Posted On August 26, 2013 by Print This Post

5 Secrets to Writing Success by Kelsey Browning

Welcome today to RU Founder Kelsey Browning! Make sure you visit her Debut Party Day She’s also doing a Sass Kickin’ Reader Basket Giveaway–today only–and an overall tour giveaway! (look for the links below!) And keep your hats on, because additionally, to one RU commenter, she’ll give away (US/Canada only) PAPERBACK – The Wanderer by Robyn Carr.

On this exact day one year ago, I was at the Killer Nashville Conference surrounded by published authors and told my friend Nancy Naigle I was tired of being unpublished. I decided then and there to stop behaving as though I was unpublished. It was time to square my shoulders, step up my game and—as us Texans would say—take the damn bull by the horns. So I submitted some of my early work to several publishers. By early September, one was interested in my small-town Texas contemporary series and by October, I’d been offered a contract on the series by another.

Personal Assets finalToday—365 days later—is the book birthday for Personal Assets, the first in my four-book Texas Nights series. Talk about the power of positive thinking!

But we all know it takes more than thoughts to get us where you want to go. It takes a plan, perseverance and several success secrets individual to each writer. Today, I want to share the five most important secrets to my writing success.

  1. Critique Partners/Plotting Group – Early in my writing career, I was fortunate enough to meet the right people by going to conferences and networking. Sometimes it seems like those folks fell into my lap, but the truth is I made the effort to reach out and follow up. And I didn’t have the luxury of doing this while living in the US. I built those relationships from thousands of miles away via phone and internet. My main critique partners are Tracey Devlyn, Adrienne Giordano and Jamie Farrell. My plotting group has also been instrumental for me because I’m a character-driven, rather than plot-driven, writer. Tracey and Adrienne are also my plotting buds, along with the amazing Theresa Stevens.
  2. The Artist’s Way – Folks close to me know I went through a couple of rough writing years. One of the most powerful tools I used to drag myself out of that funk was Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. Before my “Writer, Interrupted” time, I couldn’t imagine my creativity would ever poop out on me. Wrong! Even if you don’t need this book today, I highly recommend you have a copy on your bookshelf because sooner or later, you will need it. I recommend each of Cameron’s books, but TAW is the granddaddy of them all. From Cameron, I adopted the routine of Morning Pages, writing three long-hand pages in a spiral each morning, about anything and everything. I rarely start my day without this healing habit.
  3. Goals Check-in – I’m part of the Goals in a Month group (via Yahoo loop) created by Amy Atwell, which is a fabulous resource where writers state their goals each week and check in with the group the next. But I needed even more accountability, so I began corresponding with Rebecca J. Clark every week, which created a level of accountability that allowed me to produce more work.BlogTourBanner
  4. Objectivity of Writer-Gal Friends – I’m so fortunate to have amazing friends in this business. They listened to me whine and finally told me to pee or get off the pot. Either move forward or pack it up. They also told me what they loved about my writing and what needed work. Their honesty and patience and tough love have been critical to my progress.
  5. Twenty Minutes a Day – At one point, I was incredibly frustrated because I no longer had the long hours of writing time I’d once enjoyed. I had moved across the globe, was single parenting, becoming reacclimatized with life in the US and had a bazillion other reasons I thought I didn’t have enough time to write. But at some point, I hit on the idea that no day was so busy that I couldn’t squeeze in 20 minutes of writing time. Words on the page time. Guess what? I can normally draft 350-500 words in 20 minutes. Holy crap! Eureka! I also discovered that even if I have no idea what I’m going to write and I’m scared crapless by that empty page, I can do anything for 20 minutes. This habit helped immeasurably in the past year when we moved across country, began training a service puppy and homeschooling my son. Is it a coincidence I signed a four-book contract, delivered two books and co-wrote another within that same year? Absolutely not. Now, I use my 20-minute timer to keep me on track with not only my writing but other projects as well (in fact, I’m using it now to draft this blog post!).

***

I have several other success secrets in my closet, but these are the big five. Tell me, what are the secrets to your success?

Join us tomorrow for Making the Transition from Digital to Print with Author Sophie Barnes

***

Personal Assets:

Sex therapist Allie Shelby has the professional credentials, but she could use a bit more practical experience. Finding the right man to bring out her inner bad girl is tough in a population-challenged Texas town. So when sinfully sexy Cameron Wright rolls back into Shelbyville, Allie wastes no time inviting him to join her in some hands-on research.

But while her personal life heats up, Allie’s business is about to crash and burn. And she has to convince Cameron that she’s one princess who’s not looking for a prince to ride to her rescue.

Find Personal Assets at your favorite book retailer:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Bio:

Kelsey Browning - HeadshotKelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ love stories full of hot heroes, saucy heroines and spicy romance. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a Canine Companions for Independence puppy. She’s currently at work on the next book in her Texas Nights series and The Granny Series. Give her a shout at Kelsey@KelseyBrowning.com or drop by www.KelseyBrowning.com. For info on her upcoming releases, subscribe to her Sass Kickin’ News.

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Discussion

28 Responses to “5 Secrets to Writing Success by Kelsey Browning”

  1. Morning Kelsey!

    Isn’t it just a squee moment to see your book up here on RU???? I just smiled the first time I saw it….so happy for you! I’m glad you’ve pushed through and came out a writer on the other side.

    Best of luck in sales!

    carrie
    (ps, I’m totally stealing the 20 min timer idea!)

