Okay, so you’ve published your first book on Lulu.com. Now what? Keep writing, that’s what! You want to keep exercising that writing muscle, and anyway, what’s cooler than saying you’re working on your second book? Here are some fun ways to get inspired and improve your book number two!
1. Join or start a writing group.
Sometimes, you are not your best motivator or your best critic. Finding or starting a writing group is difficult, but it can be very rewarding. Some groups are more like workshops, where everyone critiques one another’s writing, while others are organized to set aside time to write, and can be as basic as three or four people clustered around a coffee shop table with laptops, just writing. If you don’t have writer friends who want to join you, I suggest trying Meetup.com to find a group in your area. I found 34 groups within ten miles of the Lulu.com headquarters.
2. Organize your writing with Google Docs.
Google Docs is a free, multi-faceted tool. It’s great for writers who are either constantly moving from home, to office, to laptop, to phone, or for multiple authors collaborating on one project. You create a document that’s stored online, and you and your collaborators can access it from any computer. As a fiction writer, Google Docs is a great way to improve your book. You can use it to keep track of my characters–each one gets his or her own page, with traits and personal thoughts. Or to create a personal to-do lists, since I work from three different computers over the course of a day. Be sure to check out Google’s introduction to Google Docs.
3. Challenge your vocabulary at Knoword.org.
If you’re a word nerd like I am, you will quickly find yourself addicted to this vocabulary game. Unlike some games that have you match words and their meanings, this one gives you the definition and first letter, and you just fill in the word. It’s harder and faster paced than some others I’ve played. You can choose your level, and either Canadian or US dialect. This is valuable for those studying for SAT and GRE exams, too.
4. Follow your favorite authors on Twitter.
If you’re a Twitter user, you’re probably following several celebrities–why not authors? Keeping up with other authors is a great way to improve your next book. Here are some of our favorite tweeting writers from a variety of genres. (Of course, the opinions expressed by these authors do not reflect those of Lulu, so tweet at your own risk!)
Science Fiction author Cory Doctorow @doctorow
Young Adult writer Adam Selzer @adamselzer
Fiction writer Chuck Palahniuk @chuckpalahniuk
Novelist and poet Margaret Atwood @margaretatwood
Jon Winokour gives daily quotes from famous writers, as well as goings-on from the writing and publishing world. @AdviceToWriters
If you’re not on Twitter, it’s free to sign up! Check out InkyGirl’s Writer’s Guide to Twitter.
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