Do you feel as if your writing career has stalled? Perhaps you’ve received too many rejections lately, or you’ve lost a couple of key clients. Something has happened, and you’ve lost confidence, and don’t know how to get it back.
Take heart. I’ve found that these times are valuable. They give you breathing space so that you can assess where you are, and where you want to be. Slow down. If you can, spend some time alone. Avoid forcing yourself to write.
When you’re ready, take these steps.
1. Believe in YOU: think about your dream writing career
Your writing life can overwhelm you. A student we’ll call Sophie told me that she was working so hard on low-paying gigs that she didn’t have the energy to approach bigger clients.
She said: “I’m not achieving anything. I hate the writing I’m doing now.”
I asked her what her dream writing career looked like.
Her response: “I want to write novels. I did a couple of weeks of NaNoWriMo last year, but —“
I stopped her before she could go on, and told her that she could have her dream writing career. I suggested: “Spend twenty minutes a day on fiction. You don’t have to write if you’re exhausted; read fiction instead.”
Twenty minutes sound like no time at all. However, even five minutes day is valuable. It helps you to keep your dream alive.
2. Develop two writing process goals today (you’ll feel in control)
Process goals are goals over which you have total control.
A goal like: “Make $100,000 this year from my writing” isn’t a process goal, because others are involved in how much you’re paid, and when you’re paid.
A goal like: “Write 1,000 words of fiction every weekday” is a process goal. You control how much you write each day.
Here are five examples of process goals:
- Write 500 words a day;
- Send out three magazine proposals a week;
- Finish editing my novel in 30 days;
- Write one blog post a week.
3. Reach out: ask for advice, and ask questions
Many writers are shy, and solitary. Reach out to others, even if you force yourself to do it. If you’re not sure exactly what a client wants, ask. If you’re not sure what an editor means, ask.
You can also reach out to other writers. If a writer has a regular byline in a publication in which you want to be published, ask if the writer can spare five minutes to give you a couple of tips.
Vital: remember to follow up with past and prospective clients. Everyone’s busy today. If you need more writing gigs, reaching out to past clients is the sure way to get them.
4. Read every day: reading is as important as writing
All successful writers read a lot. They’re always studying something, or reading for entertainment. Bestselling novelist Dean Koontz reads 150 books a year. Another bestselling author, Stephen King said: “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write.”
I read for a couple of hours every day, whenever I can get time alone, and always before sleeping. You need a knack with words, and you get that from reading.
If you’re in a slump, try these five steps to turbocharge your writing career. Before you know it, you’ll be out of your slump and moving forward again.
Want to write fiction? Write a short story this morning, and publish it this afternoon
Receive a free mini course, “Commercial Fiction For Beginners: Create A Full-Time Income From Part-Time Writing”, which shows you how.
How to profit from your writing: online store.
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