Over the last few months, I have been doing some coaching one-on-one with aspiring authors. At some stage or another, each one has said exactly the same thing to me: It’s a lot harder than I realised - how did you write three books in three years? And the answer is always the same: one word at a time.
The hard truth is, there are no short cuts to writing a book. You can dream, outline, research, and organize forever but ultimately, it’s a case of typing a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter until you write those magical words, The End.
If you’re serious about seeing your name in bookshops and libraries, then the new year can be an ideal time to re-commit to your writing goals. Here are a few resolutions to put into practise.
1. I will show up for my writing sessions
It’s not enough to plan your writing sessions in your calendar, you need to show up for them. Treat each one as a meeting with your most important client - you wouldn’t dream of standing them up so allow yourself the same courtesy.
2. I will find a writing partner or group
One of the biggest challenges for new writers is working in isolation – i.e., not having anyone to bounce ideas off. A writing partner or group can help in multiple ways by adding a fun social element, being able to discuss and share your work, and having someone hold you accountable.
3. I will read widely
Reading broadens your vocabulary, showcases different narrative structures, and generally provides inspiration. Plus, it’s incredibly enjoyable! Make sure to go beyond your usual genre and favourite author – you will always learn something.
4. I will ask for help when I need it
Not sure if the market needs another historical fiction novel? Want to know if your idea about a family of talking horses is worth pursuing? Need to find a specific type of beta reader? Don’t know where to start when looking for literary agents? You’d be surprised just how willing authors are to share their expertise so always reach out. I’m available to take any questions you have here.
5. I will put aside time to learn the craft
Every week, I make sure I have scheduled some time to learn more about writing which could be anything from reading a blog post to taking an online class. Even just an hour a week will significantly improve your writing skills and you’ll see a marked improvement in your work. If you have the time, a writing course is always useful and Kick Start Your Book is currently on sale. Check it out here.
RELATED POST: 8 Easy Ways To Improve Your Writing
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What writing resolutions do you need to commit to?