The Game of Writing

As some of you might know, I’m a gamer. I’m a hardcore World of Warcraft fanatic and have been playing since right after beta. I’ve belonged to the same guild for over 20 years, across multiple MMO (Massively multiplayer online) platforms.

I’ve decided that the publishing industry is like gaming. Not a compassion you’d expect to hear, but let me explain.

As an up-and-coming writer (new adventurer) you set out to hone your craft (level up) and tackle your first manuscript (your first quests).

Work hard and stay the course, and you land yourself an agent (level-up and gain access to a new area).

Keep writing, work with your agent to polish that manuscript, and earn a publishing contract (keep leveling until you earn that coveted legendary piece of armor)

You’ve made it (won the game), right?

Wrong!

Just like in MMOs, there’s no real endgame. Your work (the world) is constantly evolving. There’s always a new skill to learn, a class to take to level-up. A few simple things and you’ll be skipping down the path to success (pillaging the enemy and amassing hoards of gold)

Always raid with a party – Just like in gaming, the road is smoother if you don’t go it alone. Find your tribe. You’ll need them to navigate rocky terrain (setbacks, bad reviews, rejections) and provide a trusted ear for battle strategy (plotting, venting, ect!).

Remember there’s no in-game hack to get you to the finish line – in gaming, we call it an exploit. A trick to fool the game and advance without putting in the work. (Hopping on twitter and calling for a “follower trade” to amass thousands of followers isn’t going to earn you a platform. Editors and agency are looking for quality, not quantity. You can’t possibly have meaningful exchanges with that many people! Make real connections, interact, and grow your following through hard work and putting your all into creating your masterpiece—your book!)

There might be twenty different servers, but there’s still just one internet. Watch what you say/do – I remember badly behaved players from the first years I started playing WoW, and to this day, those player’s names still live on, their reputations still soiled. Wiping a raid ALA Leeroy Jenkins, to kiting a boss into a low-level town and watching all the AFK people get smushed, the internet remembers. (Remember to think before you speak/act. The same author’s book who you talked trash about for four days on twitter might one day be someone you want a blurb from. Trust me, they’re going to remember—it’s happened to me, and while I didn’t hold an actual grudge, I didn’t go out of my way to help the individual. Remember to treat everyone with kindness and respect. The publishing industry is surprisingly small, and people talk.)

And that’s all from me this month. Happy writing (gaming)! May your words flow free and your plots remain untangled (may your gold be plentiful and your rares abundant).

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Guys & Galentines: This is For You

If the person you love literally looks like this (to the right), then you should be reading this post because I have some killer gift ideas for you for the month of love.

The Book Boyfriend candle smells delightfully “manly” scents of a light cologne, musky earthy notes, and clean cotton to remind you of the boys from your favorite books.

That’s a direct quote from the artisan’s etsy listing.  Who wouldn’t love to settle in with their favorite book (boyfriend) and light this candle? Boys in books aren’t just better, they smell better, too.

A beautiful vintage hardback book style e-reader and tablet cover handmade in England using 40 years of bookbinding experience.

Someone has taken their skills from the past into the next century to give us the ability to read any book, carry around hundreds in your pocket, all while looking like a beautifully bound cover of Pride and Prejudice (or what have you).

Any book reader will love the humor and your special appreciation of the joys a good book boyfriend can bring.

So, does your best friend/girlfriend take her book boyfriends seriously enough to wear this adorable t-shirt? Because, well, I do. “Try Living Up to My Book Boyfriend,” it reads. Try, indeed.

This is a small, easy reminder to love what you read and own it.

This may be my favorite (but in fairness, that could be because I collect coffee mugs). All the same, this is a winner for any romance reader.

This may be the best gift yet, especially if you’ve got the mouth of a well-educated sailor and (again) love coffee mugs and reading almost as much as I do.

In short, I hope my husband, daughters, and/or friends find this post because I basically low-key want every item shown here. Please?

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Come for the snark. Stay for the story.

Romancing His Rival #PreOrder #Giveaway

Hey, favorite readers!

Romancing His Rival is almost here!

In celebration, I’m hosting an exciting

 PRIZE

1 Audio CD of Bargaining with the Boss (book 1)
plus
1 Audio CD Catch Him if You Can (book 2)

First: Pre-Order your copy of
Romancing His Rival (book 3)
(Pre-Order Links below)
Then, CLICK HERE to enter to win!

 

If you already pre-ordered, enter now! No purchase necessary to win. 

The winner will be announced here on my personal blog on 2/11.

Good Luck!

About Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk is a USA Today bestselling sweet romance author for Montlake and Entangled Publishing who also happens to be a mom, pharmacist, Red Sox fan, P90x grad, and overall nice person. Check out her latest sweet romance: CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN

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