- Skills, skills, skills. Keep refining your skills. If you’re a new writer, find a workshop, conference or community college course to improve your writing. Even if you are a pro, it never hurts to refresh your knowledge.
- Read, read, read. Read your genre. Read outside your genre. Read everything you can get your hands on, even if it’s not really your thing.
- Write, write, write. When we’re down, it’s easy to allow productivity to slide. Nobody’s buying our stuff anyway, so why bother? This is self-defeating. Keep working as a pro. Stick to your goals.
- Network, network, network. You’ve heard my social networking spiel. Now do it. Get to know other authors, editors and agents at writing organization meetings, conferences and book fairs. I have the peculiar habit of writing to authors I love. Big names may ignore me, but I’m surprised at how many respond–and love the praise I’ve lavished upon them.
- Believe, believe, believe. When things are darkest–a rejection is especially scathing, a review awful, the board says no to your next project–this is the time when a writer must decide to believe in him/herself. If you don’t believe you can write and say something important, how can you expect others to feel this way?
If you’ve yet to win publication, or if you’re published but stuck at a roadblock, have you ever felt that the road just keeps getting longer? In my opinion, this isn’t a figment of your imagination. With the cascade of changes in the industry, the road indeed is longer, harder-going and more fraught with pitfalls than ever before. While it feels good to gripe, what are some concrete ways to combat the stop-the-presses-I-want-to-get-off doldrums?
Writing Tip for Today:
Write something completely different from your current WIP. If you’re a novelist, write a poem. If you’re a nonfiction writer, draft a story. Who knows, you may find your true calling or get ideas to pump up that project that’s got a flat tire on the long and winding writing road.