Saturday, September 05, 2015

Propel Your Writing Forward This Fall

Monday is Labor Day and the official end to summer.  Do you want to move your writing to a new level of excellence and achievement? I want to give you five ways to propel your writing forward.

Attend A Writer's Conference

Thousands of submissions sit on the desk of editors and agents across the country. Which ones get moved forward and attention? Publishing is like any other business—and I've mentioned this before—it is connected to who you know as much as what you know. Yes, your writing has to be excellent and compelling but you can cut years off the process of getting published, if you know the right person. I did not exaggerate with that word years in the last sentence.

How do you find that right person to publish your material? It's almost impossible to do it just sitting at your computer. You need to get to a writers' conference and meet the right people. I understand your possible reluctance. Many writers are introvert and not eager to speak with people. You will need to step out of your comfort zone and make the effort to meet others. You can prepare by making some business cards with your photo, phone number, email and website. Then bring those cards to a conference.

Last week I booked my airline ticket and reserved my hotel room for Author 101 University next month in Los Angeles. This event is held twice a year and it is different from your typical writer's conference. The focus is entirely on different ways to market and sell your book. The faculty comes with diverse skills to help you in any area of writing. You will have many opportunties to talk with each of them—including me but you have to take action: register for the conference, reserve your hotel room and make plans to attend. To give you incentive, use this coupon code when you register and save $100: TERRY plus you can bring a friend for free. Now that is a bargain for every writer.

To learn more about Author 101 University, catch this free interview I did last month with Morgan James Publisher and founder of Author 101  Rick Frishman. The interview is now on replay and you will have instant access to the recording. Plus you can get the free Ebook, The Top Twenty Author Mistakes (and learn a great deal from reading this resource).

There are many great conferences. From my years in this business, I encourage you to make plans to attend  Author 101 University which is an excellent choice.

Join A Critique Group

If you have never been in a critique group or don't know how to find one, read this article. The necessity to write something for each meeting will move your writing forward and the feedback from others (outside of your family) will help you have more confidence in your writing and improve your writing skill. You can meet online or in person. I believe in person is much more profitable and better but I've heard of writers using either method effectively. The key is to take action and form a group or join a group already in progress.

Find An Accountability Partner

Who knows about your writing and cares about it that is in your immediate circle of friends or family? Can you speak with this person and ask them to hold you accountable for your writing and moving forward? It is a simple conversation but can be significant to gain someone else who knows about what you want to accomplish and move forward with your writing.

Set A Consistent Writing Goal

I've interviewed more than 150 bestselling authors. One habit which is consistent with these authors is a consistent writing goal. You can have a daily or weekly amount of words that you are going to produce. Keep that goal on a little post-it or in front of you so you regularly tackle it and hit it. Make sure you set something realistic that you can actually accomplish.  You will be shocked at how this consistent effort of writing will move your writing goals forward.

Form A New Habit

Finally I encourage you to take a hard look at your writing life and what you want to achieve. Is there a new habit you can add to your life which will help you achieve that goal? For example, if you write romance books, then you need to be regularly reading that genre. If you want to write magazine articles, then you need to be reading magazines. Fit this new habit into your life and it will move your writing forward.

These five ideas are nothing new and maybe you've heard them before. The key is to take consistent action and not let another month pass before you are moving forward with your writing life. Let me know how it is going and be encouraged.

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