Excited about the potential for your writing in 2014? I hope you are. Let’s look at some easy writing tips. You can turn these tips into New Year’s resolutions which will help you to achieve your writing goals this year. They’re appropriate for both new and established writers.
You’ll notice that each of these resolutions is completely within your control. We’ve talked about writing goals before; if you haven’t created any goals for your writing this year, use these tips. Review and revise your goals as needed throughout the year.
1. This year I will: write a book. Then write another one.
Kindle publishing is HOT. Check the Kindle boards, and you’ll find that many writers have quit their day jobs to become publishers. Over the past couple of years, I’ve accepted ghostwriting gigs to write ebooks for others. I’m cutting back on that severely. I won’t have time to focus on others’ ebooks; I’m building my own catalogue.
Here’s why: every ebook you write and self-publish is an investment in your future. Look on your catalogue of books as something which will grow in value with every day which passes. Don’t aim for big wins (see Tip 4.) Even if an ebook makes you just $20 a month, that’s $240 over a year. What if you had dozens of ebooks? Some might make you just $20 a month. Others might make you several hundred dollars each month.
Make this the year you start thinking of yourself as a publisher. Write a book. Then write another one.
2. This year I will: build a network of contacts.
It’s not who you know. As I’ve said many times. It’s who knows you.
We’re living in a networked world. Reach out to other writers. Reach out to readers. Reach out to people you admire. Help others.
Over the past 30 and more years, many editors, publishers and writers have helped me. That’s the reason I write: to give back. I love chatting with writers, and helping in any way I can. I’m proud when a writer tells me about his wins, no matter how big or small they are.
As major publishers get into ebooks in a big way this year, and big companies turn into publishers, writers are major cogs: nothing happens until we write.
Over the holiday break I looked back through my archives. In the early years of this century I published an ezine, Creative Small Biz.
In the second issue in 2002, I said:
If you’re a creative, the chances are high that if someone is making a buck from your talents, it’s not you. We writers, artists and designers aren’t good negotiators. We love our work, and we’re happy that someone wants to pay us for it. It takes us a while to realize that while everyone else is doing nicely from our work, we’re not.
Make this the year you build your network of contacts, and get paid well for your efforts, either directly, by trading your hours for dollars, or over and over again when you write books and other materials you can license.
3. This year I will: write what I’m inspired to write.
This is my major resolution for the year. I will write what I’m inspired to write, whether I feel that there’s a market for it or not.
I will honor my inspirations, and trust myself. As writers, we’re immensely lucky to be creative. We need to honor that.
4. This year I will be content with small wins.
This is another major resolution of mine for 2014; to be content with small wins. Chiefly, over myself.
Are you demanding too much of yourself? Perhaps one of your resolutions for this year is to be more active – you’ve decided to go to the gym, and take up running. Your goal is to run at least one marathon in 2014.
This is a wonderful resolution. Your small wins might be: going to the gym twice a week, and running on Saturday afternoons. Or perhaps if you haven’t exercised in a while, your small win might be going for a daily walk.
Consider that small wins mount up. With one small win a week, your life could change in 2014.
5. This year I will build my inventory.
We’ve discussed your writers’ inventory. Everything you write, to which you retain the rights – that is, you haven’t sold the material as a “work done for hire” which means you’ve sold ALL rights – is part of your inventory. You can mix and match material, combining it in many ways to create new works.
My aim this year is to write more, so that I build my own inventory. Nothing you write is ever wasted. It’s all inventory. Write: build your inventory of material.
We have a completely new year before us. What will you write this year? Consider these tips, and then build your own resolutions for 2014. Most importantly, decide that 2014 is the year you will have FUN with your writing.