Monday, January 01, 2007

Six Lessons of '06:

6—Blogs Rock! I just love the casual nature of blogs and have found them very informative. Check out those I have in my links list and pass on any you come across. It’s a priceless way to learn from other peoples mistakes, successes and experience.

5—This is a Buisness. No one will watch out for my best interest the way I will. Passion and hobbie aside, this is a business and I need to be professional and wise in the decisions I make.

4—Keep Making Friends in the Industry. I’m amazed at the power of networking and the benefits of getting to know just one more author, or publisher, or editor. You can never have enough friends.

3—Freelancing . . . who Knew? I have had a few articles accepted this year and not only has the extra money been great, but the confidence of knowing I can write in another arena has been very encouraging. Every little bit of motivation helps!!

2—ALWAYS listen to Feedback. I have learned this lesson many times, but I’ve learned it yet again. In June I had several people read my manuscript, and one in particular gave me harsh feedback. I made some of her suggested changes but blew off the other ones and submitted my manuscript. Guess what changes Deseret Book ended up asking for? You got it. The exact things she’d pointed out. Had I listened, I may have saved myself 6 months and a deadline rewrite. But it was a good lesson—I sincerely hope I remember it this time.

1—Enjoy Successes! This career is full of discouragements. There are bad reviews, scathing reviews, rejections, small or non-existent royalty checks, plenty of people willing to tell you where you’ve fallen short or that your just wasting your time. Unless you completely lose all sense of reality, this will follow you your entire career. Because of this, it is imperative that you enjoy your successes. Write down your milestones, reward yourself when you meet a deadline, brag to someone about the scene you finally got right. Put up inspiring quotes and allow yourself to enjoy this process. Getting published hasn’t made the discouragements disappear for me—not a bit. But I think I take more joy in a good characterization now than I used to. It’s easy to wallow in the places I’ve fallen short, but it doesn’t keep me going. There is so much to learn, and around every corner is good and bad aspects of it. I’ve tried hard this year to focus on the ups instead of the downs and encourage you do to the same.

I'd love to hear what you've learned in your writing this year--I can use all the help I can get!


Marsha Ward said...

I've learned that A&P mode, Avoidance and Procrastination, can be extremely dangerous to a writing career. A&P can take many innocent forms, and every writer should double check the decisions he or she is about to make for signs of trying to hide from the work of writing. For me, it was a time and money-eating business venture. I learned a lot, but I realized not long ago how deep a pit my A&P mode was.

Anonymous said...

I learned that little goals can make all the difference. Instead of saying I'll write ten pages a day, I set a goal to write two and then I can feel good about it rather than mad that I didn't write ten. Love all the great lessons Josie and Marsha. Here's to a productive 2007!!!!!!