Why am I talking about this? Because we work in a similar field. Writing is always changing.
What changes about it? Right now, we're looking at huge changes in e-publishing and self-publishing. However, the popularity of various genres, character-types, storylines, etc. is always changing, evolving, mutating, if you will. The writing market does not stay static. Yes, there are things that will always be popular, like romance and mystery, but those things change within themselves and evolve.
How can you keep up with these changes?
Conferences. Go to a local writer's conference. It doesn't have to be a big one. Or do one online. You will learn what is working these days, what is being written, and what is being read. Bigger than that, though, is what you will learn about your craft. No matter how good a writer you may be, you don't know everything about writing. There is always something to learn. Attend workshops that have to do with the stage you're at, or with what you have the most questions about. For instance, if you're in research phase, go learn about research, about what you need to do to be accurate in your books. If you're writing, learn about the dynamics of writing, how to open a story, what your arc should be like, how to manage your time, how to increase your creativity. Focus on what you most need to know, then move onto the next topic when you're ready for it. Don't overwhelm yourself all at once.
The Market. Chances are, if you write, you read. Or you should. It kills me when someone says they write horror, but they've never been into horror (for example). Then how do you know what's scary? Or what works in horror? If you're a reader, you are sort of naturally watching the market while you look for new and interesting things to read. Pay attention to what is trending and what is going out. It's just information to have.
|By OCAL at CLKER.COM|
Workshops & Groups. Find local or online groups and workshops that might help enrich your craft. Find things that are interesting and attend them. Nervous about going by yourself? Find a pal who will go with you. There are all manner of groups and workshops. For instance, we have Write Brains via Pikes Peak Writers every month, monthly programs from Pen Women, Mystery Writers of America, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and many others. We also have write-ins, critique groups, library-run programs for writers, improv nights, you name it. Don't attend every single one (well, unless you're able and have the desire to, I guess), but do choose things you think will help you.
Books & Magazines. Read books on writing. For instance, On Writing, by Stephen King, which is a popular book. Get magazines about writing. Writer's Digest is a good one. The magazines will keep you updated on what's going on in the publishing world, as well as educate you on your craft. The books will help with craft, and, if well written, will continue to apply to your writing even years down the road.
Online. A lot can be found online these days. Articles about writing, critique groups, forums for writers, workshops, blogs, and even online conferences. You don't even have to leave your home to continue to learn about the craft of writing. Go online and find the information you need.
These are just a few basic ways to keep yourself up-to-date and learning, not the only ways. Absorb what you can from others. Pay attention to what's going on in the book world. Educate yourself in the ways that feel the most comfortable with, and that you glean the most out of. Keep yourself a commodity by always being a student, always trying to learn more and take in as much information as you can.
How do you keep on top of things in the writing world? What resources do you like best?
May you find your Muse.