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Friday, January 05, 2007

Guest Blogger Mary DeMuth on Writing Resolutions

Will this be the year of your dreams come true? Or just another ho-hum year
where you plug away (or not) and end up in the same place you were when you

How do writers break in? Or better yet, break through? If you'd like to head
toward that slippery nirvana called publication, read on.

10 Resolutions that will help you go further than you've gone before (cue
Star Trek music here):

1. I will sell all my extra clutter around my house in order to attend a
writer's conference. I will do this because I am tired of dusting my
clutter, and I know that this business is very much about who you know. I
can't meet people I've never met if I don't meet them! So, I will sell my
wooden owl collection, my thirty-five yankee candles never burned, and my
exercise machine, just so I can meet industry professionals.

2. I will join an online or in-person critique group and smile nicely when
criticism is sent my way. I will learn to say, "Thank you for that very mean
critique," even without grinding my teeth, because I understand that I will
NEVER grow as a writer if I don't learn to accept both the good and the bad
from other writers.

3. I will seek seven new publications this year in order to publish at least
seven new articles. I understand that once I'm at a conference (goodbye owl
statues), I will be asked the dreaded question, "So what have you
published?" In order to have something to say, I will be sure to not despise
small beginnings and work hard at getting published in smaller magazines.
With this, I will perfect my query writing prowess.

4. I will place my hiney on my writerly chair and write for a set period of
time per day. I will set weekly word count goals and not get up until I meet
them. I will set artificial deadlines for myself and not only meet them, but
meet them early.

5. I will contact folks who love to pray and ask them to pray for me weekly.
I understand that anything of eternal significance in my writing career
comes through prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit.

6. I will practice receiving rejection with joy. I understand that rejection
comes throughout any writer's career, not merely at the beginning of it.

7. I will remember and preach the sovereignty of God to myself.

8. I will write a thank you note to every single person I've met in the
industry, not to be a brown-noser, but because I genuinely love people.

9. I will take risks. If I'm scared out of my gourd about querying Chip
MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, I'll do it anyway. If an editor asks for a
piece, I will send it to him/her within the week.

10. I will finish and polish a full-length novel (if I'm a novelist) or
write the perfect proposal (if I write nonfiction).
So there you go! Ten resolutions to change the direction and success of your
writing career this year.

For more from this author visit


Kari Murphy said...

I love this Mary. I am not anywhere *near* it (I don't think)...but I can certainly add a few to my resolutions. Maybe the others next year?

Thanks for contributing this!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Mary. I really love this list. I'm borrowing it. :)

pandacanup said...

This was really great. Thanks for the encouragement and advice!

Blair said...

Thank you - this was fantastic! Most of the list is a bit advanced for me but it really gives me some things to begin considering.