Donald L. Hughes writes about "The Hidden Power of Goal-Setting for authors" in a Christian Writing Today Web site article. Goal-setting is the key to success, according to Hughes, and brings order and purpose to your work. Instead of waiting for the muse, he thinks writers must be more deliberate. "Writing is an enterprise that requires thought, planning, and focus," observes Hughes.
At this stage of my writing career I have come to realize that I need to get more involved in book marketing. This is a challenge with limited funds, yet it is not impossible. The Author Promotion Web site offers some suggestions in "Marketing Tips for Authors." A good product—your novel, biography, history, text, or self-help book—is at the top of the list. Quality is your aim in the writing game.
"Promoting should be a continual process," the article notes, a process that involves Internet Web sites, your Web site, social networks, blogs, and promoting a book before it is published. I wrote a media release for my last book and e-mailed it to my publisher. The publisher approved the release and I sent it to selected contacts.
If you have never written a media release, this marketing tips article tells you how, and says you need an angle. Finding just the right angle, or hook, as advertisers call it, takes time.
Evaluating your writing habits also keeps work fresh. It also keeps you working. The Author's Harbor Web site cites the key elements that keep an author productive. Though you may be a creative genius this Web site says you can still be "a mess" when it comes to writing habits and goals. So your writing goals should be specific, attainable, and measurable.
I have evaluated my writing habits (something that takes real honesty), and am pleased with them. No matter what is going on in my life, I try to write every day. At 5:30 a.m. I tackle new writing. In the afternoon I work on revisions and industry contacts. This schedule keeps me chugging along and may do the same for you.
You may start to feel stale after you have been writing in the same genre for years. Thankfully, you do not have to leave your genre to revitalize your work. My current genre is grief, a challenge in a good economy, a double challenge in a poor one. How am I keeping my writing fresh? I am learning from professional organizations, using article marketing, using social marketing, trying new kinds of writing and, when necessary, taking a short break.
When you nurture your creative spirit and yourself, your writing just gets better and better.
Copyright © 2010 Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for decades. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD is available from Amazon. Centering Corporation has published her 26th book, "Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life" and a companion journal with 100 writing jump-starts. Hodgson is a monthly columnist for the new "Caregiving in America" magazine, which resumes publication in August. She is also a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation. Please visit Harriet's Web site and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.