"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Monday, January 4, 2010

10 Ways to Reach Your Full Writing Potential in 2010!

It's January.

The typical time when folks find themselves constructing resolutions and promises for self-improvement and a better life.

Perhaps you're one of them.
If so, Kudos to you!

Progress is always a beautiful thing in my book.

But progress always comes with a price.

It's impossible to move forward in 2010 without a little self-reflection and analysis regarding previous practices and developmental needs. Wouldn't you agree?

When it comes to writing, many scribes are finding that their pay doesn't match their productivity, which leaves them scratching their head in frustration. Don't be one of them.

Here are 10 things to help you reach greater heights this year as a writer.

1. Learn from your mistakes---We've all made them. Whether it was taking on an assignment without a written contract, making a regrettable remark on a Blog, not devoting enough time to marketing, or other mishaps, assess and apply.

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses---In my capacity as a writing coach and instructor, I encounter so many creative artists who are clueless as to what they do well and what they need to improve. Never let your EGO stand in the way of your EXCELLENCE.

3. Have realistic expectations---In this business, it's rare to find an "overnight success".
Be willing to hone your craft in order to increase your cash! Know that you must pay your dues first, success and fame will come further down the line. Don't consider yourself "too big" to write for free. Evaluate each situation on its own merit.

4. Get "trusted advice"--- Few realize that not everyone is qualified to guide you on your writing path with honest, useful feedback. Though members of your church might serve as a great source of inspiration, unless they are published authors themselves, don't treat their words of wisdom as "gospel." Seek a mentor who has experience in areas that you seek to venture. Or join a local writers' group in your area.

5. Don't overlook the small stuff---No matter how skilled you are with the written word, poor grammatical and spelling ability will brand you as an amateur and prevent you from elevating to a higher level. Trust me, in the big picture it matters.

6. Do it Now! Procrastination is the enemy.:-) Stop putting off taking that writing class, or buying business cards, or revamping your Blog. Remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with that first step.


Enjoy your day.


7. Learn to be your own biggest fan and worst critic--- Accurate assessment of the quality of your work can greatly reduce your rejection rate with editors. It's one of the reasons that I've never needed to be a part of a critique group. (Of course it probably helps that I've worn the hat of editor too.) Make sure to read your work aloud; it's the best way to catch errors and to improve your flow.

8. Treat writing as a business---Always conduct yourself with professionalism, observe protocol, invest in your success, and have a plan B.

9. Recognize that there is great truth to the adage, "the early bird catches the worm." Get up early and get going! It will make a real difference in your productivity and your bottom line.

10. Read! It's virtually impossible to become a good writer unless you visit the words of other successful writers to determine what appeals to a reading audience, and what works vs. what doesn't.

That's it for now folks.

Do you agree or disagree? What tips will you take with you to enhance your writing career this year? Do tell!


  1. Excellent advice and encouraging. Thanks

  2. Thanks so much, Susan!
    I greatly appreciate your feedback and your time.

  3. Thank you for all that you write.Today l read your write up on fundsforwriters.com. It was really encouraging.Plus this entry is really it.My name is Maria and l live and work in Nairobi, Kenya.I am actually hoping to make writing a constant part time job.I need to hone my skills.
    So, thank you and have a successful 2010.

  4. I'm glad to be of service, Maria.

    Good luck to you in your writing aspirations.
    I'm sure you'll make a success of it.:-)