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.
What resolutions have you made for your writing career for 2012? Do C.J.’s suggestions ring any bells with you?
On Wednesday, Harlequin Blaze author, Tawny Weber, shows us how to brainstorm with the best by asking “what if” and “why”.
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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