Happy New Year to all of the writers, artists, and creative individuals out there. It's a new year and a new chance to do great things. This year however, I issue a great challenge to you concerning your goals.
Many of us have the "Go to the Gym" Syndrome when it comes to the beginning of the year as authors. Just like many who go the gym between the first week to the first month then wane, we as writers and authors have the same issues. We plan a big project and we plan to set the world on fire with our words. Then, a setback or laziness sets in and then we wane. We authors however cannot afford to do so especially if we plan to take our craft seriously.
We can start by setting realistic goals. Just like those who do plan to go to the gym more throughout the New Year and stick to it, they stick to it by setting realistic goals for their health. Instead of just swearing off sweets, they make a vow to eat a little more better. Instead of buying a whole year's gym membership they don't use, they go a gym that charges them by the visit or month. They eventually build a tolerance for what they can take, then they can plan better.
As writers and authors, we need to do the same. Instead of going full on with a new writing project just because it's the New Year, plan on writing a few pages a day on one or a few projects. Honestly, the reason many books don't do well is because they're rushed. I'll go into deadlines and when to extend them on another blog post. For now, follow these steps:
1) Plan your projects for next few months (not the year): What are your literary goals for the first two months? Many of us fall into the trap of planning too many things at once. Eve if you plan one or two items for now, you're doing a lot better than the guy who overextends themselves and ends up disappointed come December 31.
2) For authors with titles already published, you need to take time to keep marketing your current projects before starting to write another. We tend to always talk about what the next project is and we haven't given our readers full attention to marketing the current project. We can't always rely on word of mouth and don't forget just because a book is out doesn't mean everyone has heard of it. Books that's been out for years are new to someone.
3) Set realistic goals for your goal. Don't plan on writing half a book or the whole book in a weekend unless you are willing to take the time out for it. Unless you live in a cabin n the woods all by yourself, that is all but impossible. I'm going to assume you have family, spouse, children, a day job. Maybe not all but at least one or two. No matter what you have going on, you can still write that book to the end. You just need to set a balance.
4) You can't let discouragement or setbacks stop you. It's sure enough that whatever tried to stop you last year may just as well try to stop you this year. Either you have a naysayer in the group or a family emergency or financial issues that take your focus away. I'm telling you to not let any of that discourage you. You must be disciplined enough to work around everything. If your goal is to be successful at your craft, you must do it. If you were a plumber,a roofer, a mechanic, or carpenter, do you think you'd keep a job long if you let setbacks stop you from working? No or your family won't eat. I'm not saying it like writing pays the bills right now but if you have a gift, you can't let issues stop you from using that gift.
These are just a few guidelines I've set for the beginning of the year. Check me out weekly for new blogs. Some will be video while others will be teaching tidbits. Thank you and see you next week.