It’s summer already. Have you begun working toward your 2011 goals? Have you started living your writing/publishing dream? Do you feel that you on track? If so, you’re probably in the minority.
Yup, most people flake out on their own important goals. They just can’t seem to jumpstart a plan of action.
Here are five things that you can do differently in order to create your writing/publishing success.
1: Adopt a “can do” attitude. Often the pure enormity of the industry and the competition is enough to put off a talented writer. Sure, it’s a jungle full of lions, tigers and bears out there. But someone is getting their work published. In fact, millions of “someones” are scoring. Why can’t it be you? Maybe it’s time to stop talking about and thinking about writing and actually start writing.
2: Make some sacrifices. We all have busy lives. And when we want to add a new component, something must give. You’ve experienced this many times in your life. You want to go out and party on Friday night so you sacrifice sleep, time spent watching TV, perhaps some hours of clarity the next morning. Maybe you want to take a trip or help a friend move. You must change aspects of your lifestyle to do these things. Why are you reluctant to make allowances/sacrifices in order to support your writing passion?
3: Pick and choose your project. Sure, maybe you have your heart set on writing your memoirs or a novel that keeps playing out in your mind. But if you are stalled because of the enormity of this book project, why not start with a confidence-building project? Write a simple how-to book on a topic you know well. Submit some of your short stories to magazines/newsletters. Write an article for publication.
4: Stop studying. I never thought I’d hear myself say this. I am a strong advocate of studying the publishing industry before getting involved. However, I know writers and hopeful authors who buy every book on their genre, attend four writers’ groups every month, consult daily with a writing buddy, hire a mentor and/or continually research their projects. Some people carry on like this for years, never writing a word. By the time they get around to hiring me, they’re involved in a habit that is mighty hard to break. It’s important to know when to stop, drop and write.
5: Write what is needed/wanted. I know talented, skilled writers who want to be published, yet they waste their time writing what they want to write with little concern for what will sell. Budding writers come to me complaining that they can’t sell a column idea to the New Yorker or an essay on spring cleaning or washing a Volvo to Woman’s Day. If this describes you, will you do this for me (and for yourself)? Study the magazines you want to write for (I suggest aiming a little lower than Reader’s Digest and Ladies Home Journal in the beginning). What does this magazine publish? What can you offer that might fit this publication? Read their Submission Guidelines and follow them in making a submission.
Follow these five suggestions and let me know how they serve you.