Category Archives: Writing goals

Three Idioms and a Proverb Guaranteed to Help You Become a Published Author

author

Listen to every-day-speak, and you’ll hear idioms here, there and everywhere. Yes, idioms are a dime a dozen, and so are proverbs—those little sayings that give advice.

Here are three idioms and a proverb that when put into action can help you become a published author.

In a dream world (idiom)

dreambookIn a dream world, you imagine yourself a published author, and a famous one! Your books are number one on the best-seller lists. You travel the world doing book signings . . . .

But for a dream to become reality, even for that first book to get published, you need to step out of your dream world and into the real world. You will never become a published author by dreaming. It takes work—hard work. So, wake up! Get busy.

Look before you leap. (proverb)

lookYou’ve written a book. Now what? Before you send your manuscript to anyone, learn about how to submit to a publisher or agent. Do your homework and know what you’re doing. Another proverb knowledge is power can lead to another idiom getting your foot in the door.

 Carry the ball (idiom)

11472207-question-wordsCongratulations, you’ve successfully submitted your manuscript and someone is interested in publishing it. Your agent or editor has asked for revisions. Now, it’s up to you to carry the ball. You might think every word you wrote is perfectly right. But remember—agents and editors have reviewed hundreds, even thousands, of manuscripts and they know what makes a good story even better. Another idiom: don’t drop the ball. Instead carry it and work with your agent and editor. A good working relationship is another key to becoming a published author.

It’s about time (idiom)

Time-and-BookThe publishing industry is time driven. Deadlines. Deadlines. Deadlines. All parts fit together like a puzzle. Those final pieces printing the book and shipping it to stores are scheduled well in advance. When deadlines are missed, printing and shipping dates are in jeopardy. Time is money in publishing, and money is lost when books aren’t printed and shipped on time. You can have tons of writing talent, but if you are lazy about deadlines, your first published book might be your last.

Does your plan to become a published author have more holes than Swiss cheese? If you answered yes, then memorize these little bits of wisdom and act on them.

Your pipe dream might turn out to be—
a dream come true.

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and inspiration for writers.

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

 

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Filed under Aspiring Writers, Encouragement, Inspiration, Movtivation, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized, working with editors, Writer's responsibility, Writing goals

10 Tips for Becoming a Successful Freelance Writer

freelance

This year marks my 20th as a freelance writer. I’ve learned much along the way— maybe some of what I’ve garnered will help you to begin your own freelance journey.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind as you start up your business:

Think like a business owner.

Remember, you are not only a freelance writer but also a business owner. As a business owner, it’s your job to attract clients and keep them satisfied. The business part of freelancing is your “professional footprint” and equally as important as your writing.

Create a marketing plan. 

Every successful business has a marketing plan. Freelancing is no exception. You should create and implement a plan to interest potential clients and persuade them to use your services. Set goals!

Keep your social media presence professional. 

Your online business and personal interactions should be separate. Set up a Facebook business page where you can interact with clients and customers. Have separate Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts for your business. Create a business web page and/or blog.

hqdefault.jpgMake solid working relationships a priority.

It’s vital to build strong relationships with clients. After making initial contact with a potential client, follow up by email every 4–6 weeks about the possibility of freelance assignments. Try to offer something new, like a link to your Facebook business page or web site. This is effective on two levels: it keeps your name on the list for new projects, and it establishes an ongoing relationship. With both new and customary clients, a solid relationship pays off.

Maintain a routine. 

Freelancing doesn’t mean sleeping in on mornings when you don’t have a project. Every day is a workday. Get up at a set time and “go to the office.” If you don’t have a writing assignment, then your job is finding one.

Remember—nothing is a sure thing. 

You can’t count on a project happening until you have a contract. Sometimes, a publisher will decide not to follow through on a project. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

1Look toward the future.

When I first started out, I had a great freelance job writing 30 hours a week for a client. It was a job that came with healthcare benefits, a 401k plan and the opportunity to write for a leading educational textbook company. My only regret is that I didn’t look beyond the present. When their business slowed, I was let go. I had few other clients to rely on, and it took a long time to rebuild my client list. Lesson learned: Always look to the future and plan for the unexpected.

Save for “rainy days”.

When the economy slows, the publishing industry feels the economic crunch along with most other businesses. Keep several months of living expenses in your savings for times when you have no assignments—and no income.

celebrate Celebrate the positive.

There are days when you’ll wish for a job with a regular paycheck and benefits. During those times, think of all the great things about freelancing: You’re doing something you love, working from home and creating your own schedule. You can take time off to run errands and wear PJ’s all day, if you want . . .

Start each day doing something good for yourself.

For me, it’s prayer and then coffee. I ask God to inspire my writing, and then I make myself a flavored cappuccino or latte. Even better, I pack up my laptop and head to a coffee shop to write . . .

I think I’ll do that right now.
I’m heading for my favorite coffee place
to celebrate 20 years in business.

What else can I say? The freelance life is good.

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Are you on Facebook? Check out my page where I post articles
and inspiration for writers.

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*NOTE: Any ads appearing in this post were not put there by me nor do I endorse them. WordPress sometimes posts ads in exchange for hosting this free blog.

 

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Filed under Freelance writing, The Business of Writing, Uncategorized, Writer's responsibility, Writing goals