Working alone as a sole proprietor of your own creative business needn’t be lonely. Use these great new resources for writers to engage with fellow creatives and also, see how you can get your words read (and sold)

1.Collaboration

When working alone doesn’t feel right, writers collaborate. Finding the right kind of person to work with is of course, the question of the century.

I’ve met two Raindance members who met in a London gym. They both had been threatening to write for ages. It wasn’t until they met every Saturday (after gym) and wrote that the sparks flew. They now have a 85,000 word crime/caper novel “Consequences”. It’s going through final edit and design in America. It’s soon to be published under the nascent Dark Arts banner. You can get your advance copy here. How’s that for collaboration?

2.Networking

The creative industry is a people industry. It’s not what you know but whom. Networking is part of the job if you want to succeed. And learning how to network efficiently takes a bit of skill. That’s why we have our monthly networking sessions Boozin’ N’ Schmoozin’

Ninety percent of becoming a successful networker is to simply show up!

Read these tips:
Networking For Introverts
Career Networking

3.Publishing and Distribution

Filmmakers have learned that taking distribution into your own hands is no longer the dirty word it once was. In fact, for many filmmakers it is the smarter-than-smart thing to do.

There are some really admirable self-distribution models out there right now. Both employ crowdfunding to raise capital for publishing, distribution and marketing.

One is the terrifically successful London based Unbound.com
Unbound has a huge team of development, production and marketing personnel and have had success in the traditional publishing realm as well.

At the other end of the scale is the interesting start-up Collab Writers. It feels cozy and intimate up against the corporate Unbound.com. Run by two mid-career women who met in a local gym. Their model is much more personal and organic. You can read how they work on their Kickstarter page. The money they raise will go towards publishing their first novel, as well as developing some other exciting anthologies designed to get new writers published.

What makes Collab Writers different from Unbound is how they have integrated with filmmakers, artists and musician as well. Collab Writers is also about creating a new eco-system that serves everyone on the chain from writers to readers. I urge you to support Collab Writers.

4.Representation

I’m not going to lie – getting an agent is tough.And not because there aren’t enough good agents. It’s because the marketplace is awash with sub-standard material.

To get an agent you need to construct a strategy. The best time to get an agent is when you have a deal. Or, do what performers are doing now – they are making their own shows and movies. which is why you might want to consider the route that Collab Writers is taking with their projects.

My advice is to make your won phone ring.

5.Story Ideas and how to avoid the dreaded writers block

Idea generation is the key to a successful writing career. There are a many great exercises you can employ to make that light bulb blink.

Here are two idea generation exercises I love:

One is to meditate, of course. It free and requires a bit of self pampering. and it really works

The second is to replay the Victorian parlour game Consequences. Start with a genre, write an opening line, and then add another and another. When played in a group, as we do in London, you’ll find that the stories really pop.

6.Research

Research is one way you can really make a mark on your work. Generally, the more you spend researching your topic, the more convincing your writing will become.

Here is a handy list of research sites, divided by topic. Are you interested in baby names? Or ecology? Do historical fact turn you on? There are great research links here.

If you are contemplating writing a crime story here is an excellent book in which the various forms of death and decay are used by forensic detectives.

7.Online Communities

There are many reasons why you should join a writers community. Beta-testing of your work is one – having a like-minded person read your work is extremely useful. Fellow members can be asked to review your work. And when you are ready, your community can help you market and sell your books.

Here is a great list of 11 Online Writing Communities.
And of course, Raindance is backing Collab Writers because of their innovative community they are developing. Please support Collab Writers Here.

Daily poetry sites

Great journals

About 

Photo Credit Jay Brooks / BIFA 2015

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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