Predictions for writers in 2013 – and guest post at On Fiction Writing

ofw2Everyone’s writing prediction posts right now. I wouldn’t have dared, except the website On Fiction Writing asked what I thought might happen in the industry in the next five years.

Obviously writers can’t be oblivious to what’s going on in publishing, but if you look at what’s changed in the past two years, do we have a hope of predicting anything with accuracy? Anyway, who would trust the predictions of anyone who makes things up for a living? Worlds, economies, social movements roll out of our imagination to suit whatever story we want to tell. (And I see they put my interview next to a novel called The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Adorable cover anyway.)

The only certainties I can predict – for myself and for other writers in 2013 – are these.

  • I will need to weigh up several new social media environment and decide if they’re worth the effort. I will need to remind myself that once upon a time I was scornful of Twitter, Facebook and even – gasp – blogging.
  • I’ll need to embrace at least one new platform for publishing, on a device that I don’t see the need for. I will have to remind myself that putting Nail Your Novel on Kindle turned out to be a brilliant move.
  • I’ll never decide what’s worthwhile unless I have help – which I will probably find by firing off a tweet or a Facebook post to all you guys.
  • I’ll get stuck on the novel I’m writing, and when I think all is irretrievably lost the answer will fall effortlessly onto the page. (I talk about writer’s block in my interview, in case you’re wrestling too.)
  • I’ll discover several writers whose work contains such insight, I will not know how I did without them (I talk about favourite writers too)

Predictions aside, I’m also talking about self-publishing, publishers developing new roles as partners for indies, finding readers – and ghostwriting. Do join me there and if you’re in a predictive frame of mind, leave a comment here with conjectures, projections and outright fabrications and fantasies for writers in 2013.

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  1. #1 by mgm75 on December 24, 2012 - 6:04 pm

    All the best for 2013 Roz. May we all go from strength to strength!

  2. #3 by cydmadsen on December 25, 2012 - 2:59 am

    Two points you touch on here have become huge issues for me–which social platforms are (still?) worth the time, and needing help from others. It does feel good having the gates thrown open and being in control of your own destiny, but there’s always a sacrifice. I certainly can’t predict the future, but I do know the questions I’ll be asking. First on the list is what are the sacrifices and am I willing to make them.

    If there’s anything about the future that is absolute, it’s surprise. I hope all yours are good ones.

    • #4 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on December 27, 2012 - 6:50 pm

      Hi Cyd! Ah, good point – which platforms might not be worth the effort any more…? Google Circles, anyone?
      As always, you leave a wise comment. Wishing you many happy surprises in 2013.

  3. #5 by Robert Scanlon on December 29, 2012 - 6:10 am

    Thanks Roz – I’ve had so many “goes” at FB, Twitter etc etc for various different projects and have come to the conclusion that as a raving introvert, I hate them. You either spend a lot of time on them (even *if* compressed into an hour a day) – and then moderating/answering etc … I look forward to any insights you may have!

    I am loving Nail Your Novel too (bought a few weeks back), it is packed full of gems. I will happily pre-order your next episode, whatever it will be called!

    Have a great 2013 and many thanks for the excellent resources! I chanced upon your blog (give me old fashioned blogs and forums anyday) when looking for how to obtain a US EIN etc

    • #6 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on December 29, 2012 - 10:49 am

      Thank YOU, Robert!
      It took me a while to like FB. I’d already got on well with Twitter, but the differences between that and FB were enough to irritate me because I was aware that I could use the time for better things. I like both now, but I think one of the problems with these platforms is that they have their own rules and we don’t have the time to learn them. Plus, we’ve usually come for a reason – we would never have signed up for FB or Twitter if we didn’t need to sell books or build a profile. So that’s what we’re most concerned to do, otherwise it was a waste of time. And of course, you need to forget about that and enjoy the relationships that build from this seemingly superficial way of connecting.
      If you haven’t yet had your fill of advice on using Twitter, I wrote this piece for Authors Electric – http://authorselectric.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/how-to-get-on-well-with-twitter-by-roz.html
      (Now I’m off to get on with my book… people are waiting, it seems!)

      • #7 by raizscanlon on January 13, 2013 - 12:06 pm

        Ho Roz – just showing up here to reply – I’ve only just now left you a 5-star review for ‘Nail Your Novel’ – I love your book and have thoroughly underestimated it. I can’t believe it took me so long to think of how to sum it up in a review!

        I thought it was excellent and rich at first, but now on 3rd pass (and while my own first novel is “under construction – well past the cards stage and into scene descriptions … almost ready for u know what), I am grasping the bigger “map” you have provided with answers for any eventuality, so thank you (again).

        I’ll check out that Authors Electric post too, thanks. I do find the social media thing baffling (ie unless I keep up a steady stream of content, which takes effort, then how can I expect “ads” out of the blue to be appreciated). As an experienced email marketer and with many many hundreds of email responders and broadcasts under my belt, I know how much effort it takes to even simply MAINTAIN a channel, let alone keep up with the absurd changes that FB foist upon us!

        OK rant over … back to the topic of what is now this year …. yes, “people are waiting it seems” ;)!

        • #8 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on January 13, 2013 - 8:05 pm

          Robert – I just saw the review. Thank you for taking the time to write so thoughtfully about how the book works for you. Hopefully the next book will be finished in time to help you out too!

    • #9 by philipparees on December 29, 2012 - 11:57 am

      Do so agree with Robert re blogs and thought-provoking, informative posts versus ‘Don’t forget me’ waves on the fast moving social trains. That might just be because I am not very good at them, but if one has no obvious service to offer, or the sort of book you KNOW will be of benefit ( like you Roz! – you can have no doubt of that) then why would anyone even look up to wave back?

      I have moderated this cynicism a little by finding, in spite of prevailing speed, good friends and warm responses from hitherto strangers, and a huge generosity overall in the indie publishing, scribbler community so something important has been restored-a belief in goodwill and warmth (books notwithstanding).

      • #10 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on December 29, 2012 - 6:58 pm

        Philippa, you may discovered another of those great divides in the world. Those who’ve always been comfortable just saying ‘hi’, and those who feel moronic unless they’ve got some purpose. Like you, I feel if I don’t have some message I don’t know what to say!

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