Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Professional Writing Is About Forward Thinking

As we start into the New Year, this is the time when most people start making resolutions. Personally, I am not a big fan of these, simply because they tend to be rushed and often are poorly planned. As an author, however, forward thinking is always something that should be on your mind. Sitting back and waiting for something to happen is not going to be that proactive.

One of the biggest issues I see with authors is a lack of "wanting to start something new until..." That until is always pretty open for interpretation. Until we hear back from X. Until we see the sales figures. Until the critique partners review it. Until I hear back from that contest. Using that approach is a great way to stall your writing career. While one project is out there circulating among the editors and agents, you should be well along with a new project.

Now, I understand what many say. "But that new project is the sequel to the first one! If the first one doesn't sell, what do I do with this one?" The answer is simple. Don't write the next book as a sequel. This is something I tell a lot of writers. Sure a series is great IF that first book does well, but for new writers, I recommend just working on projects that are not connected with each other. If there is a way to make one of those books into a series, then great! But, don't spend the time on that early on.

Editors and agents want to see a constant flow of writing. This gives them opportunities to continually promote your writing, to have things available when special projects come up, or even when there is a new line launched. We never really know when things like this will happen and it is always great to be prepared.

I do understand that some of you out there cannot think of more than one project at a time. I am in no way suggesting to write multiple stories at one time, but to have an idea of other projects. During those times when you have a break in that current work in progress, take the time to jot down other ideas. Keep that list going and keep it fresh.

So your job today is to create a plan for this year. Plan on when you will have each book finished. Plan on dates for rough drafts, when they will be sent to your editor or agent, if you have one, or when you will send those submissions out. Plan ahead if you are going to submit to national contest. Plan on which conferences you are going to attend. The odds are, 2017 could be a great year for you!~

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