“How do we ever know if an endeavor is worth the price unless we choose to chase the outrageous and risk defeat?”
January 2021 is the time to cast aside writing fears and move forward in your writing plans. A writing project has stalked you for weeks, months, and even years. You’ve dreamed about putting thoughts into words for so long, it’s become your go-to past time. Your heart aches with the passion to arrange words into sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, and maybe a book. The thought has nipped at your waking and sleeping hours until you’re determined to make this year different from all the others: this year you will embrace the writing life.
But you’re afraid. Beginning means setting out on a journey of the soul. The writer must rip the painful scars from her heart to bleed life experiences onto paper. What if you fail? What if the longing is a disguise for failure?
Is there value in believing you have what it takes to become a professional writer? I’m here to say yes! If the drive refuses to unchain you, the calling is real.
How do we ever know if an endeavor is worth the price unless we choose to chase the outrageous and risk defeat? I remember the sleepless nights, thinking about my desire to write and yet paralyzed with the thought. The first step is to release the chains preventing progress.
The publishing world can be a scary place—I’m right there with you. Sometimes we writers feel like a tiny fish in a huge pond. We forget every big fish was once small. We all have to grow our skills, our brands, and our self-confidence to succeed in reaching dreams and goals.
What if you took a leap of faith into the unknown? What might happen?
- Embrace the decision to be a writer. The gift is a calling. Don’t take the magnificence lightly.
- Choose to learn the craft. Allot time every day to study the how-to books. Research online learning and choose what blogs, podcasts, and webinars fill your needs.
- Analyze the many blogs available for the writer and the world of publishing. Select and follow those that are consistently professional, with respected authors and information.
- Invest in a highly respected writer’s conference.
- Evaluate current writing groups, online and live. Commit to participate.
- Create an “Idea” folder for every project. Writing ideas come from the world around us—from blogs to articles to books.
- Develop an author bio in various lengths.
- Invest in a professional headshot. Keep it current.
- Understand your priorities and stick by them. Life is filled with interruptions, and only we can decide which distractions are important and which are merely annoyances.
- Establish a budget for your writing career; include a website, marketing, promotion, how-to books, reading, electronics, business expenses, and other miscellaneous expenditures.
- Prepare professional writing goals, ones that are attainable but require effort.
- List the writing projects that need research and calendar the work effort.
- Place readers above yourself. We write to address their needs. Discover those who crave what you have to offer.
- Prepare to enter the world of social media with a plan to work smart and develop a brand and platform. Focus your efforts where a minimum amount of time will achieve maximum impact.
- Vow to never stop reading and studying how to improve your writing career.
- Share what you learn with a serious writer. Pay the craft forward.
- Never give up on your writing dreams.
Dear writer, being frightened is a good thing, especially if we’re able to harness the power of fear into a strength that helps us be successful. So be afraid, writer. It will serve you. What writing fears chase you?
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.
DiAnn is passionate about helping other writers be successful and speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com.