Getting Three Writing Habits For Permanent SuccessThere are three habits you need to succeed at writing, particularly true for writing fiction:
- wRiting, and
Since you are developing these as habits, you can apply any method you want to help create them as habits. The key one is repetition. Do these every single day for a month or more. (NaNoWriMo has a good support structure to help you install these. But you can start anytime you want.)
The second part of creating a habit is to let go of any action or thought-pattern (emotions are one form of thought-pattern) which doesn’t contribute to your having these three habits.
The logical approach is to set out times for each of these every single day, (Yes, you can skip any religious holy days and holidays, of course. Or maybe write psalms or other religious writings for that day.) That reminds us that Life doesn’t play fair. There are interruptions we experience with our best laid plans. Any counter-programming you have that has stopped you up to this point will rear its head when you try this. While you do have to keep track of your other responsibilities, the trick is to start writing any time you can, and read anytime you are waiting for something. When you answer emails, consider this part of your business time.
I daily curate articles for my Flipboard magazines, which is both business and reading. All non-fiction reading, but that counts as well toward your reading goals.
You may start to see a pattern showing up here. These are the new three parts to your life. If you want to have family and friends in its own category, that’s fine, too. Otherwise, rename that area of responsibilities as business and put it there. Just realize that the purpose of business is to get your books produced and sold. So Family and friends (and your day job) will need their own time allotments.
To start, your Day Job will take a huge part of your day and week. But in and around this will be to fit in your passion and your joy, which is your writing career. One author I studied got to work a hour early each day and did his writing before everything else started. Yet another used his daily commute on the train to write – both ways. Amanda Hocking would take a day out of her weekend and go for 15 hours straight with a Red-Bull-and-Ravioli fueled push to get a complete first draft completed. All these authors became 6- and 7-figure income producers from their writing.
They simply recognized their passion for writing and set time aside for it out of their daily-weekly schedules. Once their part-time work-income replaced their full-time work-income, then they were able to move to either part time jobs, or work entirely for themselves. Jim Rohn tells of the story where he worked full time to make a living and part time to make a fortune. Eventually, he was able to work full time on his fortune as it more than covered making a living. (That company is described in J. B. Jones “If You Can Count to Four…”)
Three Habits (Plus One) Have RequirementsEach of these habits have certain requirements.
To begin with, they all are connected by your bliss (your passion.) That central idea of what you want to Be and Have as a result is the core. Each of these three other habits then contribute to accomplishing the goals you set as part of your bliss or passion. Again, see the Jones book above for technical details of how to accomplish deciding and acting on your bliss or passion.
You should spend some time each day, several times a day, to envision the reality you want to have show up around you. Napoleon Hill said minimally this should be done first thing in the morning, and last thing at night. Jones talks about creating a notebook where you paste or attach images of exactly what you want. Then review these with the idea that you’ve already achieved them. This doesn’t need to take more than 15 minutes or so. (Such as the time it takes to make your first cup of coffee in the am.)
So that’s the secret fourth habit, which you only found by reading this far: Realize. It’s only requirement is to keep it in mind during your day. Align everything you do to it. Let go of anything which doesn’t align.
Back to the certain requirements of the other three:
ReadingThe reason for reading is to train your minds to be inspired.
Your Conscious mind has to learn to let go and enjoy the ride. This is also your critical, or editing mind. You have to learn how to take this out of gear and let everything coast.
Your Unconscious (subconscious) mind has to be trained to bring up inspired thought for you. Everything you read, particularly those where you get emotional feelings arriving, will train your unconscious/subconscious to bring stories to you
WritingYou know how to do this. You’ve been writing all your life. Just recently, or sometime in the past, you decided to go professional at this. Or at least got the idea it’s possible. And so you’re reading this to check out what’s possible.
All I’m here to do is to say that you’re going to have to test and accept only what works for you. You have your own voice as a writer. And that comes from writing. Lots and lots of writing. Sure, you read all this stuff about character development and dialogue. And they’ll tell you about needing to do drafts and buy editing and preparing for massive re-writes. Mostly bunk. You have to test everything.
