I’ve always been a big believer in writers helping writers. One of my mottos is, “There’s plenty of awesome to go around!” To that end, I’d like to share some things here that I think have really helped me with my writing career.
These are all things that have helped me personally and won’t necessarily work for everyone. As always, your mileage may vary since we’re all on our own paths. I hope you find something here that helps you along on your journey.
First off, the craft work. When I set out to really hone my writing craft, I used to do drills to work on various “writing muscles.” To help me focus on just one skill at a time, I would pick a favorite TV show to write fanfiction about. I’d select it based on what I was trying to learn.
For instance, when I wanted to work on describing surroundings, I chose Terra Nova, with its lush greenery and epic environment. By using an established work with established characters, I could focus on just the one aspect of craft I was working on. I would also sometimes turn these into drills to improve how fast I could write, knowing that I have so many stories I need to get out and onto the shelf!
Along the way, I found some books that really helped me. Here are some of the stand-out titles.
Book in a Month
by Victoria Schmidt
This was a game changer for me. It covers craft, structure, speed, and handles the psychology of resistance. Some of my writer friends have tried this one and couldn’t get into it, but for the way my brain works, this was the breakthrough craft book that helped me start churning out books I love.
The first book I wrote with this was actually the original version of Pack. 75k in a month is not bad!
45 Master Characters
by Victoria Schmidt
Seeing a pattern here? I have to admit, Book in a Month spoke so strongly to me, I went out and bought all of her other craft books. Some worked better for me than others, but of them all, this was the other stand-out.
Packed with archetypes and examples, I still sometimes reference this book when I need to flesh out characters or am stuck with understanding their motivation.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey
Okay, so strictly speaking, this isn’t a writer’s craft book. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t absolutely essential to my development in terms of cultivating the discipline, focus, and prioritization needed to get books written.
It helped me learn to embrace change, determine my authentic goals, and finish my projects. Definitely good skills for a writer.
by Stephen King
This was a fascinating read in and of itself. Aside from learning more about this amazingly prolific author, the book also has practical advice on how to write books that are more accessible and balance writing with your life.
And yes, Mr. King, I did move my writing desk to the corner 💖
2,000 to 10,000
by Rachel Aaron
This was the most recent breakthrough-inducing book I’ve read, and it was amazing. Her techniques are practical and common-sense, which made them very powerful for me. I finished writing two books after reading this, reaching 100,000 words written in just over two months!
Crafting a Writer’s Life: Building a Foundation
by Cassandra Chandler
I have a writing craft book of my own! I wrote this mainly because I wanted a record of everything I’d learned up to that point about the business and craft side of writing. It was early in my career, but I still find things of value in this book. I’ve gone back to it several times when I had lost touch with elements of what I’d been doing and that I wanted to pick up again.
In addition to these resources, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have writing communities that bolster me, keep me on track, and help pave the way to my goals. There is no writing community like the Science Fiction Romance writing community in terms of support and general awesomeness.
That said, writing can be a lonely journey when it comes to sharing your stories with the world. Trying to connect with readers can feel like shouting into the void. I’ve tried many classes and worked with PR and marketing people who did their best to help me along my path, learning bits here and there along the way. My knowledge made a quantum shift when I started working with Narelle Todd of Get My Book Out There.
The “Your Signature Get My Book Out There Blueprint” helped me get the business side of my writing career in order. I’m an overthinker and tend to spin my wheels developing system after system that I hope will work for me. When they don’t somehow immediately teleport me to my goal, I move on to the next idea. Narelle’s course gave me a blueprint that taught me to fine-tune my mailing list, update my web page in ways that were more authentic to me and my author’s vision, and that helps me manage my social media without feeling overwhelmed.
Since working with her, I’ve been able to engage with my readers so much better. I’m building relationships with them and having more fun with my writing than ever before. Narelle helped me identify and clarify my goals, and I’m well on my way to achieving them. Her support and guidance have been amazing.
I learned so much from the “Your Signature Get My Book Out There Blueprint” program that I also signed up for her “Get My Book Out There With Facebook Ads” course. I had been studying Facebook ads and had even taken another course on it, yet still learned new things from this course. Narelle laid out a foundation for working with ads that has me finally wrapping my head around what to do with them and how to make them work for me.
Because of my experiences, I’ve become an affiliate for the “Your Signature Get My Book Out There Blueprint” and the “Get My Book Out There With Facebook Ads” course. Being an affiliate means that if you click on the links to these courses that I’m going to provide on this web page and decide to sign up for a course (or two!) yourself, I may earn a commission. It doesn’t affect the cost to you at all and will help support me on my writers’ journey. You can read more about my affiliate links here: https://cassandra-chandler.com/affiliate-links/
Here are my affiliate links if you’d like to learn more about how to make these amazing resources part of your writer’s journey:
I would only recommend something I believe is helpful. These courses have truly been amazing experiences for me.
Wherever you are on your writer’s journey, I wish you all the best! A rising tide lifts all boats. May we all find the path to our goals and learn to connect our wonderful stories with the people waiting to read them.