I blasted into 2014 with a vengeance and that was my plan. I had some professional shakeups in 2013 but it was all for the better and I looked forward to moving on. I wanted to share what I am doing personally and the changes I’ve made to become reborn as a writer. Some are minor, some major, but all of them are changes I needed to make to become the best writer (and person) I can be.
These are not guidelines or tips anyone has to follow, but I’m simply sharing what I’m doing and how I’ve changed things for myself so that others might find inspiration. Remember, we all have our own paths to take, but it can be so rewarding to take a step back and implement changes. It can bring happiness and fulfillment for not just writers but people in general.
Below are things I am doing now that contribute to my rebirth:
Gearing up Production
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions but mine for 2014 was production and so far I am living up to my goal. Since late 2013, I’ve completed eight books. All of these are novellas of around 25,000-30,000 words. These books are in two different series. So far, two of these have been released and the rest will come out in upcoming months. At the rate things are going, I will have a new release around every month or every two months depending on the publishers’ scheduling. I’m a writing machine. I always took writing seriously, but I am even more committed to it now than before. One thing that’s helped me is outlining. I used to always write down scenes for my stories but now I outline my work from beginning to end before it’s written. That saves me writing time as well as editing time. The more I outline, the faster I finish books. I love it and I know this will all pay off.
I used to kill myself promoting my books, but after years of doing that I realize promotion (from authors) is overrated. The trick is not how much promotion but what type of promotion. You can do all the promotion in the world, but you can’t force people to buy your work even when you do all the right things. I’ve learned (and been told by a few NYT bestselling authors) that writing more books is how you capture and keep your audience. It seems like authors forget that writing is the most important thing, not sitting on a social network all day. Times have changed since Facebook and Twitter became popular. There are so many authors trying to promote online that voices get lost. These days I do the most effective but minimal promotion I can do because the best promotion is creating new books!
I’ve been pulling away from FB for a while but now I’m done with it for good. I am still on there but I only plan to pop on to share info about new releases. I don’t plan to socialize or hang out there anymore. Facebook used to be a fun place but there are too many negatives in my opinion. I’m a positive person and I always try to be, but lately FB has been the devil to me. I find myself feeling anxious, jealous, or depressed when I get on there. I also don’t like the clique environment that’s rampant in the writing circles, especially in many of the book groups. There is always some hostility or drama on Facebook and that’s not what I like to be around. FB was screwing up my outlook, psyche, and it just wasn’t worth it. The funny thing is that many of my author friends have pulled away and only pop on once-in-a-while too. I see why. When something is causing negative thoughts or not fulfilling you then I feel like it’s time to move on. I want to concentrate on things that benefit me and FB doesn’t do that.
Writing for Digital Presses
I’ve started writing for digital romance presses and I am really enjoying the experience. I’m pleased with the houses I’m working with right now, and going from print houses to e-publishers has been great for my workload. I need a publisher that can keep up with me because I write fast. Another thing I like about digital presses is that you are only contracted to one book or series. They don’t hold you to any rights grabs of any other work so you can sub to as many houses as you want and have multiple books with several places. These days, authors should not have their eggs in one basket.
Stop Worrying About Sales and Rankings
This is about the worst and most unproductive thing a writer can do so I no longer do it. My plan is to check every once in a while, but not all the time. Hanging on to every sale or watching your ranking or trying to see how many reviews you have is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. It doesn’t matter! Sitting there watching these things will make you depressed and angry then you won’t want to write. My advice to all those obsessive authors (which is most of us) who do this, stop. Don’t even pay it any attention. Focus on writing which is something you can control.
Well, these are some of the steps I’m taking on my rebirth journey. I feel more alive than I have in a while. I feel like I did when I first started writing professionally years ago. I don’t know how things are going in everyone’s world but if any of the things I’ve shared today have brought you some insight, I’m glad.
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