This is how you need to separate conventional wisdom from workable truth. That truth is only what works for you. Conventional wisdom is what works for the masses. And it keeps them from ever writing or doing anything creative.
Sure, read a lot of books, take classes, listen to podcasts. Just do them all with a studied eye. You’ll find commonalities that consistently come up. Then compare those with their actual production records. That will narrow your results.
Test everything. Use what works for you.
PromotionThis is the business end of the stick. And is so vast you could explore the various rabbit holes for a year and be no wiser or earn any income at it.
So you allocate time precisely and make it all return your investment.
We’ve covered earlier that your key metric is subscribers. Your business has to work back from there.
Essentially, the actions are:
- Producing and Publishing
- Networking to earn new subscribers
- Routing these new subscribers to your published products, and
- Recruiting subscribers into your network.
Back to our main point: all your work needs to align around getting subscribers and keeping them interested in what you can do for them. You’re adding value to their lives. If you don’t, they move on. Simple.
Producing and publishing has metrics of words published. In all formats. So this is cumulative for all the versions you publish. This metric stacks up so you can be rewarded for hitting all possible formats. Audiobooks are harder to produce, but they are a long-term investment. Just like print books in both paperback and hardback. Going the furthest step of making courses out of your text and audio is the most expensive to produce, but gives you the highest leverage in income. So make sure you count up all the words you re-purpose into different formats.
Networking is the core of promotion. It is essentially getting in front of other people’s audiences and persuading them to join yours. For our use, this is getting interviewed (on podcasts, radio, and other media) and getting your books into box sets. Instafreebie.com is great for box sets (and builds your subscriptions.) Nick Stephenson has a unique service that enables this as well. When you are getting interviews, the key point is to give them real value. Like a page exclusively for that host’s audience with special giveaways. Of course, they simply sign up while they are there. Free membership and so on. Do a good job with this and the host will invite you back again. (These are called “influencers” as a trope, and it’s a poor description. Mainly because it’s an Internet Marketing phrase which lumps them in with people who have massed up “social media followers.” But such “influencers” are having less and less organic reach, and less and less influence.)
Along this line are both HARO (help a reporter out) and RadioGuestList.com These set you up with people who have audiences.
(See Writing and Publishing Roadmap for links.)
Another is Wattpad and Medium, where you can post your stories. (Medium can even pay you.) You also list your books (particularly effective when you are using pen-names) on LibraryThing and Goodreads. These four and your own blog are all the social media you need. Again, set firm time-slots for engaging on their forums to avoid time-sucks.
Promotion is how you get more sales and subscribers, which lead to sales. The more sales you get, the more you can afford to write. Just line them up.
Determine and Set Your Best Schedule…and stick to it.
At first, it’s your best guess. Pick a time that you like and start writing then. Stephen King, in his “On Writing”, recommends his schedule of reading at night, writing in the am, answering emails (business) in the afternoon. Dean Wesley Smith does his prodigious output in the early am while the rest of us are sleeping.
Keep track of your output and try different times. Doing laundry, commuting, lunch hours. All fair game. As you track your metrics (as Rachel Aaron covers in her “2k to 10K”) you’ll find your best places and times for writing.
Again, your writing is personal. It’s an expression of your core “You.” No one can write exactly the same as you can. And the more you keep writing, the better you get at it. Being you. Writing as you.
The reading and promotion just need to be fit in with everything else. Because they help you keep writing.
Writing is joy. That’s the whole point of it. Aaron tells that in her book. Your best writing makes the best reading. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, your readers won’t enjoy it either. The more you write, the more joy you have in your life.
Real simple math. Joy is simple.
So is your writing career.
If you liked this article, Donate or Become a Supporter, or Buy Some Books.
from The Great Fiction Writing Challenge – Living Sensical http://ift.tt/2B0C6iq