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 26, 2013, 6:54 am
    • Thanks a ton, Carrie! Please do steal the 20-minute timer idea. Nancy and I used it to draft In For a Penny – the first Granny Series book coming out in November. It’ll help your back and hip if you’ll stick to it and get up from your chair after every sprint.

      Let me know how it works for you.

      And thanks for letting my share my debut release day with the RU Crew!

      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 26, 2013, 7:43 am
  2. Congrats, Kelsey! Positive thinking is very powerful indeed. That shift from feeling like a victim of one’s circumstances to the master of our own destiny gives us the courage to do things we previously wouldn’t.

    Thank you for sharing your attitude change, along with the practical steps required to make your dream a reality. So happy for you!

    Posted by Reese Ryan | August 26, 2013, 7:36 am
    • Reese –

      Thanks for all your support of RU and me!

      I’ve found sometimes it takes an outside perspective to make a change. Others believe in us in a way we don’t always believe in ourselves. My friend Nan helped bring that back to me last year. It was a boost I sorely needed.

      Isn’t it amazing to see how far the writers we “grew up with” have come?

      Kels

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 26, 2013, 7:44 am
  3. Oh, what an awesome happy day this is!! Kels, congrats on seeing your first book published. I have happy tears in my eyes, because I’m so darn proud of you.

    I share many of the same writing success secrets as you. The one that’s kept me going though is perseverance/determination. Plus, a writer has to be able to shut out all the white noise and simply write. In the end, writing is the most important part of the whole process.

    Big sloppy hugs,
    Tracey

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | August 26, 2013, 8:01 am
    • Trace –

      Tons of noise today, so I know there will be little, if any, words written today. But I figure debut day is a teensy exception :-).

      Thanks for sticking with me all this time. I wouldn’t be here without my very best buds!

      Mwah!
      K-

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 26, 2013, 8:32 am
  4. Super excited for you today, Kelsey!! :)

    (And thanks for the reminder about those twenty minutes. Need to start doing that again!)
    -j

    Posted by Jamie Farrell | August 26, 2013, 10:46 am
  5. Thanks for a great post, Kelsey! I hope you are having a big celebration for your release day! I’m in Portland, Oregon for my son’s wedding – I don’t know how much reading time I’ll have, but your book is on my Must Read list!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 26, 2013, 12:46 pm
  6. Hi Kelsey,

    Love your twenty minutes a day jot time. Congratulations on your debut! Hopping over to Amazon to buy your book.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | August 26, 2013, 12:56 pm
  7. Congratulations! What a great day. I use the 20-minute trick often–call them fire drills–best ever cure for writers block or dithering. (I’m a great dither-er.) Also works for cleaning out closets.

    Posted by Susan in TX | August 26, 2013, 2:17 pm
    • Susan –

      You are so right. And it’s amazing how much you can accomplish in 20 minutes, isn’t it? I’m tons more productive on days I use my timer. It also keeps me from getting sidetracked on social media. When 20 minutes is up, I have to get off Facebook or whatever.

      Thanks for stopping by today!
      Kelsey

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 26, 2013, 3:22 pm
  8. Congrats, Kelsey! I’m so thrilled for you. I feel like I’ve gotten to watch all of you ladies as you’ve climbed the ladder of success — and it’s been really exciting. Enjoy your debut day!

    Posted by Donna Cummings | August 26, 2013, 4:09 pm
  9. Release day! Wahoo! I’m so thrilled and excited for you. It’s a proud day.

    The one thing I’ve forced myself to do is to write for at least an hour each day BEFORE I open my email or get on the internet. If I put in the hour, I usually get on a roll and will be able to pound out some extra words. If I get distracted though, I’m done for.

    Happy release day! Celebrate and enjoy the ride!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 26, 2013, 4:17 pm
    • A –

      Yeah – after this release, I need to re-prioritize my day again. When I write first, I can usually hit 2-3k a day. When I don’t, it’s more like 1500.

      Thanks for sharing this wild ride with you. You’re the best!
      K-

      Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 26, 2013, 5:00 pm
  10. Congrats on your success! When I’m writing a book I make sure to stay in it by writing a little bit every day even if I’m editing another one. If you leave it alone for too long it’s like you have to re-kindle the flame. Lol, too much work. I’ve definitely used the timer before and can attest to the fact that it works especially for someone like me with ADD.

    Posted by Maria | August 26, 2013, 6:13 pm
  11. (This was sent earlier today)

    Hello

    I love this blog post. Congrats on your book deal.
    How can we join the monthly goal group or start one of our own?

    Love
    Priya

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 26, 2013, 6:58 pm
  12. Hi Kelsey,

    Excellent advice and great cover!

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | August 27, 2013, 8:06 pm
  13. Just popping in to say Susan in TX won the Robyn Carr book. Susan, if you’ll email me with your snail mail addy, I’ll get that out to you!

    Kelsey@KelseyBrowning.com

    Thanks!
    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 29, 2013, 6:51 am
  14. I’m a little late to the party, but just wanted to say hello. I’m so proud of you and how far you’ve come in this past year. I’m happy I could be a very, very small part of your success.

    :)Becky

    Posted by Rebecca J. Clark | August 30, 2013, 11:17 pm
  15. Hi Kelsey!

    Been reading your book series Texas Nights and sounds cool that you’re only spending 20 minutes a day on it!

    Keep it up!

    Meghan :)

    Posted by Meghan Kaye | September 9, 2013, 9:43 pm

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