Write well. Write often. Edit wisely.
Happy New Year to you all. No matter what your 2012 involved and how it went for you, I hope that 2013 is better in every way. I hope you prosper and succeed and dream big this year.
And I hope you finish one of the writing projects that’s been hanging over your head, demanding some kind of closure.
If you’ve got a novel begun but not finished, finish it this year. Don’t start over with another idea yet again—finish one project.
If finishing means completing the first draft, do it. Make that your goal for 2013.
If finishing means tackling a rewrite, then that’s your goal. If you’ve never worked through a rewrite, you’re going to be surprised; some find it the most difficult part of writing. Yet many find rewriting to be rewarding.
Try it. Don’t let your manuscript sit incomplete for another year. You’ve got 365 days to work some magic—try it. Or if magic is scarce, try some brain power and elbow grease. Work your rewrite—you’ll find yourself a better writer on the other side of it.
If your manuscript is already complete, go for a few submissions. Research a bit and determine which agents and publishers you’ll submit to. And then submit. Submit to several folks. Get it done.
If you want to self- or e-publish, check out what you need to know to do a good job of it. Make the time to fill in the gaps of your knowledge. And then get yourself published.
No hard and tough rules in this article. Just encouragement to do, starting this week, what you need to do next to get your books out to the public.
You don’t have to do it all this week, but do something. And do something else next week.
Don’t let three months pass with nothing to show for the turning of the calendar page. Get moving and be productive.
Get your author website going.
Join a writing group or a critique group.
Take a class.
Try a new genre or style.
No, you don’t have to do everything. Don’t look at these suggestions as lists of must-dos, but as get-to-dos. Treat some as options. I’m not trying to load your plate, just give you ideas.
But do complete some project having to do with writing this year. You’ve got plenty of time. Cut off the TV an hour earlier and use that time to write. Disconnect from the Internet if you have to. Take your skills and your dreams, fuse them, and produce some awesome fiction.
Write something. Finish something. Do it. No matter if others around you don’t fulfill their goals, fulfill yours. If you’re a writer, you need to write. So write something today and finish a writing project this year.
Give the rest of us something entertaining to read.