Friday, December 26, 2008

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for Writers

This time of year my thoughts always turn to what I did (or didn't) accomplish in the last year, and how, with a fresh start ahead, I can be more productive in the New Year. While I was pondering my New Year's writing resolutions, I found this great article that sums it up perfectly! If I only get to #1, I'll be doing great! May this New Year hold many opportunities for the writer in you.

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions For Writers
By Joanna Penn

1. Write more. Find the time to invest in your writing. There is a myth of creativity that you need the perfect time and space to create perfect words. But you write about real life, so find time in your real life to write. "Write at the edges of the day" - Toni Morrison, author of "Beloved"

2. Finish the project. One finished book is worth more than 20 just started ones. Make an effort to finish the project this year, whether it is a book, an article, a story for the kids. Complete the project and then sit back and be proud of what you have accomplished.

3. Create an online presence as an author. You have to have a presence on the internet now so that people can find you and your work. You can have a static one page website, or a daily blog, or an author page on Amazon, or a Squidoo lens. The list is endless, but you need something. Learn how you can do this and get it done.

4. Take a course and improve your writing. Kaizen is continuous improvement and this is as important in your writing as it is in the rest of your life. Learning the craft never stops, so take time out to improve your writing skills. Take a course, read a book, or get a mentor.

5. Get out of your comfort zone and try a different form of writing. Have you been cruising along in your genre for too long? If you are a fiction writer, try writing a "How To" article. If you write technical non-fiction, try poetry or dialogue. Do something that scares you in a literary sense. You never know what you'll find!

6. Use your book to create multiple streams of income. A print book is not the way to become a millionaire. Take the time this year to create other streams of income from your book. Record it as an audio and sell it as mp3 files for the iPod. Create a PDF and sell it as an ebook online. Submit it to Kindle and sell as an ebook on Oprah's favourite ebook reader. Break it down into chunks and sell it as an eclass, or as a workbook. Create a spin off book and upsell people so they buy 2 products. Present it as a course and record it on video so you can sell it as a DVD.

7. Connect with other authors and find your community. Web 2.0 is all about social networking and there are multiple sites where you can find people to network with, as well as market to. Try the biggest sites like Facebook and mySpace first, and then branch out into GoodReads, Authors Den, LibraryThing and Squidoo. There are also lots of smaller networking sites at

8. Learn about Publishing 2.0 new technologies and expand your education about writing. If you don't read blogs about writing and you don't use RSS, you need to educate yourself. The internet is packed with information that can help you develop your skills and sell more books, but you need to stay up to speed. Learn how to use Google Reader and start subscribing to interesting blogs.

9. Market your books and yourself as an author. Web 2.0 sites and an internet presence is one way to get started, but you need a continued effort to market your books and yourself as an author. Make a marketing plan early on and stick to it. Include goals such as: Submit an article a month to EzineArticles, Post comments on the top blog in my genre with linkbacks to my website, Spend 1 hour per week surfing blogs and the internet for information about my genre.

10. Enjoy the journey, not just the end result. Remember that writing never stops, neither does marketing nor sales. Don't get carried away with being focussed on making X amount of sales. Remember to look out the window, go for a walk, hug your partner and read trashy fiction for fun in the hammock on a Sunday afternoon. The journey is why we do it, not the end result.

Joanna Penn is Director of The Creative Penn - Writing, self-publishing, print-on-demand, internet sales and marketing...for your book.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Julie - thanks for picking up the article! Great to see you are a childrens writer - have a happy new year and all the best for writing in 2009!

    Thanks,Joanna - Writing, self-publishing, print-on-demand, internet sales and promotion...for your book