|Pic by David Harper|
Happy New Year!
“Start by doing what is necessary; then what is possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
That quote from St Francis is great advice for writers who are hungry for success. You can build on it by taking a long, hard look at what success means to you. Many writers expect to earn a million within a week of typing “The End” on their last page, and are crushed when it doesn’t happen. There’s no need to be disappointed. Reconsider what success means to you, and you’ll make the impossible a lot easier to achieve. Then you can work towards making 2015 your best writing year ever.
Here are some reasons to be cheerful…
1. Making the effort to get thousands of words down on paper, or up on a screen is an amazing achievement. Millions of people dream about writing a book, but aren’t brave enough to try. Some start, but don’t last the course. Think how you’d feel if this was the year you finished the story you’ve always wanted to write. Set aside some time each day, make a plan, and commit to making your dream come true. For hints and tips on writing, visit my website, and follow my series of blogs called The Birth of A Book (You can read Part One here)
1a. You can come back to this one when you’ve read Point 8, below!
2. If you’ve already written a book, getting it published is the next big hurdle. Whether you are accepted by a traditional publisher, or choose to publish it yourself, neither route is easy. If you send your work out into the world in 2015, you can be proud. If you rise to the challenges and manage to get into print, that’s a bonus.
4. Getting good reviews—with so many books on the market, catching a reviewer’s eye is very difficult. Get a friend to vet any reviews for your book in advance, in case reading a bad one scars you for life (it can happen). Your kind reader can strain any constructive criticism from one-star scaldings, and giving you the chance to up your game. Writers should never miss a chance to learn about their craft, and readers are the best teachers. Give them more of what they want to read, and both sides will be happy.
5. Your first royalty payment, no matter how small, will be another reason to get out and celebrate.
6. Covering your costs is good—if you do nothing more than that in 2015, you’ll have earned more than many self-published authors do.
7. Making any sort of profit at all is an amazing feat, and if you manage this, you’re a success (of course, if you really do make a million, you don’t need me to tell you that!). Don’t forget to squirrel half away somewhere safe in case of a tax-bill, or to create a contingency fund.
8. Finishing your second book is the success you should be aiming for from the time you’ve got to point 1a (see above). Writing books is a continuous process. As one book is finished, ideas for the next one should be jostling for writing-time. Make notes, and work on your next book while you’re working on the publication of your first.
Long before I had a contract for the first book in what became my Princes of Kharova series, His Majesty’s Secret Passion, I was already hard at work on the follow up, Her Royal Risk. That manuscript had a good title, as I was taking a risk the first book would be accepted. The idea for Her Royal Risk started with my Beta readers. They wanted to know what happened to the minor characters in His Majesty’s Secret Passion after the book ended, so I picked up on their interest and gave them what they asked for as soon as I could.
I was lucky: His Majesty’s Secret Passion will be published by Wild Rose Press within the next few weeks, and Her Royal Risk follows later this year. To be in on all the excitement, click “like” on my author page on Facebook, here, or follow me on Twitter.
Once again, Happy New year!