Elizabeth: Author Branding

brandA few weeks ago, we took a break from our usual discussions about the craft of writing to talk about social media and the business side of writing. Today, again driven by things that are going on in my day job, I want to continue that discussion and talk a little about author branding.

First off, what exactly is an author brand?

At its simplest level, an author brand is about communication. It is how your readers (existing or potential) know you and it’s what makes you stand out from all of the other writers out there.  You want readers to recognize your name and know what you write so that when you have a book out they’ll read it and then tell their friends, who will read it and tell their friends who will . . .

So I just need to write a good book (and another and another and . . . ) right? Continue reading

Justine: When Family Doesn’t Understand Your Writing Life

eight ladies writing, justine covington, family work balance, writer's lifeLast Friday, while packing up the kids, dog, and husband for a weekend getaway, I phoned my mom and dad to see how they were doing on their trip to my sister’s house. What started as an innocuous conversation turned out to be a near hang-up on my part. And it started with a simple question my mom asked:

“So when are you going to finish this book?”

That was not the time to ask me about the book. I’d just come back from ten amazing days in England and was still jet-lagged, yet was so inspired and ready to do war with the problems I’d been facing in my story (and had been ignoring for no other reason than a sense of apathy that I’d never be able to solve them). However, on my return, I was absolutely barraged by normal family demands, which resulted in almost zero time to do anything writing-related. I knew this would happen, but it didn’t diminish my frustration that I hadn’t been able to work on my story at all. Everyone’s allowed to be frustrated, right?

You just can’t Continue reading

Nancy: Joy + Hard Work

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This past weekend, I got to do one of my favorite things, which is visiting my daughter. One of the things we do when we visit is attend classes at the excellent yoga studio near her apartment. While attending a class Saturday morning, the yoga teacher gave us one of his many definitions of yoga, which is joy plus hard work. Because he told us this more than an hour into a very intense practice in an 85° F room, at a point where our muscles felt like spaghetti and some of us were questioning the wisdom of the way we’d chosen to spend our Saturday morning, it was easy to understand the part about hard work. The joy, that wasn’t quite so obvious at the time. And that’s the way it sometimes is with something else that can be defined as joy plus hard work: writing.

Writing is hard work, and some days are harder than others. On those days, we might see the joy after the writing is done, just as it can be easier to see the joy of having survived yoga class hour after class is over. Continue reading