Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Plans for The New Year

As we begin a New Year, many people are making resolutions, setting goals and plans for the year ahead. I'm right there with you and in this article, I'm going to layout some of my personal plans. I hope you will find some insights and inspiration for your own writing life. Instead of resolutions or goals, I have six areas with actions in each area to highlight.

1. Take Responsibility for My Own Success.

I've mentioned this aspect a number of times in these articles. Over the holidays a long-time publishing friend sent me a letter addressed to marketers. This author has written a number of books with traditional publishers. His concern is one I've heard many times from writers (and I've voiced myself in the past). The publisher has marketing departments and why aren't they marketing. He's a writer and he does not want to be turned into a marketer. He doesn't want to blog or tweet or Facebook or _____ to market his book. He wants to be left to his writing craft. The letter is laced with frustration. I hear it—yet it is not reality of today's book market.

Here's a dose of reality according to my friend Penny Sansevieri, currently there are at least 4,500 books published every day. As an author, how are you going to break through that noise and actually sell books (succeed)? It will not happen trying to pass the responsibility to someone else (like a marketing department). It happens by taking responsbility for your own success (the first principle of the bestselling The Success Principles from Jack Canfield). I've mentioned Canfield and Victor Hansen's Rule of Five. You may not commit to five actions but what can you do and do it consistently? I'm committed to consistently working at my own success.

2. Re-commit to being a good communicator and writer.

As an editor and writer, I work in the communication business. Even on the holiday with my publisher “closed,” I've been answering a few emails and writing my authors and others. It's a chronic problem throughout the industry: silence. I'm again committed to solid customer service. Yes it takes effort but is well worth it in my view and helps me stand out in a crowded market.

3. Continue my own spiritual development.

While I've rarely written about it in this blog, you can tell from my list of published books and the type of books that I write, I'm a Christian. (Read here for the story of my life change). For many years, I've been reading through the Bible (cover to cover). I select different versions and tools for this reading but I've made another commitment to read through the Bible again during the coming year. These few moments each day feed into my spiritual development and life.

4. Continue my own personal growth.

I often write about different books or online courses or audios or other ways that I'm developing as a writer and communicator. This week I purchased a simple cord to connect my iPhone to the audio system in my car. I download the free audio book through Overdrive and can play the book over my car speakers. I'm constantly learning something new and applying it to my daily life. I hope you will do the same.

5. Continue working on my own health.

Each of us have a finite number of days on the earth and as a writer and editor, I spent a great deal of time sitting (not moving). For over a year, I ignored exercise and my weight showed it. In the last few months, I've recommitted to working on my health (good eating but also consistent exercise). It's not easy and consumes time from other things but is a priority for me (and hopefully for you).

6. Continued commitment to helping others (including you).

As we close out 2015 and begin 2016, I have the continued commitment to teach others what I'm learning about the publishing world. It's been the focus of The Writing Life for years and also my free teleseminars, my personal teaching at conferences, my books and other ways I'm helping like through my tweets. This commitment will continue. In the last couple of days, I reworked and updated my Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. Now this resource is ready to help you and others in the days ahead.

I hope these plans have encouraged you to take action in your writing life. The days ahead will be bright and full of hope. Here's to an exciting New Year.

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