“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
All the festivities of the holidays and New Year’s Day have come and gone. And it’s likely that all of those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions have come and gone also. For most of us, we’re now back in the swing of the things as 2014 rolls ahead. Back to business as usual, which means the resolutions fall to the wayside. According to statistics from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them. Not very encouraging; however, they also report that: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Now, that’s a little more encouraging!
At SDP Publishing, we’ve come up with some resolutions that you as a writer can start today (or any day) to help you stick to your goals of writing more and maybe even publishing a book in the near future. While most people like to have some sort of clean slate, and a new week or a New Year can bring that sense of tabula rasa, the really remarkable thing about positive change, like committing to writing, is that it doesn’t have to wait. It can happen at any moment. Even right now! SO get going!
Call Yourself a Writer
If you write, even if it’s not your full-time job, you have every right to call yourself a writer. Putting yourself in this frame of mind and owning the label can help you feel to like more of a professional. Saying it out loud to other people may help you feel more of a responsibility to actually be what you say!
Make Time to Dedicate to Your Writing
You need to find time in your day to write. Forget the excuses. We can all make them until the cows come home. If you’re really going TO BE a writer, you need to write. Do whatever you have to do to make writing a priority in your life. Get up a half hour earlier. Don’t take lunch. You can find the time. Start with 10 or 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days and write no matter what. Soon you may find you’re writing for an hour a day without even trying. Think of it this way: every day that you don’t write is a missed opportunity.
Read More of Anything and Everything
Great directors have seen hundreds upon hundreds of movies. Great musicians listen to other musicians. Almost every great writer has a famous quote about reading to improve their writing. It’s one of the best ways to learn the craft of writing. Here’s a great one from William Faulkner: “Read everything–trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”
Enter Writing Contests
We’ve previously written about the importance of entering writing contests. If you win, it can help you gain exposure as a writer. If you don’t it helps you to get past the hurdle of finishing, editing, proofreading, and polishing your work for submission, which will help you in the long run. Don’t be afraid of rejection. It’s part of the territory. Many amazing writers have been rejected hundreds of times before someone takes notice.
Join or Start a Writers’ Group
Participating in a writing class, attending a writing workshop/retreat, or joining (or starting) a local writers’ group can be a great motivator. While writing is often viewed as a solitary endeavor, it can be helpful to be around people who can provide support. These types of activities can really help get the juices flowing, provide ideas for how to keep it going, and provide camaraderie for like-minded writers. It can also help you with your accountability to your writing when you have other people looking over your shoulder. The support you find could be immeasurable.
As writers, writing – whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, a children’s book, a young adult book, a novel, a volume of poems or short stories, a self-help book, a cookbook, or a business book – is something that we feel we need to do. Maybe it has been a long-time dream, maybe you’ve come up with a great idea that you want to share with the world, or maybe you want to promote your business. Whatever it is, you have an obligation to yourself to do it!
Remember, tomorrow is today!
SDP Publishing is currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!
SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!