Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Writer Wednesday

While I am working on A Woman's Worth, I'll be sharing posts of interest written by others or reposted from my original blog on Webs.com.

The following is a motivating post from Marg McAlister. Marg has a fantastic web site called Writing 4 Success that is jam packed with tipsheets, e-courses, articles on craft, the business of writing - everything a new or seasoned writer needs.


Here's what Marg has to say in this week's tip:
 
***

It seems incredible, but already the year is one-quarter OVER.

Yes, 25% done.

That's three months that you can't get back.

I don't know about you, but I haven't done all that I had hoped during that time. Part of that is attributable to a road trip for four weeks (can't say that I regret that!) but the rest... well, I confess that I simply could have used my time better. That's galling to admit, but I bet that many of you are in the same boat.

The good news is that we can all start anew any time. I decided to begin by taking a good hard look at what I wanted to achieve for the rest of this year as a writer and business owner, and create a new business plan. Forget mission statements and pages of verbiage - I was glad to leave all that behind when I left the corporate environment - but I needed more than a to-do list.

I have worked with Microsoft Project in previous positions, but that's too complicated for what I want. So... as always, I checked out what was available online. My search term was 'simple home business planning software', and I found plenty of options - especially MS Project look-alikes: Gantt charts and all! I wanted something more straighforward.

The one I decided to try was Google's GQueues
, which can be integrated with Google Calendar and send email alerts. It's also simple. (I luuuurv 'simple'!) I can print out the plan and scribble on it if I want (and I know I will want to!)

Time available: Even though I work from home, I do have some commitments other than writing. I have four days a week (and any weekends and evenings, if I so choose) to work at my writing business. My plan is to treat my working day as though I were tethered to a desk somewhere working for an employer: strict coffee breaks/lunch breaks and no playing Words With Friends during working hours! :-)

YOUR Writing Business

Unless you're happy to write stuff for free, or just blog about writing, you'd probably like to bring in some money from what you do. You can follow the traditional route of sending out queries and submissions to publishing houses, or you can focus on self-publishing and book promotion. (Even if your work is accepted by a traditional publisher, you'll still have to do some promotion.)

If you haven't done so already, this might be a good time to decide on what you want and how you plan to get it. Think about what you want to achieve by the end of the year, and take a closer look at what you should be doing in the next three months to set it up. Depending on the kind of writing you do, this could include:
  • Planning and writing a book
  • Querying and submitting to publishers
  • Investigating options as in "Indie" writer - Kindle, Smashwords, iBooks
  • Seeking work as a freelance writer
  • Listing your services with sites such as Guru, Elance and Odesk
  • Setting up a website and/or blog
  • Planning your blog post schedule
  • Creating or commissioning a book cover
  • Establishing a PayPal account for billing/payments
  • Writing PLR and setting up a PLR store
  • Joining Twitter or creating a Facebook business page
  • Establishing a timetable to get 'likes' or followers
  • Learning how to make a book trailer
  • Posting a book trailer on YouTube
  • Developing a promotional strategy

When you start listing what you have to do, it might seem like a lot. Don't be intimidated. I suggest you divide your time: pick the most important item as your major project and devote half your time to that. In the other 50% of your writing day (even if it's book-ending a 9-5 job) tackle each of the other tasks until they're done. Pick a simple one first, that can be completed relatively quickly. You'll find that just checking one task off your list will motivate you to tackle the next.

For those of you who are working on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc) you can find me here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marg.mcalister

Twitter: http://twitter.com/margmcalister

Web site: http://www.writing4success.com/

1 comment:

bettye griffin said...

I set my goals for the first quarter at the end of fourth quarter of 2012: a release each month, January, February, and March. I'm happy to say I met my goals, and also that I saw it pay off in a big way. I do less social networking and advertising, just concentrate mostly on creating salable material. I've since made my goals for the second quarter and am on target, at least so far (of course, it's still early). But as was stated in the column, even if you're behind where you want to be, it is never too late to start planning for a more efficient tomorrow...so I'd advise you get to it! It's the productive writer who catches the worm...