Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new year. Show all posts

Resolutions You Can Keep

 


By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

We are nearing the end of 2020 and what a strange year on many fronts. I will be glad to turn the calendar page for 2021. As a writer, what I like to do is think about the year ahead and make plans. Years ago I used to make resolutions but most of them were broken before we reached February. Now I make resolutions which I can keep.
 
Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? If you are like me, you have goals, dreams and plans for the New Year. I encourage you to write down these resolutions or plans or goals. You want to make them specific actions so you can hold yourself (or your partner can hold you) accountable to carry them out.
 
Over 25 years ago in 11 days I wrote a diet book by Carole Lewis called First Place. I took such a crazy writing deadline because the publisher was determined to have the book inside the bookstores for January. If you look at bestseller lists, often in January there will be several diet books about losing weight. In our overweight society, many people resolve to lose some pounds in the New Year. They begin with such great resolve and commitment.
 
To become a proactive author, I want to suggest several resolutions or goals that you can keep throughout the months ahead. I encourage you to use these ideas to create your own goals. Make sure you make each one specific, measurable and action oriented.
 
1. Plan to consistently talk with others about your books or products. As the author, you should take the primary responsibility to market and tell other people about your books. There are dozens of tools and ways to do it. Your method should be a way that serves other people (helps them) and doesn’t pound them with “buy me” messages. The “buy me” message is a turn off and the service to others is an attraction. Can you take your book and create a teleseminar or take chapters from your book and turn them into magazine articles or blog posts?
 
2. Resolve to Persevere. Are you trying to publish something which is getting rejected? You are in good company. Just check out this article from bestselling novelist James Scott Bell called Rejecting Rejection. Possibly you have not made the right connection to get your work published. Are you consistently submitting your work? Often when I ask writers about this detail, I find they haven’t been consistently working on getting their book pitch to the right editor at the right time and the right place. I don’t believe that I’m a great writer. I work hard at improving my storytelling and writing—yet I am persistent and preserve. I’m determined to a fault. Nurture this quality in your own life in the weeks and months ahead.
 
3. Resolve to take better care of yourself. Over the last few years, I’ve worked hard at getting more consistent sleep, taking a daily multiple vitamins and a commitment to regular exercise. Also I attempt to watch my weight and eating patterns to be in balance. Am I perfect? No, but I continue to consistently work at these elements and build regular patterns into my life. With a pandemic this year, my weight increased but several months ago my wife and I began changing our eating patterns and working on weight loss. Currently I'm at my lowest weight in over 20 years and my blood pressure has lowered and other health benefits. It's all part of my resolution to take better care of myself and something I encourage you to do too. Your goal will be different for your lifestyle and situation but do consider this area of your life.
 
4. Resolve to learn a new skill then practice it repeatedly. Maybe you want to develop your storytelling skills. Or maybe you can learn from a how-to book or take an online training. I use all of these methods to keep growing in my abilities and skills.
 
5. Resolve to do more writing. It takes more than a resolution to increase your writing. You need a plan. Do it consistently and set a reasonable word count then do it day after day. No little elves come out and write your words. You have to sit in your chair, get your fingers moving on the keyboard and do it.
 
6. Resolve to do more reading. Writers are readers. Read widely and varied types of books. I read but also learn from listening to audiobooks.
 
I’m expecting great things will happen in the coming months. How about you? Are you setting goals and moving in this direction? Take action today. As you look at the new year, are you creating resolutions you can keep? Let me know in the comments below.
 
This article is my final post for the year for Writers on the Move. I want to wish all of you a tremendous holiday season and Happy New Year. May you enjoy the season and have special things happen in your life and writing.
 
Tweetable:

How do you make resolutions you can keep? Get ideas here for your writing from this prolific editor and writer. (ClickToTweet)

W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  He has written for over 50 magazines and more than 60 books with traditional publishers. His latest book for writers is 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed. Get this book for only $10 + free shipping and over $200 in bonuses. One of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has  190,000 twitter followers

