U … is for Use, and Update

U[1] is for use, and update. As we head into the final few letters I decided that I’d use more than one word in this post.

What should a writer use?

A writer should use every resource available.

1. Life experiences and opportunities

2. Imagination and overheard conversation

3. Reference books and Internet sites

4. A notebook and / or a journal

5. Information from fellow bloggers

What should a writer update?

1. The bio on blog, website, author’s pages, social networks and inside eBooks (if published)

2. Reference books with time-sensitive material, for example: atlas, Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook

3. Resources like: computer software, blogs being followed – active?

4. List of writing tasks still outstanding, including ‘dormant’ stories

5. Information inside published eBooks

As with all my short lists on these A to Z posts, there will be much more to be used or updated, but these are simple memory-joggers. We cannot afford to sit back and relax too often. It’s good to write every day, but it’s better to have your days organised so that you can fit in reading, blogging, social networking and having a life.

The key issue I’d like to highlight in this post is, that we owe it to ourselves as writers not to sit back idle for too long. Some folk have a ‘day job’, while others are ‘retired’ at some level. Personally I work three days a week, so most of my other time is used for writing.

I feel privileged to be in that position, so I embrace it by producing as much writing as I can. I started late in life, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

My two eBook thrillers are selling, and I’m close to completing my first collection of short stories. I have five poetry eBooks on Amazon too. I have the final draft to complete on my next thriller, which I aim to publish in June. I have another novel waiting in the wings for the next draft. My feeling is that I must use my time to write, instead of simply thinking about it.

When I publish the short story collection in a few days, I’ll then have to update all the information in my other eBooks. Why? Inside I have the list of ‘also by this author’, which must be brought up to date for the new readers. As any industrious writer knows; it is constant activity.

Is there anything else we should consider using or updating?

Once again, thank you for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow with ‘V’.


9 thoughts on “U … is for Use, and Update

    1. Many thanks for the visit and kind comment. I find your posts taking me into a world I had never considered before this month. lol


  1. Another rambling reply I’m afraid:

    Quite an interesting one this. I certainly identify with the ‘what a writer should use’, and with the ‘what to update,’ I’m kind of halfway there.

    Being more or less at the beginning of my writing efforts, pretty much where you were several years ago when you first started writing seriously, and in my case with a much smaller writing portfolio the latter isn’t quite so urgent yet, at least not when it comes to bio, website, and eBook updates et al. (though that isn’t to say I don’t fully agree with the importance of the examples you mention as one’s efforts progress).

    I think one of the things that can be looked at, and added regarding ‘updates,’ is strategy i.e. the direction you want your writing to take, whether or not you simply want to build a really successful and popular blog or actually want to expand beyond the blogging and social media arenas. For anyone planning to self-publish and who wants to reach a wide audience, building an interest and audience first is essential I think if you don’t want your efforts to languish unnoticed for a very long time.

    Lots of writers naturally want to write a successful novel, perhaps by-passing or simply not considering the natural paths or apprenticeships of short stories or other forms of writing that many very successful writers have followed first – not so relevant to you now, but certainly to many newer writers I would think.

    Another reason I bring up strategy is because it only takes a brief look at Amazon to see any number of novels and short story anthologies, some of them very good, where the author has written and published their works, only to wonder why they’re not being read and reviewed, and then to discover that the author in question doesn’t blog, doesn’t interact with other writers, and has no immediately identifiable web presence elsewhere. Even those writers who wish to take a more traditional approach to being published would soon discover with a little research that some sort of web presence is not only expected, but considered essential by agents and publishers these days.

    I say all this because I’ve made many of the mistakes I’ve alluded to here myself; my immediate ambition before starting my blog was to write novels, but having read through some blogs, I soon discovered that short and flash fiction stories was a great way of building interest and honing my writing skills. I also naively thought that all you had to was write and post and that the interest would build automatically.

    It’s probably a bit premature (and perhaps presumptuous) for me to have written a reply such as this, not having actually taken the step of publishing anything yet, but I think that having held back awhile and given a bit of forethought to it, I’ll be in a better position to proceed than simply writing and publishing ‘blind’ as it were, and just hoping for the best afterwards. On a personal note, considering your background and the point in life you took up writing, your own blog and writing path has provided me with a sort of template, or at the very least, an indication of the things I can and should be doing to progress further.

    Thanks for writing this post; it’s made me think a little more about the immediate future… Oh yes, best of luck with the forthcoming anthology, it’ll be jumping straight to the top of my read/review list!


  2. Paul, you can ramble as much as you like. That is what this thing is all about. Yes, most of my writing ‘apprenticeship’ was served by posting my efforts of short stories on writing sites – and having them torn apart by other writers.
    I’ve found with writing that we do really have to take the knocks and get back up to try again. I also believe that a good grasp of life experience is an asset. I’ve seen many short stories by novice writers who are doing a lot of guesswork.
    I didn’t think about any type of ‘platform’ until I’d been writing a couple of years, but once established, it does help.
    Take your time, and I’ll be here, like many others if you need a hand at any stage.
    Thanks again for the support, the reviews, and the Tweets.


  3. Thanks; actually, that’s be much appreciated with something, but I’ll leave it til after the AtoZ challenge is over as I know this is a busy period for you. Speak soon no doubt…


  4. Because I’m a freelance writer as well as a novelist, my bio is every-darn-where! When I have to update it, I have to update it in multiple places and that can be a bit of a pain. I’m still finding bios that say my book will be out in March 2014! Some of them I don’t have permission to update because the client created it and I no longer write for them…so it just stays out of date!



  5. All excellent advice. I think the one thing the writer should update the most is his or her life. You have to live in order to write and in our rush to read and write, we writers often forget to live our lives, take chances, have conversations, make friendships, even break them 🙂


  6. Great post with lots of tips to think about as usual.
    Like you, I came to writing late in life. I fully intend to use as much of my life’s experiences as I can. The emotions and feelings I’ve had over the years already splutter out through my writing and will continue to.
    Places I’ve lived feature as locations and I love that I’ve a wealth of places to use since I’ve moved so much. Everything comes in handy when you’re writing.


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