Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Fresh Stop

2011 has been a great year for me.  I have a good, solid novel manuscript in the hands of a terrific agent, I have recently finished the manuscript for Postcards From Ireland and, In June, I self-published More Postcards From Across the Pond, just to see if I could do it.  To accomplish this latter feat, I read Catherine Ryan Howard’s fine book, Self Printed and followed the model therein.
The results were most pleasing; it is a great looking book and has received great reviews, most of which called it better than the original, which was professionally published.  That was gratifying, but overall it is an experience I hope never to repeat.
I have talked before about my method for becoming successful at something; namely, find someone who is successfully doing what you want to do and do what they are doing.  I have done this over the years with good results, and I thought I was on to something when I began following Catherine’s blueprint.  But when it was over, I realized I was following the path for being a successful entrepreneur when I actually wanted to be a successful writer.
Now, being a successful entrepreneur is all well and good, and to be a successful writer, you have to have a little of that entrepreneurial spirit in you, but if your goal is to be a published writer, which is what mine is, then you need to follow the examples of other published writers.  Whether they have the entrepreneurial spirit or not, I expect Stephen King and Janet Evanovich enter “Writer” in the “What is your occupation” box, not “Entrepreneur.”
So I have singled out one or two writers (not Stephen or Janet) who I would like to emulate and have, as a sort of 2012 New Year’s Resolution, proposed to follow their methodology.
Here are some commonalities I have found among the professional, published writers I have chosen as templates for success:
  1. They don’t tend to blog about writing.  Instead, they write.  Their blog, if they have one, is to keep their fans up to speed on their latest work/appearances/successes, not to talk (or obsess) about how/why/when they write.
  2. They don’t write for free.  A guest post on a blog, sure, but a steady gig in an on-line (for profit) magazine that pays you in “exposure,” no.
  3. They write, they ask for peer review, they rewrite, they revise, they edit, they submit, and start again.
  4. They don’t self-publish; that would make them self-published writers, not published writers, and that is what I am aiming for.
I am not saying I’ll never self-publish again—I expect I will—but I’m just saying I don’t want to, not at this point.  I wish all the self-publishers the best of luck, but I’m going to follow the points listed above, and go on searching for a publisher.
Wishing you a happy, prosperous and published 2012.

Happy 2012

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