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Mother Hen's Bin June 2009



How committed are you to your writing? Do you find yourself excusing any particular day of ‘nonwriting’? We’re entitled to days off, but are you taking more than your fair share?  Maybe you simply haven’t made a goal for yourself?


What’s your procrastinating excuse:


* I’m going to start fresh on Monday


* I had to finish the laundry, cook, clean up and then it was too late to write. Tomorrow.


* I just had to answer the phone. Kept me talking for so long my Muse disappeared.


The biggest question I ask writers is this:


Are you prepared to be a professional writer?


What does this entail? Commitment, determination, and perseverance. Writing is tough, let’s not kid ourselves. Those who have been in this business for a while will tell you that it’s not a ‘write one book and you have it made!’ scenario. There’s work involved and knowing ahead of the game to better prepare yourself might just build that tough skin I keep referring to.


First off, finding the time to write needs commitment, especially when you are a stay-at-home parent, or work outside of the house. There’s family and home obligations to tend to. However, finding time to write must be your priority, as well. Fit it in, stick to your schedule, and write.


Days when the Muse is dormant, read, watch TV, go for a walk, and let your mind relax. Don’t force the creative juices to work. They won’t. You’ll end up staring at a blank screen or piece of paper, get flustered, and just might declare you are not meant to write.


While writing, research various publishers/agents to find those suitable for your type of genre and style. Set up a spreadsheet and mark down the publisher/agent, link, email, guidelines, and any notes to remind you why you jotted them down in the first place. Now go back to writing.


After the book is edited, submit it out there, and begin the next one. Don’t wait around for an answer. Get going on your next project.


Got a sucky review? Toughen that outer core. That’s part of the business. Submit your book to other places and see what they have to say. Continuing to get bad reviews? Then reexamine your writing voice. What are all these reviewers saying? Read between the lines.


Market and promote your book. If you don’t, the neighbor won’t for sure. Yes, it takes time out of your schedule to promote so figure out a system. Either spend a couple of hours a day to do online marketing or spend one full day a week. Pick and choose what’s best for your schedule. Besides online marketing there’s the local legwork, like getting booksigning gigs, sending releases to local newspapers/radio stations/TV, getting a foot through the door to local schools if you’ve written a children’s book. Think out of the box. Shy? Heck, we’re all shy at the beginning. Once you take that first step, the second, third, and so on becomes a piece of cake. Can’t do it on your own? Then bring a buddy along for support. I know I get tongue-tied meeting people face-to-face, but when I have someone there, it’s like I turn into Super Mouth.


So, are you prepared to be a writer? You must be. You’ve read until the end of this article.


Was writing what you expected when you first started?


Let me read your responses. Send them to:  Make sure to add Being A Writer-Marquee on the subject heading and I'll post the answers in our July issue.


Lea Schizas