Goal Setting for Writers


Goal Setting for Writers

Natalie Bright

 

3 in 24:

Identify 3 times in a 24-hour period to Write.

For example:

  1. Wake-up one hour early and join the 5 am writers club.
  2. Skip lunch with coworkers and write only new words on WIP Monday-Thursday.
  3. Stay up late on Friday, Sat., and Sun. to work on edits or blogs.

Study your list. Can you visualize yourself accomplishing these tasks? Can you see yourself with pen in hand or typing at the keyboard at the times and places you’ve chosen?

Setting achievable goals equals success.

Thanks for Following our Blog

Thanks to all of you who have followed this blog, Wordsmithsix, during the past year. We really appreciate you. Sending out our best wishes that you achieve your writing goals in 2020!

2020 Goals: Traditional vs. Indie?


2020 Goals: Traditional vs. Indie?

Natalie Bright

 

Reach for the stars and snag a literary agent who will negotiate a deal with a Big House publishing company? Or go it alone and join the throng of independent authors who self-publish?

It’s a daunting decision, I know. All you want to do is to be left alone to write the story that’s in your head. But, readers are waiting! You have to make the first move.

We’ll be blogging about goal setting and productivity during the month of December so please share with your writer friends. Comment and let us know how your dreams, goals and how you plan to stay productive in 2020.

Option 1: Traditional Publishing

If you have a high concept book theme or genre, the urgency of publication is not an issue, and you are willing to relinquish ALL rights to said work, then Traditional Publishing is for you.

A literary agent will be needed to “shop” your manuscript to the five publishing houses which are closed to un-agented submissions. You no longer own rights to your characters or the stories you create. Dollars are well spent in attending conferences to network with agents and editors. Practice your pitch.

Are you willing to edit, in most cases make extreme changes to your work to meet the expectations of the agent and publishing house editor? This process takes years.

If published, your work has the potential to be promoted to readers all over the world with large first print runs and speaking gigs. This can open many doors and personal accolades of being a serious, professional author.

Option 2: Indie Author

If you have a polished manuscript ready to go, a clear idea of your target market and author platform, and a Type A personality that likes control, then becoming an Independent Author is the perfect fit. Although Independent is hardly the perfect term, because there are so many resources available to help you achieve your goals.

Dollars are well spent in hiring the professionals to do the work that you don’t want to learn. Become proficient on social media. Network, network and network. Join writers organizations, find a critique group, ask questions, and treat this like a business because it is. You’re the boss and the intellectual property creator.

PROMOTION

For either option learn everything you can about how to promote your work to readers. No one can read it, if they don’t know about it. This is a marathon.

Let’s get serious about reaching those goals. May you realize all of your personal dreams in the New Year.

 

A RECAP OF POV


A RECAP OF POV

Natalie Bright

First Person Point Of View: the “I” narrator.

First Person Peripheral: a narrator is a supporting character in the story, not the main character.

Second Person Point Of View: generally used in instructional writing.

Third Person Point Of View: used when your narrator is not a character in the story.

  • Third Person Limited: limited to only one character.
  • Third Person Multiple: This type is still in the “he/she/it” category, but now the narrator can follow multiple characters in the story.
  • Third Person Omniscient: the narrator knows EVERYTHING. The narrator isn’t limited by what one character knows.

Thanks for joining us this month as we looked at Point of View. In October, we will be blogging about story Setting.

Writing is your journey, so go write!

What is the RIGHT Genre for YOU?


What is the RIGHT Genre for YOU?

Natalie Bright

 

The discussion at a writer’s workshop many years ago led by Jane Graves, an award-winning author of contemporary romance, changed the way I think about writing.

Her advice was to, “Hone in on the one thing that speaks to you. Freshness and originality comes from what you can imagine.”

I attended several romance writer’s conferences because that’s what I thought I’d be writing. In the beginning of my writing journey, the whole creative process was a chore; I hated my characters, the dreary plot line, and the editing process seemed like torture. What made me think that I’d ever be able to write a romance novel?

Janes’ words got me to thinking. What I’ve been obsessed with since a very early age, besides writing a book, is Texas history, stories set in the American West, and the great tribes of the Plains, most especially Comanche.

Believe me, I’ve tried to follow the advice of my husband who said if I’d write a spicey,  marketable romance it would make me a fortune, and to consider the ideas of well-meaning editors who suggested I should add a vampire or werewolf to revive that boring western tale. I never could follow through. The stories that didn’t seem like a chore are for middle grades set in the Texas frontier: the Trouble in Texas Series. True stories for emerging readers about rescue horses. And now I’m working on a nonfiction book about cattle drives and chuck wagons. I’m loving the research. Okay, so maybe a little romance in the form of a contemporary women’s fiction book set on a Texas Ranch, still in the early stages, but hopefully a published series one day.

The RIGHT genre is the character that wakes you up in the middle of the night, the endless edits that light a fire in your gut, and the finished piece that feeds your soul. That’s what you should be writing.

Keep writing, my friends!

 

THE END! Now what?


THE END! Now what?

Natalie Bright

We had a great discussion at WordsmithSix meeting about the next step, after you’ve edited and polished your manuscript. You are ready to publish: now what? Several of our members have finished, or are in the home stretch with their manuscripts, and have a very big decision: a) shop their book with agents and editors and pursue a traditional publishing deal, or b) become an Indie Author. We try to keep it real here at Wordsmith Six, so here’s your reality check:

Today’s publishing environment is exhilarating and exhausting. It basically boils down to the following issues, assuming you have a polished and edited book ready for publication.

A. Traditional Publishing

1. Author receives 10% royalty from sales (+/- depending on deal).

2. Author pays 15% from their share to a literary agent, who negotiates the deal.

3. Publication date: years (some smaller presses move faster)

$. Advance: possible, but not guaranteed

6. Sign on the dotted line and give up ALL rights to your novel, characters, cover design, content. You are out of the process, which is a huge relief and appealing to some authors. Go write the next book.

7. Big name publisher assists with promotion (minimal for first-time authors, but invaluable if you are at best seller status). Authors maintain website and social media.

8. Publication Date: Years from now.

9. Validation from a traditional publishing house and the writing community (this is exciting because we all have big dreams).

B. Indie Author

1. Author receives 70% cut of sales (+/- depending on venue)

2. Author learns how, or pays out-of-pocket for professional editor, formatting, cover design, promotion. Most indie authors agree, the work is 50% writing and 50% business owner. You maintain complete control.

3. Go wide as in world wide eBooks and/or Print. You identify the target markets and you design promotion that best connects with your readers.

3.Publication Date: within weeks from this very minute. You decide launch date.

4. Validation from family and local community. Your cousin doesn’t care if the publisher is Me Writer, LLC or Random House, they just want to buy a copy of your book. The local book club is excited to hear your talk.

Have I left anything off of the list that might be significant to newbie authors based on your experience?

This past Saturday, I went to the Texas High Plains Writers workshop by Indie Author Bethany Claire[bethanyclaire.com who has propelled herself and her Scottish time-travel series to best-selling status. She has become successful on her own terms, to the point that she was able to hire her mother as her assistant. They are developing an online class to help other indie authors who are serious about elevating their writing to the next level and who want to build a successful business.

After Saturday’s workshop, I feel better about a recent decision regarding my own work. At the end of last year, I turned down an offer from a small press. For the standard 10% royalty and no advance, I would have signed away an entire page and one-half listing of rights for my inspirational book. Sure, this deal might have propelled it in the market place, but I had to submit a marketing plan as well. Why do publishers want rights they never intend to exploit? That’s not to say traditional publishing deals are something I’d never consider. It depends on the book. For this one, I said no thanks.

Remove your author big-dreams cap for a moment and look at things through clear, sensible eyes. This is business. YOUR business. What process will be optimal for the book in hand, and for your continued success? You have three choices: traditionally published; an Indie AuthorPrenuer all the way; or a ‘hybrid’, which is an author who has published books through both options. It’s all good.

Keep writing, be excellent, and more importantly, get your work out there so I can read it!