We are all looking for our path to success, but our paths are drastically different. We all don’t get to success the same way, and we don’t all identify success in the same manner.
In my years of reading about marketing and writing, the same questions pop up, and by answering these two questions, it makes us better able to plan our writing careers. In fact, the answers to these two questions are vital in making important decisions in our publishing journeys.
Last week, I posed these two questions to members in my writers’ group. They have a month to think over the answers, but I’ve been thinking about my answers for much longer.
I keep thinking I should be making a list of things to do or setting goals as we look down the barrel at 2016, but I’m not sure what they would contain other than what I already have on the wall behind my laptop.
Back in October, I spent several weeks rewriting my business plan. This is something every self-published, freelance writer should have. Writing is a business, and creating a plan puts things into perspective and helps plan for the future.
Can you believe it’s already February 8th? Where is winter going so fast? And where is all the work I had planned to finish in that first long, glorious month of the year?
Sadly, I had lost focus on my fantasy novel, Shadows in the Stone, and worked on it very little during the first 31 days of 2012. I could beat myself up about it, but instead, I think I’ll lay down the law. This always works better for me, and it’ll force me to think about that looming deadline when my novel goes to print.
It’s easy to write a novel. Just ask anyone who hasn’t written one. They’ll tell you when they retire, they’ll write one and published it. They say this with such ease you’d think it was as simple as rising in the morning and dressing. After all, everyone who can put a few words on paper can write, so they’d be able to string together a few thousand words and write a novel. No problem.
And it isn’t a problem until they sit down to begin that first chapter.
I love rambling along the garden path but a list reminds me I have important things to do.
More than a dozen years ago while taking a break from installing vinyl siding on a building we were renovating on the Shearwater Air Force Base, I took out a list I was following. Another worker – the fellow who amazed me by driving his motorcycle ten months of the year – leaned over and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was checking my weekly list.
He chuckled and said, “I used to make lists, but I’d never follow them. I’d have to make a note to remind me to look at the list.”
To this day I think about his comment every time I make a new list. He was right in many ways. People make lists all the time only to forget about them the moment they’ve been made. I’m guilty of that. I’ve made many lists over the years that were useless, useless in the fact that I didn’t follow them.
Still, it doesn’t mean lists are useless. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes the things on the list weren’t as important as first believed.
In fact, lists are very important to me. They remind me of what I need to do. Without them, I ramble, dilly-dally, believing there’s nothing important to do, and I daydream, wondering what I might do.
Sometimes it takes a few weeks for me to realise I’ve been without a list for too long. It’s when it suddenly occurs to me that nothing is done on an assignment and the deadline is fast approaching, or a project I intended to start was forgotten about.
Making a list of things to do gets me moving forward. I check them off when completed, and if I finish the list, I feel as though I’ve accomplished something.
Do you find yourself floundering, wondering why you can’t get things done? Then maybe a list will help you get back on track.
Goals trigger actions. This year, one of my goals is to begin a blog. So here I am . . . my first step in Blogland. I’m not exactly sure what I’ll write about but many things come to mind. Although I am a writer in the heart, a dreamer in the soul, I’ve experienced many things over the years and held many positions in the workforce. All those floors I’ve mopped and seedlings I’ve planted seem necessary to create the characters in my stories.
But first, let me introduce myself.
I’m Diane Lynn Tibert, native of Cole Harbour, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Canada. My roots have grown in this soil for more than 250 years and stretch across the Atlantic to Scotland, England, Ireland and Germany.
I’ve been a writer my entire life even when I didn’t know it. The earliest stories were created in grade one. I’d write about the adventures my friends and I enjoyed in the woods surrounding our homes. By the time I was in grade three, my friend, Beverley Davis, and I were writing plays in Campfire Notebooks. I’m not sure how many we filled, and I don’t know what happened to them, but for one day, I wish I could sit and read them.
High school was a mix of homework, hanging out with friends and writing novels. Back then, I dreamt of getting published but was terrified to share my writing with anyone. After graduation, physical work consumed my days, and years passed before I realised the many jobs that never satisfied me were simply keeping me from what I truly needed to do: write.
My first piece, an article about gardening, appeared in 1998. Since then, my by-line has appeared hundreds of times in newspapers and magazines. My interests have changed over the years but the nice thing about writing is that regardless of how I feel, what I’m doing or where I’m at in life, I can write about it. Just as I can’t remember when the spark of writing began in my life, neither can I see the spark fading. It is one constant in life I can always turn to.
My blog will be about writing, the writing world and whatever inspires me to do what I do within that world. The writing business is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. Just when you think you know enough to get it right, you learn you need to know more. Then you learn you must unlearn things taught to you while in school – how crazy is that?
So here’s the newest blogget’s first footprint in Blogland. I hope the weather is . . . unpredictable.