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Ten ways writers can prepare for success, part I

In my last post, “Preparing for success as a writer: where preparedness and opportunity meet,” I wrote about being prepared when opportunity presents itself. Some people call this “luck” but, in reality, we create our own luck.

So, what are some ways writers can become more prepared and be ready when opportunity comes knocking? Below are ten ideas:

1.  Write every day. The act of writing everyday will make you a better writer. The writing doesn’t always have to be on your work-in-progress, but you need to write. Even if it’s only for 15 or 20 minutes. Write. Write poetry, short stories, scenes, blog posts, letters or emails, articles. Just write.

2.  Learn your craft. Always be willing to work hard and learn new things. Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses and commit to overcoming your weaknesses. Read. Take classes. Write. Practice may not “make perfect” but it surely makes progress. When you get a new skill down, you’ll be proud of yourself, which will improve your self-esteem and your writing.

3.  Go fear-ward. I realized while starting my fantasy book that my strength was writing about characters and my weakness was understanding plot. The word “plot” frightened me. So I took the mystery and fear away by reading, studying, and taking classes on the subject of plot. I overcame my fear and when I did that, ideas started to pop up everywhere.

4.  Attend writers’ conferences. Attend conferences or workshops not only to learn but to make connections with agents, publishers, and other writers. Collect their businesses cards and immediately put them in a database so they won’t get lost (speaking from personal experience). You never know when one of these connections will come in handy. At one conference, I made a connection with a woman who told me if I ever wanted to do a book signing or promo in her area that I could stay at her home. I made a note on the back of her business card and entered it in my database for future reference.

5.  Research publishing options. In today’s market we have a variety of ways to publish. Do you want to pursue traditional publishing with an agent and publisher? Do you want to self-publish? Go with a small press? Think about how you want to publish and do your research. In fact, it’s a good idea to research all these options. Read blogs by experienced authors. Talk to them at writing conferences.

In my next post, I’ll list five more ideas.

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