Okay, so you’ve published your first book on Lulu.com. Now what? Keep writing, that’s what! You want to keep exercising that writing muscle, and anyway, what’s cooler than saying you’re working on your second book? Here are some fun ways to get inspired and make your second even better than your first.

1. Join or start a writing group.
Sometimes, you are not your best motivator or your best critic. Finding or starting a writing group is not easy, but it can be very rewarding. Some groups are more like workshops, where everyone critiques one another’s writing, while others are organized simply to set aside time to write, and can be as basic as three or four people clustered around a coffee shop table with laptops, just writing. If you don’t have writer friends who want to join you, I suggest trying Meetup.com to find a group in your area. I found 34 groups within ten miles of the Lulu.com headquarters.

2. Organize your writing with Google Docs.
This free, multi-faceted tool is great for writers who are either constantly moving from home, to office, to laptop, to phone, or for multiple authors collaborating on one project. You create a document that’s stored online, and you and your collaborators can access it from any computer. As a fiction writer, I use this tool to keep track of my characters–each one gets his or her own page, with traits and personal thoughts–and also my personal to-do lists, since I work from three different computers over the course of a day. Be sure to check out
Google’s introduction to Google Docs.

Be sure to check back in next week for more tips in part 2.