Greetings, Pen & Prosper Readers!
I hope today finds you well and embracing the holiday spirit.
As previously promised, I'll share with you the remaining lessons I learned in 2015, from last week's introductory post.
Here they are for your consideration, enlightenment and review.
8. Follow up to stay ahead.
The Internet affords today's writers many conveniences: the ability to correspond with folks across the map, a global marketplace, electronic mail, etc.
But, it also has its drawbacks. True? I can recall several times in the past, when I had been awaiting a response on an important piece from an editor, only to discover months later that he/she never got it; somehow my message had been lost in the Cyber "Twilight Zone." I hate to be a nuisance, but when it comes to business, it's usually better to be safe than sorry. Send that follow-up email. Make that call. A few minutes can make all the difference.
9. When you make a mistake, own it, learn from it, apologize, then move on. The world won't end. "Everybody makes mistakes, that's why erasers were made."
10. Sometimes independence is over-rated.
I have a beautiful little niece who is rather independent. No matter how many times she spills her food, ties her shoes up incorrectly, or does something wrong, she'd rather do things her way, without help from me. It's part of the growing up process.
I find that adults can be this way too, sometimes. Don't be one of them. Don't let pride hinder your progress. Seek help when needed. Hire a professional editor for your novel. Contract out work to a professional web designer. Follow successful bloggers and find out how they operate, and what they're doing differently. Collaborate. Find a mentor. Even the Bible tells us that: "The wise seek counsel."
11. Support other writers; our survival as a community depends on it.
For example, if you can't afford to buy their books, why not at least share their publication info with a link to Amazon on your site? Or send a Tweet to your peeps? Or post a comment on their Blog? Or conduct an interview? Or share resources? I have found that support doesn't always have to require "heavy lifting." Not to mention, it's a "win/win" for everybody.
12. Pay attention to the "red flags" to prevent operating "in the red."
Often, doing so can save time, money and mental wear and tear. If that potential client haggles about your fees, has an incompatible work ethic, provides poor direction, does not respond promptly to emails, or does not appear to have a successful business model, it may prove prudent to turn down the project and cut your losses early.
13. Strive for excellence, not perfection.
It's good to sometimes have lofty goals; just make sure they're not unrealistic and exhausting.
14. Consider adding a disclosure and a disclaimer to your site in 2016.
I did this year. Particularly if you're receiving money at your site, or disseminating advice on health, business, or finances. For legal and ethical reasons, it keeps confusion down and potentially provides protection.
15. "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
How well you treat others is also a part of your "image" and reputation as a writer.
Don't engage in word wars. Don't "bash" folks just to court controversy. Be savvy about social media. A while back ago, I had an incident with an editor with whom I had worked for many years, contributing articles to her site-- that no doubt added to her bottom line. And I loved it. Well, one day, I sent a simple email requesting to know if she had received a previous submission. She nearly bit my head off! She ranted about how busy she was, and how valuable her time was.
As Judge Marilyn often says on her court show, "Stick a fork in me, cause I'm done!"
That was the end of our association. And with it, my respect for her. I know editors can be busy people. Heck, I've been one myself. :-) But there's no excuse for treating others poorly; especially without apologizing later.
Can you say, "Karma?"
And here's one more for the road...
15 + All writing is not created equally.
Did you know that being a copywriter or ghostwriter can actually earn you thousands of dollars per project? If you'd like to escape the "content mills" and perhaps the "Ramen Noodles" regimen in the process, you should consider pursuing these lucrative fields in 2016. To get started, look into some online classes or purchase books accordingly. Kelly James-Enger has authored some great titles on ghostwriting, that I definitely recommend.
See her book at Amazon.
There you have it. These are the 15 + lessons I mastered this year, that hopefully will serve as a foundation for greater success in 2016. I trust that something I shared here will enable you to ascend greater heights and experience less stress in your writing journey in the months ahead.
Here's to an awesome 2016!
Thanks so much for your readership, friendship and support.
I will be on Christmas break until January 2, 2016.
Feel free to leave a message or passing thought, in the interim.
You know I always dig hearing from you!
With "warm" thoughts,