefit to them is there may be no need for movies anyway, when you can kind of have a movie in your head. You just got to use your minds eye in a way. I’m still curious what Mary Poppins would be like listening to, instead of reading.

    • #52 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 25, 2014 - 8:15 pm

      The act of writing itself is still solitary for me too. But the beauty of technology is that after we’ve been writing, we can come and chat in places like this. ;) It’s uplifting to be around like-minded people who understand the highs and lows of the writing life.

      What would Mary Poppins be listening to? Now *there’s* an interesting question…

    • #53 by Gry Ranfelt on January 26, 2014 - 11:54 am

      Movies won’t become obsolete. It’s an entirely different medium. The movie Don John couldn’t have been done as a book.
      Then again, some books just can’t be done as a film.
      Just like cartoons are a medium of their own, and music :)

      • #54 by Sarah Weaver on January 26, 2014 - 12:42 pm

        My apologies, I meant obsolete as a joke. I just meant I think audio books are just as good as going to the theater.

        My humor is a bit peculiar, sorry for any offence meant.

        • #55 by Gry Ranfelt on January 26, 2014 - 2:14 pm

          Took no offence, just meant to correct you ;)

  32. #56 by CSTryon on January 24, 2014 - 11:00 pm

    Just what I needed! I have a couple of friends who have helped me out considerably. Your words have been tremendously encouraging. My memoir is almost done and I am currently looking for an agent. Thank you!

  33. #58 by Tamar Hela on January 24, 2014 - 11:05 pm

    GREAT post and all great points! Just reading this encourages me to continue to press on in my writing endeavors. Thanks for sharing!

  34. #59 by napow27 on January 25, 2014 - 12:27 am

    I like this piece; it helps indie writers see the light at the end of the tunnel. It also helps us blare out all the negative articles and critiques who hold on to traditional publishing as the only “proper” way to publish. Now to reblog this piece and get two drops in the hat :D

    • #60 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 25, 2014 - 8:18 pm

      I know what you mean about needing to ‘blare out all the negative articles and critiques.’ I find the negativity can tend to fester away inside me if I let it, and it doesn’t take long before it impacts my motivation to write.

    • #62 by Gry Ranfelt on January 26, 2014 - 11:52 am

      It’s funny, I find almost no articles about the negatives of self publishing xD I think I’m tainted by reading Kristen’s blog.

      • #63 by napow27 on January 26, 2014 - 12:22 pm

        She does a good job in showing the positive side to it, I have to agree with you on that!

  35. #64 by DC Lozeau on January 25, 2014 - 11:09 am

    As always, Kristen, you’ve come throught again. And thanks, Jessica, for your insightful thoughts on why it’s a great time to be a writer. And it is a great time to be a writer. I’ve checked out your site and read your e-book on Creativity. Genius, to say the least. Thanks again to you both.

  36. #66 by Mickey on January 25, 2014 - 11:41 am

    Sounds awesome!!! I am so excited about self publishing!! I just hopemy novel will sell something!! Also I am loving tjis blogs reality about the current market!’n

  37. #67 by roguewriter40 on January 26, 2014 - 2:50 am

    This is good to hear. I’m a beginning writer (writing as a profession a few months) and I sometimes wonder how the online literary world is holding up with the flood of inexperienced writers (not unlike myself) filling the internet with writing of all shapes sizes and word counts. I do agree with your points including that more writers means more pages means more demand (or so one would think). Though i sometimes wonder where I might fit into all of this (haven’t found my comfy zone yet). I always knew I wanted to be a writer but my family and the world seemed to have different expectations for me but now that I’m a little older I’ve happily settled into position as a writer (if mostly unknown and unread at this time) I’ve struggled to get my inner voice to stick to pages that aren’t my stories and have had other various issues beginning as a new and inexperienced writer. I am however making some great headway and the wealth of information available online has been a huge help. Writer communities, forums and blogs are a great way to mingle with other writers and gain insights and helpful information you would likely not have access to before the invention of the internet. I agree that it is an exciting time to be a writer although sometimes I can feel the uncertainty of it all (maybe that’s my inner critic. That guy is really hard to please). Thanks for a great and insightful post and for taking the time to share.

    • #68 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 26, 2014 - 7:35 pm

      Keep at it! It takes time to find the zone where you feel comfortable with your writing and can find a consistent voice. The best thing to do is keep pumping out words. Gradually you’ll find things will fall into place.

      You might also consider getting yourself a creativity coach, writing coach or editor to help you find the strengths and weaknesses in your writing process. Often an outside perspective picks up things it would take you years to discover on your own, therefore fast tracking you through the learning process.

  38. #69 by aakemp on January 26, 2014 - 10:52 am

    I know from experience exactly what Jessica is talking about when she mentioned the “old” days of having to retype entire manuscripts to correct typos. My first fiction ms was typed that way, because PC’s were just starting to come onto the scene. Talk about a royal pain! I now cannot even imagine being without word processing capabilities. What an incredible difference! You have to experience it to REALLY appreciate the difference.

    Sincerely, *Alice A. Kemp*

    Website: http://www.aakemp.com Go to my website for a free download of my collection of sci-fi and horror stories.

  39. #71 by Harliqueen on January 26, 2014 - 11:47 am

    This article is so true and gave me a much needed burst of optimism and confidence boost today, thanks for posting it :)

  40. #72 by Gry Ranfelt on January 26, 2014 - 11:50 am

    I really want to write this novella idea I’ve been having to try the self publishing and how it works, but I’m not sure the idea has been cooking for long enough :P
    Since I’m from Europe it’s so hard to figure out the agent-thing if I want to write in English. And it’s even harder to get published and live as a writer in Denmark where there’s a market of a mere 5 million people, most of which don’t read books.

