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Writer Wednesday: Expanding Your Knowledge Base

Good morning authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday! Lots of exciting events are in the air for Sword & Silk and our authors! Our submissions doors are open once again, pitch events are afoot, and the release of The Almost Queen is coming up fast. AND, it's Banned Books week, a week dedicated to the freedom of reading and expanding our reading horizons. Speaking of, today on the blog we are talking about authors and the continued expansion of our knowledge base.

What does that even mean? Well, it means several things. As writers, we are parting a constantly evolving industry which means we need to continually grow and adapt to an everchanging publishing landscape. From a creative standpoint, the first book you write is not your peak. Throughout your publishing career you continue to hone your craft and your voice with each subsequent creation, and you are always learning. Learning new information, learning more about the subjects you research for a piece, learning new methods of storytelling.

"Write What You Know"

The age old adage for budding authors is to write what you know. There are both positives and negatives to this advice. Pulling from the pool of personal experience can create an authentic voice but taking this advice too literally can place invisible limitations on an author's creative perspective. It's vital to pair that idea with the practice of expanding what you know. The imagination is a sponge, soaking up new experiences and ideas through the sights we see, the media we consume, and the conversations we have. If you wish to write an experience, you need to continue to build your knowledge of the world. When you are feeling burnt out as an author, that is usually the signal your creative well needs a refill. We can expand our knowledge base through fictional and non fictional means, through history and the voices of other authors.

Keeping Your Feet As the Landscape Shifts

In modern day publishing, it is a laughable understatement to say a lot of expected from authors. We are expected to wear multiple hats, as creator, as marketer, as businessperson, while also maintaining a social media presence and approachable platform. We must thread the proverbial needle, trying to make our book stand out amid the noise, and just as we get a handle on one method, the ground shifts beneath our feet and you get Booktok.

Luckily, despite the constant course change, many authors are willing to pool their knowledge. Between panels at conventions, workshops, forums, classes, and a multitude of other avenues, the writing community provides ways to learn as you go. This does not require a huge financial sink either. There are many resources provided free by writing communities who want to keep the playing field level for everyone such as Write Hive, Savvy Authors, Absolute Water Cooler, and Nanowrimo Forums, just to name a few, which host a great deal of learning events for free. For the author, it is an investment of time and effort, and while some days that can feel daunting enough, remember that no matter what path to publishing you choose, it is a marathon, not a sprint.

Sword & Silk is taking part of the Savvy Authors Autumn Pitchfest! Happening today through October 1st! Check out the event page here and we hope to see your pitches!

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