The beginning of the new year is a great time to set new goals and create new habits. With everyone’s new year’s resolutions already underway (Good luck finding an open treadmill at the gym!), the McIntosh & Otis staff got together to brainstorm a few new year’s resolutions that we think authors should make this year. Whether you’re an aspiring author or already published, there’s always room for growth and improvement!
Here are our 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Authors:
1) Get Organized
The new year is a great time to clear your desk, both physically and mentally. Take stock of all the projects you have. What do you want to revisit? What should you table? Where can you start fresh? Also, make a note of where you stand in the submission process if you’re at that point.
2) Resolve to Read
Read in the genre in which you’re writing. Revisit what inspired you. Read at least five new releases this year; it will help you be aware of the market.
3) Don’t Jump on Trends
By the time you have, you’re already too late. It’s good to know what trends are out there and become as familiar as you can with your audience, but don’t let them dominate your writing. Be original!
4) Get Involved
Find a way to get your work out there this year outside of the querying process. Join a writing critique group or post some work on writers’ forums. There is an amazing online community of writers out there who support each other and provide feedback. The more you share with other writers, the more you’ll learn. Easiest way to start: dust off your twitter handle and start talking! This is also a great way to start building your platform as a writer, something that will become useful down the line. Cultivate relationships that push everyone forward. Give advice and be receptive to others. Having writer friends is a great tool… and a great time!
5) Query Expertly
Query only your best work, meaning a manuscript on which other people have already given feedback. Do your research for each agency and follow their guidelines. (For tips on how to write a query, check out this blog post. For tips on figuring out which agents to query, check out this one.)
6) Stay on Track
Set aside specific time to write. Set daily, weekly, and/or monthly goals. Figure out where you want to be and by when and make sure you mark it in your calendar.
7) Fuel Your Creative Fire
The new year is a time to be reinvigorated about your goals and get serious if you’ve been losing your way. Find your perfect writing/brainstorming places and times and know when to mix it up by writing at a different hour than your routine or ditching your desk for a coffee shop. Identify what inspires you and remember why you started!
Have a happy, healthy, successful 2015, everybody!
The M&O Team