Sunday, January 01, 2006

Get Off Your Ass and Do Something

Are you a writer? Here are your goals for the day:
  1. Write. One thousand words is good. Two thousand is better.
  2. Update your blog and website. Appearances, new info, contests, games, stories, articles, pictures, etc.
  3. Edit something. Your stuff, or a friend's stuff--either will help you improve as a writer.
  4. Send out a query letter to sell a story or article. Getting published is your best form of advertising.
  5. Expand your Internet presence. Leave messages and comments on listserves, blogs, boards, newsgroups, chatrooms. Trade links. Submit work to writing websites.
  6. Set up an event. Sign up for a conference, contact a library, schedule a booksigning, speak at your local Rotary club, teach a class---get out there and meet some people.

Try to do as much of the above as you can, every single day. At the very least, you should be doing one or two of them. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

This is your year, remember? You aren't going to become a household name nursing your hangover, watching cable.

You're a writer, dammit. Act like one.


Mark Terry said...

Huh. Guess I'm doing okay. #1, #2 and #5 I'm doing on January 1. I made a bunch of calls Thursday and Friday to set up talks and I've already got 8 or 9 article deadlines due January 10th through 16th.

AND, because it's 1-1-06, I had to rearrange files, put up the new calendar, store clips, etc. AND, I had a book review and an author profile run in today's The Oakland Press. Gee, I guess I hit the new year running. So why do I feel like I'm not working? Probably because I read James Reasoner's blog, Rough Edges. Compared to him, I'm not working.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to wireless internet I can do all of the above while nursing my hangover and watching cable TV.

Anne Merril said...

Only #1, but hey, that's a start, right?

Michelle Rowen said...

I love it.

Yes, sir! :: salutes ::

Bill Peschel said...

Anyone get the idea that Joe's really talking to himself here?

WELTY69 said...

hey joe,

I have two stories that I am slowly trying to edit. my question is should I send out a queery letter now, or wait till I am done with the edit to send it out??


JA Konrath said...

For short stories, never query first--send the whole story along with the query. And the shorter the query, the better. A few sentences are all you need.

For novels, you should finish the book before you query.

JD Rhoades said...


Alphabeter said...

He's giving away all the secrets!

He must thrive on competition.

Or he's a masochist talking to himself.

With writers, one never knows!

Confessions of a Starving Mystery Writer said...

Great advise continues......

Author-Gerald said...

Alphabeter - it's surprising how few writers listen to good advice. You still see manscripts in dodgy fonts and colours, and really really bad first paragraphs.

Rob Flumignan said...

I would only add one thing: Remember to have fun fer goodness sake! Writing is supposed to be fun, just like reading is fun. Having fun makes all the crotchety discipline stuff a lot easier.

Jim said...

Joe, if you're trying to get me to increase my internet presence by posting a comment on your blog it will never work. Nice try though.

Mindy Tarquini said...

All right, all right! I'm doing one of these. Which one is leaving messages? Off to write a thousand words or die trying. IS that one? Or two.? What's with all the numbers? I'm still coughing up a lung here.

TrickyZerg said...

I've been doing 3K per day, and it feels great.

Alphabeter said...


Is that a crack at my hardbound 8 pt Arial single spaced manuscript with 1/2 inch margins sent to Randome Huse Publishers NY NY with the handwritten (in crayon) cover letter?

I even included glitter in the SASE. They'll return my manuscript of course, because it too precious for them to keep if they're too stupid to recognize it as the next Ulysses!

Vernieda said...

Yes, sir!

Bernita said...

Don't know about you, but I'm getting damn tired of those "contests" and those cute exercises that assure you about the color of your soul by the color of your undersilkies.
Excuses not to think and write. Camouflage and diversion.
Otherwise, you're da man.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

You mean we actually have to WRITE?

Unknown said...

Hey...I have ACTUALLY done those things for this new year! How kewl is that? LOL And you are SO right....come on, writers...let's DO SOMETHING!

Bethany Hiitola said...

Hear, Hear to #1. My biggest mistake and a youngun: spending too much time yapping about writing and not doing!

Anonymous said...

I needed this, Joe. *grins* I've printed it out as a constant reminder. I've got nine ebooks being released this year, of those at least 7 are rereleases that will have revisions only. The other are 2 new things that are finished, just needed editing before release.

My goal is to be able to dedicate this year to submitting to the NY publishing market. I've got a couple of things going, but this gave me a beautiful swift kick. Thanks!

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