Sunday, September 23, 2018

How To Get It Done

Life is full and complicated for every writer. We have spouses and children and grandchildren and pets and extended family. There are interruptions and unexpected things which happen. In this article, I want to give you some ideas about how to get it done. 

Admittedly in publishing there is a lot to do—writing the work is a challenge, finding a publisher, then getting it into the market and on-going marketing. Every aspect of the business involves effort and work. Many of the aspects are routine and involve simply siting at your keyboard and moving your fingers. I don't want to be too simplistic but getting the ideas out of your head is often the first active step in the process.

On the surface, people look at my work and believe I must be doing something different. I've written more than 60 books for traditional publishers (and in many different types—but all nonfiction). I've also written for more than 50 print magazines (stopped counting at 50). Plus I'm now working in acquisitions at my third publishing house. I'm blessed to have great opportunities (which I try and seize) and I continually work at growing my relationships.

First, let me give you basic truth about how to get it done. There are many things which are not getting done in the process of getting something done. I have my own share of unanswered emails, unreturned phone calls, Things around the house to fix or clean…..the list goes on and on. No one gets it all done—even if they look like they are getting it done.

How do you get things done? Several things:

1. Baby steps and continually pushing ahead with your writing—in spite of what else is going on in your life.

2. Persistent and continual knocking on new doors of opportunity. I've written about this in the past and it's the need of every writer. When you aren't writing for magazines and the book contracts have stopped, take a minute and think about why this is happening. Are you still writing query letters and pitching your ideas to editors? Are you writing book proposals and pitching those new ideas? If not, maybe that is the reason.

3. As you have ideas, consistently take action on these ideas. For example, today I was scanning through my news feed on Facebook. I noticed one of my Morgan James authors talking about how her book will make a great Christmas present. It was a terrific action on her part—which linked to her book on Amazon. I clicked the link and noticed this book had one Amazon review. This book came out four years ago—the same year as my Billy Graham biography, which just went over 100 Amazon reviews). I reached out to this author on email, complementing her on the marketing effort—and giving a number of other ideas of what can do to improve. I may or may not hear from this author but I had some ideas and took action on them.

Also maybe you've seen my little personal campaign to get over 100 reviews on Amazon. It happened and I'm grateful for everyone who helped me. I blogged. I emailed (individually and on my email list). I called people and any other way I could to get to this number. My point is it did not happen organically or naturally or without any effort.

Nothing happens without your taking action and responsibility. You can do many things in the publishing world but your action will be the difference maker in this process. If I can help you in this process, my work contact information is on the bottom of the second page of this link.

What steps do you take to get it done? Let me know in the comments below.


If you feel overwhelmed about your writing, get ideas and encouragement here. (ClickToTweet)

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