    • #73 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 26, 2014 - 7:40 pm

      Stories do need time in the Imagination Oven, and they all take different amounts of time before they’re done.

      I can’t help you on the subject of agents, but self-publishing on Amazon and other platforms should work no matter where you live. That will allow you to reach a much wider audience than just Denmark.

      View your location as an *asset* as it can help you stand out from the crowd. Adding a Danish slant to your writing could contribute to your unique voice and subject matter. ;)

      • #74 by Gry Ranfelt on January 27, 2014 - 2:41 am

        Yeah I’ve thought of that :) I do have a Danish Delights section on my blog, too, for that purpose.

  41. #75 by Inion N. Mathair on January 26, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    Great points, Jessica. Mathair and I were overwhelmed with the amount of support from fellow writers. We had initially come into this craziness known as the literary world with the preconceived notion that we would have problems with other authors given they were our competition, but we’ve found that this is one of the most supportive and loving communities we’ve ever encountered. Sharing now. :)

  42. #77 by cellulitelooksbettertan on January 26, 2014 - 11:43 pm

    It is SO daunting, but every once in a while, when I sit here “blocked”, I get a little gift called inspiration. Thanks for that today. I needed it. :)

  43. #78 by Lorraine Marie Reguly on January 27, 2014 - 5:49 am

    Normally I don’t comment unless I have something worthwhile to say. Guess what? Today’s the day!

    I’m a non-techie and there are so many easy-to-use programs and platforms available nowadays.
    When I went to university for my teaching degree, I took a course in which the only way of putting something on the internet was via html code. Previewing your work was not an option. You had to know what you were doing, or forget it. (I did not know what I was doing, btw.)

    Now, anyone and their dog can blog. And write. And self-publish. It’s just so EASY.
    I, for one, LOVE this, and can’t wait until my books are finished!

    The world has certainly changed. I’m glad I’m joining others on this ride!

    • #79 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 27, 2014 - 6:07 am

      Thanks for the comment, Lorraine!

      I remember coding html from scratch. I did know what I was doing and still found it overwhelming at times. I too am so glad that life on the web is much easier now.

      Keep writing! It’s a wonderful ride with great companions. ;)

  44. #80 by Susan Shay on January 27, 2014 - 6:38 am

    It’s not just an amazing time for writers, it’s a fantastic time for readers, too. (I was a reader a long time before I was a writer.) We can find whatever genre we hunger for, pick up new authors and read it all on whatever digital device we have at hand after checking out a sample of it for free.
    I love it!

    • #81 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 27, 2014 - 7:22 pm

      *Very* good point, Susan! It is a brilliant time to be a reader. It’s also great that we can carry around our libraries on a tiny device! It should make moving house that little bit easier…

  45. #83 by Tamara LeBlanc on January 27, 2014 - 11:51 am

    Hi there! I’m late commenting, but I wanted to say that I’m glad you posted this. I, too, feel that its a great time to be a writetr, but I have to admit that sometimes I worry that trad publishing (the route I’m taking with my agent) is gonna be difficult for me. I’m unknown and hope they see the value of my writing.
    I love all that you can learn on the internet andand agree with your wisdom. Just like I always feel I’m getting the best news and teaching from Kristen.
    Thanks so much for your post!
    Tamara

    • #84 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 27, 2014 - 7:24 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Tamara. I think every route to publication will have its challenges. There are plenty of people who have been there before you. They’re full of knowledge and support whenever you ask for it. We all want to see you succeed! :)

  46. #85 by Sasha on January 27, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing. So helpful.

  47. #86 by KellyRaeBooks on January 27, 2014 - 5:20 pm

    Reblogged this on Kelly Rae & Jocelyn Bell Books and commented:
    Love this blog, every time! Such good information and optimism, which makes me thrilled to be an author in this time and encouraged to keep moving forward.

  48. #87 by Intellectual Mindframe on January 28, 2014 - 4:54 am

    I started my first blog about a week ago and I think I’m doing alright, besides the fact I’m hardly getting any visitors and I only have one subscriber to my blog ( myself ) I believe I’ll keep posting and see what happens :)

    http://intellectualblogs.wordpress.com/

  49. #88 by juliemusil on January 28, 2014 - 2:19 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! I’m so thankful that I’m writing in this day and age.

  50. #89 by Kristen Luciani on January 30, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    I can’t imagine writing longhand. I go through too many iterations and do way too much cutting and pasting to work without my laptop! Pen and paper would never cut it for me. Pinterest is a really great resource for me as well – I’ve gotten ideas for so many settings by perusing the site.

    • #90 by Jessica Baverstock (@JessBaverstock) on January 31, 2014 - 6:54 pm

      I love Pinterest as well! There’s nothing like an interesting image to get the ideas flowing! I keep a board just for Visual Writing Prompts so there’s always something there when I need it.

  51. #91 by Linda Williams Stirling on January 30, 2014 - 10:53 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your optimism. I enjoyed your post immensely.

  52. #92 by annestuessy@sbcglobal.net on January 31, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    Sent from the road

  53. #93 by Jess@Fairday's Blog on February 5, 2014 - 10:40 am

    What an excellent post! So many positive points were mentioned! I agree that it is wonderful that we have access to experts in a variety of fields because of the internet and I love the blogging and writing community that I have met online. The computer certainly makes my writing and revising easier. :) Thanks for sharing!

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