Posted On January 2, 2012 by Print This Post

C.J. Redwine: New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

C.J. Redwine returns today with a blog picture perfect for starting 2012 off right!

New Year’s Resolutions For Writers

It’s the time of year when many of us make shiny New Year’s Resolutions designed to help us achieve our personal and professional goals. I don’t know what your professional goals are for 2012, but I do know several habits that will help put you on the road to a successful writing career.

1. Don’t query too soon It’s so exciting to type The End. You’ve finished a manuscript. You’re sure this is THE ONE. And you can’t wait to query so you can bring yourself one step closer to publication. Here’s the truth: No manuscript is ready to be viewed by a professional until it’s had some time to marinate. Put it aside for a month. Send it to trusted critique partners. Let the story play around in the back of your mind while you catch up on all the laundry you didn’t do while you were drafting. And then dive back in for a hard-nosed edit. Trust me. You want your manuscript in the best shape possible before you query.

2. Read more: The more we write, the less time we have to read. But reading is important. For one, it helps you remain aware of what’s out there. For another, it feeds your creativity and teaches you craft. I read a book a week. If I’m drafting, I read books that are dissimilar to the one I’m writing. That way, I inspire my creativity without worrying I’ll accidentally allow a book to influence the world I’m building.

3. Eyes on your own test paper: Stop comparing your career to everyone else’s. You can always find someone who seems more successful and someone who hasn’t made it to where you are yet, but what’s the point? To torture yourself because so –and-so got a three book deal and you’re still waiting to hear back on your submissions? Every career is unique. Focus on the things you can control and let go of the rest.

4. Be kind: Support your fellow authors. Cheer others on. Help publicize the books you love. Sow seeds of kindness wherever you go, whether others deserve it or not. No one ever regrets being nice.

5. Push yourself: Let this be the year you dare to do more. Write more. Finish a project. Take on the story you think is too big for you. Bring your voice to the next level. Network with others even though you’d rather hide in a hole. Try new things. Read new things. Write new things. Without risk, there is little reward.

 

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What resolutions have you made for your writing career for 2012? Do C.J.’s suggestions ring any bells with you?

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On Wednesday, Harlequin Blaze author, Tawny Weber,  shows us  how to brainstorm with the best by asking “what if” and “why”.

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Bio:
C.J. Redwine‘s debut YA fantasy DEFIANCE, the story of a girl who escapes her cloistered city to rescue her father and finds heartbreak, danger, and a new romance, comes out Fall 2012 from Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins. When C.J. isn’t putting her characters in danger or running after her four children, she creates tools designed to help other writers master the craft of synopsis and query writing. For more information on C.J., her books, or her writer’s tools, visit http://cjredwine.blogspot.com.

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Discussion

13 Responses to “C.J. Redwine: New Year’s Resolutions for Writers”

  1. Morning, C.J.!

    I’m so behind in setting my 2012 goals. Arghh! What I do know is that I’ll be pushing myself toward a particular daily word count. That’s my main goal. Also, I plan to enjoy (almost) every moment of this year. LOL

    Tracey

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | January 2, 2012, 7:39 am
  2. I’m writing up my goals now. I love your last point – push yourself. I plan to write 4 books this year and read more books on craft.

    Happy New Year!

    Posted by Robin Covington | January 2, 2012, 7:45 am
  3. Hi CJ,

    Push and read. I like them.

    Thanks,

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | January 2, 2012, 9:44 am
  4. Yes, I think pushing ourselves and reading more are absolutely essential regardless of our individual goals. :)

    Posted by C.J. Redwine | January 2, 2012, 9:55 am
  5. Boy, I can relate to this. Number one has been a problem in the past. The more I let this one marinate, the more things I found that I needed to change/fix. I just completed round three of revisions. I THINK it’s ready to go now. Once I complete the synopsis, that is.

    As to number 2, I should probably read less and write more. I LOVE to read, and it’s always a tug-of-war between working on my WIP or working my way through the TBR pile!

    Happy New Year – I’ve got to get back to the darn synopsis!

    Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | January 2, 2012, 10:32 am
  6. Hi, CJ –

    Welcome to 2012! I plan to spend some time on my yearly goals this week, but I do know a couple of the big ones will be personal, so I can shed some baggage (literal and figurative) I’ve been hauling around for the past few years. No, it’s not specifically writing-related, but I’m optimistic it will lead to more clarity in my writing career.

    Have a great new year!
    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | January 2, 2012, 10:33 am
  7. Morning C.J.

    I’m one who needs to keep my eyes on my own homework. I work at a speed different to others, sometimes banging out two chapters in a day, sometimes nothing for a week. Comparing myself to those who write full-time is definitely a downer! but I do read, every single day, and try to read a craft book once a month as well. I’ll definitely push myself a bit more this year too!

    Thanks for posting with us today!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | January 2, 2012, 10:39 am
    • Well, I look at it this way. Nora Roberts writes 5 completed drafts in a year. And she’s a best seller. J.K. Rowling wrote one completed draft every 2 years. (Except the first one which took her five years) And she didn’t do too badly either. Your process is your process.

      Posted by C.J. Redwine | January 2, 2012, 10:51 am
  8. This is such a great list, CJ! I’m working on my 2012 goals, so this is perfect.

    Posted by Laurie London | January 2, 2012, 4:11 pm

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