When my friend, author Lizzie Chantree and I get together, we always have a rough plan of what we are going to do (i.e. where we are going to meet, drink coffee, and eat), but everything else comes as a result of the way our minds work. We basically go off on rather interesting, funny and creative tangents, fuelled by the fact that, whilst we are both romantic fiction writers, we see things in slightly different ways, and therefore, although our books may have some similar themes they are written from entirely different perspectives, driven by our experiences, point of view and individual character traits.
And because of that, we get loads of ideas and bounce off each other a lot! Lizzie brings her business head with her when talking about books and marketing and I bring my media head with me, and it’s a really useful way of thinking about things. For instance, Lizzie has a new website, and gorgeous new business cards – and I’m going to use them as inspiration to change mine too. They are a perfect way of marketing your books. Here they are (and here’s Lizzie checking out the wine fridge in the cafe..)
I have an idea to write a self-help writing book, and using my experience of writing articles for magazines many years ago to guide me, plus gathering my contacts to help contribute to it. So I mentioned it to Lizzie and she’s going to write something for it. We’re also planning seminars and magazine articles too. The ideas when we start talking just flow. And not only that, our catch ups are hugely enjoyable!
So, although when you’re writing you are very much living in your head, you aren’t alone. And just being around people can trigger all sorts of positive ideas, whether they are for the book, future plans, or how to get your name out there. And it doesn’t have to be planned…
For instance, I’ve just come back from a rather gorgeous holiday in the sun. My friend and I had a room right on the beach and shared a terrace with another room. The people who were there when we arrived had been going to the same hotel for around 20 years and loved it so much they told us all about their favourite places so we could enjoy them too. When they left and another couple moved in, we were also captivated by Barbados by then and so gave them the same tips. They were interested in screenwriting, found out I was a writer, and so, now I’ve got all this information about scriptwriting networking groups and courses from them that I was not expecting.
Plus, on a Catamaran trip (Thank you Cool Runnings 2). I was talking to someone over lunch who when they asked what I did, I said, I’m a writer. And when they found out where my novels were based, it transpired they had connections to where they were all set, so we had a lovely chat about those places too.
I’m a very sociable person, and can only cope with sitting at my computer alone for short period of times. I tend to go out and write, or just go out and be around people, because being around people and their energy gives me a lift. Chatting, coming up with ideas and collaborating about all sorts of things motivates me. And that always happens when Lizzie and I meet – we want to show that writing books is accessible and fun.
So, writing can be as sociable as dancing, or going for a meal with friends or going to a gig…life, as they say, is just what you make it….
And here’s a Tik Tok I made earlier of our last ‘meeting’ in Southend
Check out what Lizzie has to say here https://lizziechantree.com/lizzies-blog/