Showing posts with label habits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label habits. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Are You Building Publishing Habits?


By W. Terry Whalin

If you are writing a novel or a nonfiction book or ???. What are you doing each day to succeed with this writing project? 

Yes, it is important to craft an excellent work with terrific storytelling and craft. We learn these skills through our own reading and continual practice. Writing should be a habit which you continually cultivate and practice on a regular basis.

Yet what about other areas of publishing where you need to develop habits?

Recently I heard from an unpublished author who was getting rejected or no response from literary agents. She was sending out a children's book and couldn't understand why she could not succeed. 

I wrote this author that she needed to do more to understand the marketplace. Only a few literary agents that I know represent children's books for several reasons. First, the advances are very low for children's books. 

Also it's hard to get a children's book published through a traditional publisher. It is not impossible but difficult and much of the writing work is Work Made for Hire or something an agent wouldn't be involved in. Finally agents are looking for writers who demonstrate that they have been published. You have to show this skill through writing for print magazines or other recognized forms. 

This unpublished author was floundering because she had not done the basics to understand the market. As a daily habit, she needed to be reading published authors and how-to books as well as connecting with someone to help her.

Reading in the field is another publishing habit that every author or would-be author should be developing. There are free newsletters and many ways to learn from others. Are you tapping into these resources? 

Another publishing habit is to constantly build your connections to others. It doesn't require tons of time but it does require consistent effort. For example, posting on twitter and Facebook in your area of expertise is a publishing habit. You can use tools like Hootsuite so it does not have to consume much time but the consistency will pay off.

I spend the majority of my days working with authors as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James. My personal goal is to help as many authors as I can to achieve their dreams of getting published. As a result of these goals, I'm on the phone with authors or literary agents. Or I'm answering emails or interacting with my Morgan James colleagues about book projects. I have a series of habits that I execute each day related to my work at Morgan James.

What goals do you have for your publishing life? Have you written them down and are you looking at them on a regular basis? What habits do you need to develop in order to achieve these goals? 


As you are consistent, it will pay off for you in the marketplace. I have a great deal of free information in my ebook, Platform-Building Ideas for Every Author. If you haven't read this Ebook, I suggest you get it and study it, then apply the lessons to your writing life.


What new publishing habits are you developing? Let me know in the comments below.

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Publishing habits are important for every writer. Get some ideas from this experienced editor.  (ClickToTweet)
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W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 books including his latest, Billy Graham, A Biography of America's Greatest Evangelist. Also Terry has written for more than 50 magazines and lives in Colorado. Follow him on Twitter where he has over 200,000 followers.
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Friday, December 29, 2017

Writers - 4 Powerful Steps to Breaking Bad Habits


Habits are pretty much who you are.

Are you a positive thinker? Are you ambitious? Do you work hard at your writing? Are you a compulsive cleaner? Do you procrastinate? Do you fear jumping in?

Some of the items above are traits, but they are also habits created – they reflect your actions and reactions. They are part of the things you do each and every day, consciously or subconsciously.

Have a habit you don’t like? Or, one that is getting in the way of your writing success?

Well, you’re in luck.

According to WebMD, you can break bad habits in three easy steps.

1. Analyze the habit you’d like (need) to break.

Maybe, you spend too much time on social media, even if it’s to work it. If you’re not getting the ROI on your efforts, you need to change things.

Maybe, you don’t get enough writing in.

That story that’s been on the back burner is still there. You keep saying you’re going to get to it, but you keep procrastinating.

Or, maybe you need to write two articles a week for your blog, but barely manage to write one. Not for a real lack of time, more because you’re not prioritizing your work.

Maybe, you’re not using video as much as you should in your content marketing, simply because it’s easier not to.

Figure out what it is – put it in front of you. This strategy may help you change things for the better.

2. Write it down.

Actually writing things down adds another element or layer to the consciousness of the habit.

Psychologist James Claiborn, PhD, and the co-author of The Habit Change Workbook, explains, “Write out a list of the pros and cons of this behavior and keep a record of when you do it. Measurement of anything tends to change it and makes people much more aware in the first place."

This is similar to number 1, in that it allows you to analyze the habit.

3. Put a temp in.

Once you realize the’ whens and whys’ of a habit you want to break, try substituting another action in its place.

Suppose you drink two cans of soda day. Substitute one of the cans for a cup of water or naturally flavored seltzer. Once that’s working well, substitute the other can of soda with something healthier.

Or, suppose you spend 2 hours a day on social media. Time yourself. Stop at one hour. Then jump into writing something, whether it's your story or a blog post.

4. Realize it may take a bit of time to break a habit.
This one isn’t from WebMD, but it’s powerful.

According to Mark Twain, "A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time."

I love this quote. In one sentence, it lets you know that habits can be broken, but it won’t be overnight. You need to persevere.

All of us have some habits we know we should overcome. Try these four tips and see if you can’t break at least one of your bad habits.

Make it a New Year's Resolution to break those bad habits!

Source:
(1) http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/3-easy-steps-to-breaking-bad-habits

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and ghostwriter. She is also an author/writer online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing.

You can check out Karen’s e-classes through WOW:
http://www.articlewritingdoctor.com/content-marketing-tools/

And, be sure to connect with Karen at:
LinkedIn 
Twitter 
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

For Success, Every Writer Needs to Develop Habits

By W. Terry Whalin


As a writer, do you have habits?  I'm a creature of a series of habits which I've developed over my years in this business. For example, I begin each day spending time reading the Bible. It's a pattern that I've done for many years.


Each year I select a different version of the Bible to read throughout the year. This year I'm reading Eugene Peterson's The Daily Message. It's part of my spiritual habit that feeds into my life as a writer and editor.  Your habit for meditation may be different but I encourage you to have some sort of meditation to begin your day.

Besides spiritual habits, I have habits with Twitter. In past entries, I've detailed how each day I'm using tools (mostly free) to grow my presence in the market and community—and also increase my presence on social media. These habits do not take much time but have consistently grown my presence—so they will be something I will continue in the days ahead.


I have a number of other habits in my life—consistent practices and actions. During the last year, I've stepped up my consumption of books by listening to more audio books through Overdrive. Recently I completed listening to the audio book of The Power of Habit by Charles Dihigg. The book explains the science and practical nature of habits including how we form new habits and replace old ones. I found the stories fascinating and informative. Until listening to this book, I didn't know about the history of the creation of toothpaste and how brushing teeth became a habit. If you want to learn about this important aspect of life, I recommend you track down this book through your library (Overdrive like I did) or purchase a copy and read it, then apply it to your own life.



Another resource on habits that I recently read is Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi. I enjoyed the book and learned a great deal from it. Apart from the book Graziosi has created The Better Life Challenge where in 30 days you can transform your life in as little as three minutes. This resources is FREE and you don't have to read the book—but simply take action every day for 30 days. Just use this link to learn more details and sign up to learn through this tool.

The writing life is much more of a marathon than a sprint.  I often meet writers who believe that one book or one action will propel them to bestseller status. Sadly this belief is a publishing myth.  Repeatedly I hear about writers who are called an “overnight” success because they've suddenly sold a lot of books. Yet when you look into the details, you will normally discover this author has been in the trenches faithfully working for years to achieve such a position.

What skills or habits do you want to develop in the months ahead? Are you taking consistent action to gain the knowledge and insights you need to get there? Tell me about your plans in the comment below and if I can help you, let me know.

Tweetable:

Are you developing writer habits? Check out these resources. (ClickToTweet)
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W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He is the author of more than 60 books including Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success. Terry has almost 200,000 twitter followers and lives in Colorado.
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