I don't know about you, but I need a great big gulp of fresh 2014 air!
And let's all say this together (okay, you don't have to say it out loud):
It's a Brand New Year of Beginnings!
Got that list of resolutions chiseled in stone yet? Penciled in?
How about thinking of what you need to work on this year?
I'll share some of my own here and I hope you leave yours in the comments below. Between us, we should see that no matter where we are on this writing - for - publication journey, we can support each other.
1. Exercise somehow, someway, for some amount of time EVERY day. Why you ask? Isn't it important to sit my butt in the chair with my fingers on the keyboard every day? Well of course it is! But... how many of us battle carpal tunnel, sore shoulders and neck tension, headaches, and weight gain?
*raising my hand here*
One of the best courses I took last year was Tiffany Lawson's From Madness to Method with Margie Lawson University... and guess what Lesson 1 was?
Relaxation Exercises ala Method Acting classes to get the blood moving, the brain oxygenated, and muscles (physical AND writing) relaxed!
Do yourself a HUGE favor and put it down on your daily to-do list. Get in the pool (my favorite), on the bike, or walk outside in the fresh air. Keep some light barbells nearby while writing so you're flexing some muscle while plotting. Sit on an exercise ball and work your balance. You'll feel better - especially at the end of the day!
2. Now... BICHOK and write every day! Kelly Stone's 90 Day Writing Challenge started yesterday. Check in to post your daily tally, your goals, whatever you wish for support and accountability. We've all heard it again and again - there's no fixing a blank page.
3. Take a writing class, join a writer's support group, plan to attend a writers' conference.
Yes. All three. It's not as hard or expensive as you may think. Let's break it down:
There are writing classes all over the internet, from the above mentioned Margie Lawson courses ($$$$) to free fiction classes on ITunes U.
Wazzat? You haven't heard of ITunes U?
Neither had I until I programmed one of my many techie gifts and found it.
And in between...? Savvy Authors... RWA University... Romance University... Women on Writing (WOW) ... Candace Havens' Writing Workshop on Yahoo loops... Rachelle Gardner's blog....
And don't forget twitter chats with agents and editors!
Writer's support groups are all over Facebook - 'sokay, here's a shameless plug for my own called 5 a.m. Writers. But you don't have to join mine - check out Indie Romance Writers, Marketing Support for Romance Writers, Kindle Authors... just put "writers" in the search bar and more than you can imagine will appear. Free. All free.
Writers' conferences don't come cheap. Day long workshops with your chapter are terrific when money and family constraints don't allow for a longer trip, but it's worth the money and effort to commit to a weekend away with a concentration on learning as much as possible and making connections and friendships. If a conference cost is prohibitive, consider a retreat with friends away from home. No cooking, no kids, no cleaning, no schedules. Just writing and critiquing. And ___ <-insert your liquor of choice. Priceless.
Shameless plug II: January 25th I will join Debby Giusti, Tamar Myers, Larissa Reinhart and more southern mystery authors at the Murder Goes South Festival of Readers and Writers of the Southern Mystery, sponsored by Sisters in Crime and Smyrna Public Library. I'll be leading a writer's breakout session on writing in the 21st century, talking about technology, creating your brand and marketing your book.
4. Finish the book. Let critique partners do their thing, then revise. Write the synopsis. Query, pitch, submit or self-publish. Then, market the hell outta that one and do it all over again. Tia Nevitt's 6 Paragraph Synopsis infographic is my favorite, but there are lots of other sources on synopsis writing, query writing, pitching and of course, self-publishing.
What favorite process can you share?
What are your resolutions for 2014? Leave a comment and help us all out!
Next month I'll be back with tech ideas for book marketing and author branding. A bientot!