There’s no magic pill for being a successful writer. I’d like to think I’m a successful writer. Not only am I able to complete projects, but I keep my lights on by getting paid to write. So, here are a few awesome tips to tell you how I get it all done.
Manage your time wisely.
We are all busy, right? We all have lives to live, children to raise, errands to run, and jobs to work, because let’s face it, most people have 9-to-5s. Being busy is just an excuse not to write. Anything that you want to do takes time and dedication. Treat writing like a job: log your hours. Give yourself ‘writing hours’ as in a dedicated slot of time. As an example, every Monday, Thursday, and Friday, I will write from 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Set goals with deadlines.
If you don’t give yourself a timeframe, you will let the project linger on. Saying you want to finish your book by the end of the year is doable, but you have to set goals to hold yourself accountable for the time that passes. Breaking the process down makes being successful more realistic. Month one, have the goal of working on your outline and doing research. Month two, write two chapters. Got it? Good.
Find your writing happy place.
If you know me, you know I pair my writing with wine. In a writing happy place, you will be much more productive. Stephen King writes at night, in his office with all of the lights out. And it makes sense, right? Look at the type of horror he creates. Find out what works for you, be it a busy coffee shop or the back patio at home.
Complete your first draft.
Write, write, write, then edit. Editing as you go quickly gets you off task. You will also quickly lose your zeal for the project if you keep massaging what you’ve written before you are finished because it will feel like you are not making progress. Write first, edit later.
Develop thick skin.
Taking constructive criticism has always been hard for me; however, learning how to do so has been a bridge I needed to cross. Taking constructive criticism from those who are more well versed in the subject can offer more expertise, as well as give you a different way of viewing the topic. In author coaching, I show my clients how their writing can be more engaging.
Grow your team.
Beta readers (offer feedback and constructive criticism…the folks who tell you what you to hear), graphic artists (flyers and book covers), editor (ME!), other creatives (to bounce ideas off of, PR & Marketing (for effective marketing of your book, DUH!)
Love your readers.
These are the people who support you and make it possible for you to write more…especially for pay. When people tell me they read
my romance novel, Mask Off, I always, always, ALWAYS ask their opinions on certain instances or character actions. Yes, you are writing for yourself, but you are also writing for them.
Now, go forth and be successful!