You may know from my Welcome page that I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists Association… so I try to get up to London to attend as many of their events as possible, as well as going to the conference for the last three years . I also attended the Festival of Romance 2011, at which I was part of a writing workshop and chaired an industry panel.
My writing achievements (yes, this will involve blowing my own trumpet, which makes me want to look at the floor bashfully and say ‘aw shucks’ whilst scuffing my heels) include writing two category romances in my early twenties as a single mum, one of which had a full manuscript request after my submission was pulled out of the slush pile. It didn’t get anywhere but it was a good start! And after a break away from writing for a few years, during which I was a reader for the annual RNA awards I have:
– been a finalist in The Writer’s Handbook 2010 ‘How to Write a Bestseller’ (non-fiction article)
– received an Honourable Mention for Romantic Novelists Association Elizabeth Goudge Trophy 2010 (short story)
– attracted four and five-star reviews on Youwriteon.com (writing review website; short story)
– been a Top 20 Finalist in Novelicious Undiscovered 2012 (contemporary romance/Chick Lit novel)
– Was offered my first publication contract in June 2013 for my short story A Night to Remember in the Mills & Boon / RNA anthology Truly, Madly, Deeply, released on 21 February 2014.
– And very excitingly will be published by the HarperCollins digital first romance imprint HarperImpulse very soon!
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, I can crawl back under my rock blushing and I can tell you the things I have learnt on my writing journey so far:-
1) If you want to be a writer, at some point you have to stop reading writing blogs, books and websites and actually WRITE (bum on seat, fingers on keyboard)
2) You can’t ever give up
3) Treat everyone as you would like to be treated – with kindness, respect and support.
4) Join a writing class, circle and/or a writing association (surround yourself with people who understand that you inhabit your own world with your own characters and draw on other people’s personal and professional experience; most people are willing to share both – though sometimes it’s for a fee!)
5) Read – a lot – widely and in different genres, get to know your market, use the right tools, learn your craft e.g. refer to the Writers and Artists Handbook, study books on grammar etc
6) Listen to your instincts when it comes to your writing.
And above all? Remember to keep enjoying the journey.
I hope you find my blog friendly, accessible and informative.
Happy reading and writing, Nikki 🙂