Only a few more adjustments and I’ll be done. I hope to be sending you to my site by Sunday. Yes, two days from now. The fun will really begin then. I just wanted to share. Woo-hoo!
I was cleaning out my drawer and found a Mont Blanc pen that was given to me as a gift. At that time it was given to me, the luxury pen was running for $100. Would I had bought it then? I was right out of college with no job. Probably not. Would I pay that much for a pen today? Most definitely.
As a writer, the tool I use to create is as important to me as my creation. I know some people are thinking, “$100 for a pen? That’s crazy!” As with anything, people spend money on things that are important to them. While a pen may not be important to most; to me, it is an investment in my craft. And you can best believe that you will only find MY fingerprints on that luxury investment!
What about you? How much would you spend on a pen?
One day I was thinking about why some people don’t like to write. I know everyone won’t love it as much as I do, but still, I was curious. So, I decided to do a search on the psychology of writing. Lo and behold, there was actually a book, “The Psychology of Writing” by Ronald T. Kellogg, Professor of Psychology at St. Louis University.
I went to the library to check it out, but I couldn’t bring it home with me because it was a reference book. And they only had one copy. Then, I went to Amazon and learned that the prices ranged from $45 to $125. Geez, I just wanted to borrow it for my research! So, I did the next best thing. I found Mr. Kellogg, whom I had never met before, and made a big request.
The subject of my message read: “You don’t know me but I have a huge request.” I told him about the one book at the library and the prices at Amazon, and then I asked him for a copy of his book. He said yes with the stipulation that I put it in general circulation at the Chicago Public Library. DEAL!
So, today, I would like to thank Mr. Kellogg for the copy of my book, “The Psychology of Writing”, which was received today.
What is your writing plan for 2012? Have you figured it out or are you still in the throes of deciding? For those of you who have figured it out, have you written it down so you can see it daily? Regardless of where you are in the decision-making process, following are five tips to help you put your plan into action.
1. What would you like to write?
This is by far the most important consideration of your writing life. Just because you can write various genres, doesn’t mean you should. Initially, go after the topics and genres that interest you most. When I first ventured into freelance journalism, my mentor asked me what I liked to write. I listed about 10 things. She then asked me again in an attempt to further narrow my interests. When that was done, I had five topics and was ready to move forward.
For seasoned scribes, consider adding new types of writing to your resume. If there is a genre you have been considering but never pursued, give it a try. Take an inexpensive class to see if you like it. If you like it, great; if not, chock it up as a small investment in education.
2. What are your writing goals? Be as specific as possible, and make them measurable. Most importantly, be realistic.
Assume you want to earn $30,000 this year. You must map a plan to do it.
• Are you going to write for magazines, trade publications, and online magazines?
• How many articles or stories do you need to write to attain your financial goals?
• