- Pick one word, or take one brief thought and write on it for ten minutes without self-condemnation or self-critiquing. Just go with the flow, even if it's fragment writing. One of the greatest barriers to turning out sufficient material and quickly for a couple hundred pages or more, is crippling self-doubt: Who am I to call myself a writer? Unfortunately, critique groups, writing sites and books on writing can tend to inhibit rather than encourage free flow writing. Sure, you'll have to go back, tear out sections, mutter, "blech," and rewrite and catch typos, etc. But, the important part is that you WROTE, you put words to paper.
No. 4 -- Post a variety of helpful links about writing, mysteries in particular, and share them for readers and those who pick up on RSS feeds. Here are a few:
- Crimeandsuspense.com -- Tony Burton, Editor/Publisher, also has a list for writers interested in the mystery/suspense field at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the site, get a feel for what he has to offer and the submission guidelines. Tony often runs contests, too, and he's now paying for stories.
No. 5 -- Explore more the art, craft and business of marketing, which every author is required to go in the extremely competive field.
- One of the musts is Dan Poynter's newsletter, publishinpoynters.com. He has a back file on a lot of topics relative to publishing, publishers and such.
- Also, check out Self-Publishing@yahoogroups.com that gives useful information about self-publishing and the craft/business of selling books. Even if an author is with a traditional publisher, the info shared is helpful. SPAN stands for Small Publishers Association of North America.
No. 6 -- Reach out to someone, write a note of thanks, comment on others' blogs with helpful information or an "atta girl," or an "atta boy." The old expression fits here: What goes round, comes round.
Here's to a successful writing year to you.