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at the Killer Nashville Conference surrounded by published authors and told my friend Nancy Naigle I was tired of being unpublished. I decided then and there to stop behaving as though I was unpublished.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.
Today—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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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:
Kelsey 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.
- Why You Should Pull Out the Manuscript Under Your Bed by Kelsey Browning
- 7 Weekly Steps to Becoming an Organized Writer with Kelsey Browning
- Kelsey Browning: 10 Tips for the Debut Author
- 8 Tips for a Successful Co-writing Partnership by Kelsey Browning
- Kelsey’s Teaching “Texas: A Whole Nother Country” in October