Bad writing choices may be an over-statment of the word "bad", but sometimes a writer must take a look at the actions being taken to promote a writing career versus the busy activities that maybe associated with a writing career, and I am at just that place.... I need more actions to move my writing forward and less activities that take up my time but don't advance my personal goals. Where do you stand with actions vs. activities?
It is important to analyze where you want the rest of the year to end up as far as those writing goals that were set in January. For me, I had to bow out of a writing group that I love ( tears at the heartstrings) but that was not really helping me to write. I have bowed out of two other monthly writing groups as well that required a monthly fee and were full of good advice but did not help me to write more.(It is similar to decreasing the chocolate and adding the fruit for a more healthy diet. A kind of discipline that will bring health back to your body and more pages to your next book. ) I need to socialize less, promote the businesses of others a little less, and write my own products more. It is not selfish, it is business. Without more pages of work, I would have nothing to promote.
Don't get me wrong, promoting others and networking is essential to a writing career and to getting your name out there and noticed especially on the sites of other successful authors. And I love promoting great new authors, good books, and established authors releasing new work. But if networking and promoting others is taking up all the time of a writer and the writer no longer has new products or material to send out to publishers, what good does it do to have your name splashed on those sites? "Author such and such..... oh yea, what does she write? Oh that's right, she stalks other author sites but doesn't write, has no expertise, and sure doesn't have a platform....." You get the idea.
At the risk of becoming more unknown than I am already, I have taken an action step. Less socializing and more writing. A unique idea? Maybe. A good choice for me? That remains to be seen and will be re-evaluated in September and again in December before I make my 2013 goals. But this much I know. It isn't healthy for me if I am not writing and I am just thinking about writing. It also doesn't pay the bills.
How healthy is your writing life? If it is not in tip top shape with submissions polished and ready or a steady paycheck coming in from previous work then maybe it is time to make some tough choices to boost the writing career of your dreams.
Terri Forehand writes from her rural home in Indiana. She writes for several online blogs for actual money and continues to work on several projects including picture books for children. Visit her website at http://www.terriforehand.webnode.com for more information. She blogs for children's writers at http://terri-forehand.blogspot.com