Create A Plan for the New Year


By W. Terry Whalin

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It’s an old saying and cliché yet rooted in truth. What plans do you have for the New Year? Now is the time to be working on a plan. Do you have a book? What is your plan to market your book?
When many writers get this question, they pile on the excuses and look around for someone else. They have fallen into the trap of someone who has written a book. They firmly believe, “If I build it (write it), they will come (buy it).” These writers firmly believe the marketing for their book is the responsibility of someone else—some publisher or some bookseller or some marketing person. Countless times I’ve listened to writers in my role as an acquisitions editor when they tell me about their disappointment in the results of their book sales.
Remember, when you point your finger at someone or something, four of your fingers are pointing toward you. As the author, you have the primary responsibility to continually market your book. No one else can do what you can do.
Let me give you a bit of my background so you see why I’m writing about this issue. I’ve published more than 60 nonfiction books and for five years I was a book acquisitions editor. When I became a book editor, I began to understand the economics of book publishing. It’s important for every author to understand these dynamics—whether they write fiction or nonfiction.
Here’s the financial information that I didn’t understand until I worked inside a publishing company: for every book (fiction or nonfiction), a publisher is going to spend $30,000 to $40,000 (real dollars) to take your manuscript and turn it into a finished book. These numbers are with a modest advance to the author (say $5,000) and zero marketing dollars. These costs are production, cover design, editorial work, etc. on your book. Publishers receive thousands of submissions from would-be authors. When I was a part-time Fiction Acquisitions Editor at Howard Books, I was looking for six to eight full-length novels a year—and I’ve received over 250 submissions from individuals and literary agents. I’ve rejected some quality fiction because of the volume and limited spots. Imagine these numbers multiplied on other editor’s desks.
Let’s pretend for a minute that you are the editor and have to wade through these volumes of material to find the books for your list. You have two manuscripts. Both manuscripts are excellent, fascinating stories. One manuscript has a marketing plan and the other doesn’t. As the editor, you will be held accountable for your choices (within the publishing house). It’s a business to sell books. Which manuscript will you choose to champion to the other editors, the publishing executives (sales, marketing, etc.)? Editors risk for their authors. Your challenge is to prove to be worthy (actually more than worthy) of this risk.
Everything that I’m going to write is based on the assumption you’ve learned your writing craft and produced an excellent manuscript that is appropriate for a particular publisher. A big part of you may resist even creating a marketing plan. Isn’t that why you go to a publisher instead of publishing it yourself?

No, you go to a publisher to use their marketing efforts in combination with your efforts to sell more books (and to have your books in the bookstore). Publishers love authors who “get it” and understand they need to roll up their sleeves and take a bit of their energy to market the books to their own network. Also publishers always want to do more for their books especially when they release. Yet they have 20 books to shepherd through this process—and you have a single book. Who is going to be more passionate about the book? It’s you as the author—well show a little of that passion in your marketing plans for your book.
Check out PyroMarketing by Greg Stielstra (Harper Business). This book will help you see how you can stir people to purchase your book and why mass marketing techniques are ineffective. To get a taste of this book, read this free introduction (I use with Greg’s permission).
Finally can you bring your publisher a deal from the beginning that will sell at least 5,000 books? It’s not a crazy question since 70% of special sales are something that the author begins. For some creative ideas, check out Jerry Jenkins’ site. This is not the Left Behind author but another Jerry Jenkins. Put your own spin on these ideas with your book. Also you can learn more about this special sales idea through a free teleseminar which I hosted at: http://bit.ly/massbks.
Publishers are looking for true partners in the book-selling process. A marketing plan shows that you are actively going to enter into the process of selling books. Yes, publishers are looking for excellent storytellers but they need authors who care about selling books.

Now is the time to be working on your plans for the new year. What plans are you making? Let me know in the comments.

Tweetable:

Create a plan to market your book for the new year. Get ideas here. (ClickToTweet)
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W. Terry Whalin has written more than 60 books for traditional publishers and his magazine work has appeared in more than 50 publications. He is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing and always looking for great books to publish. Terry is a book proposal expert and the author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Sucess. He has over 200,000 followers on Twitter.

New Year, New Possibilities



As we begin 2018, I don’t know about you, but I hate resolutions! I know that’s not right to say, but I think I don’t like them because it feels like a farce. I know I’m not going to lose 50 lbs this year, so why make that my goal?! LOL

But, what I do like is the feeling of a fresh start. Now, any day, and actually every day, is a fresh start but do we really perceive it that way? I don’t know about you but I know I don’t. I forget. I have so much to do and there are pressures and deadlines and I just get up and do the next thing. And that’s okay. Sometimes we just have to do the next thing.

But, when a new year starts we all seem to collectively take a deep, cleansing breathe and think, “Okay, here’s my do-over.”

That’s what I like.

The year stretches before me like a blank canvas or blank sheet of paper for us, writers. Last year, there were struggles and wins and this year, I’m sure there will be the same. But, for right now, let’s breathe in that fresh air and close our eyes and dream.

I would love to win the lottery. I would love for one of my books to make it to Amazon’s top 100 list. I would love to invent something that every shark on shark tank is clamoring to invest in. Those are my big dreams. But, I also want to connect with my family members in deep, meaningful ways. I want to make a difference at my job. I want to give the best of me to the world.

I read a book once and it said, ‘you can have anything you want as long as you give it away’ or something like that.

The idea was that you can have anything you want, not just for you to solely have it but in order for you to use it to bless the world. And maybe you’ve seen the post on Facebook that was a church sign that originally said God Bless America but the “d” had fallen off so it now reads ‘Go Bless America.’ I would challenge you to “Go Bless the World.” Use your gifts and talents and make the world a better place and I guarantee you will get your dreams. Maybe not the ones you think you want, but the ones you get will be ones you love.

Happy New Year!

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 4 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, and Little Birdie). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at www.wandaluthmanwordpress.com and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wluthman.

2016 Coming to a Close – 2017 Just Before Us, Bright and Shiny



Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.”

Make 2017 a year of action rather than procrastination.

To end 2016 and latch onto 2017, here are 11 quotes I find inspirational. Hope you do too.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
~ Lyndon B. Johnson

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~ Wayne Gretzky

"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."  ~ Dale Carnegie

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Christopher Columbus

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ~ Stephen Covey

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffet

“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~ C.S. Lewis

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell

HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW YEAR'S EVE!

2014 Coming to a Close – 2015 Just Before Us, Bright and Shiny

Tomorrow is a New Year that brings amazing things: opportunity for a fresh start, renewed hope, possibilities, and even new beginnings.

Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover.”

Make 2015 a year of action rather than procrastination.

To start the New Year, I tried to find quotes I haven’t shared before, or at least ones I haven’t shared recently. Below are 10 I find inspirational. Hope you do to.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”
~ Lyndon B. Johnson

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~ Wayne Gretzky

"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday."  ~ Dale Carnegie

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
~ Will Rogers

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
~ Christopher Columbus

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
~ Stephen Covey

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffet

“If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” ~ John C. Maxwell

~~~~~~~~~~

To add to these motivational quotes for the New Year, I have a powerful goal setting and achieving ebook for you. It's free and you can (and should) share it. It’s absolutely worth reading. Here's the link:
A Simple System to Achieve Your Goals


Stop on by tomorrow also. They’ll be another gift for you!

~~~~~

Goal-setting in the New Year

For me, January is always a time to reflect on the old year and prepare for the new one. I love this quote from Jim Rohn: "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment." That is so true, and great motivation when striving after your goals day by day.

Another thing to keep in mind when setting goals is to be cognizant of all areas of your life. As Coach Wooden said, "The two most important words in the English language are love and balance." With that in mind, I like to break up my goals into different sections: goals for my writing, goals for my nonprofit organization Write On! For Literacy, and general goals for a healthy, balanced life. Here are some examples in each category:

Writing Goals
  • Write 400 words every day.
  • Complete new novel manuscript.
  • Submit to a literary magazine every other week.
  • Write a three-act play.
  • Read at least half an hour every day.
Write On! Goals
  • Send out a newsletter every month.
  • Be a guest speaker at 8 schools/organizations.
  • Create a Write On! DVD.
  • Start a Holiday Book Drive at Purdue.
Healthy Life Goals
  • Exercise three days a week.
  • Learn to cook 10 new healthy recipes.
  • Plant a garden.
  • Do at least one act of kindness every day.
  • Count my blessings every night.
I've heard that the best goals are both measurable and attainable. Instead of saying, "In 2012 I want to write more" set a plan of action of how you will do this. The word "more" is so vague -- how much do you want to write every day? Do you want to measure your writing by time, i.e. one hour every day? Or would you be more motivated by a page or word count? Make sure the goal is attainable -- you don't want to feel defeated or overwhelmed -- but once your goal is set, try to be firm with yourself. Stick to it! Here is a website that I find really helpful and motivating in tracking my progress on my goals: www.joesgoals.com. Even after a long day, I'll put in the work to get that little green check-mark! :)

Something I am trying for the first time this year is breaking down my year-long goals into month-by-month goals. It helps me get a handle on more daunting projects by planning out how I want to move forward month by month. For example, one of my writing goals is to finish the current novel manuscript I am working on. I have a goal of writing a certain number of pages every month.

I am also a believer in daily to-do lists -- it feels so good to cross things off my list! -- but I think month-by-month goals are more flexible for those inevitable times when life gets crazy. For example, maybe I won't be able to write much for a few days during midterms, but then I can make up for it the next week and still be on track for my monthly writing goal.

What are your goals for 2012? How will you make them happen?

I'll close with another of my favorite quotes from Coach Wooden: "The journey is better than the inn." Here's wishing you a masterpiece of a journey in 2012!

Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and editor of Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today's best youth writing. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize three years in a row and her nonfiction has appeared in a variety of national publications including Family Circle, Writer's Digest, The Writer, and The Los Angeles Times. She is the founder of Write On! For Literacy and Write On! Books Youth Publishing Company and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Fiction Writing at Purdue University, where she teaches undergraduate writing courses and serves as Assistant Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review.

Honoring Your Voice

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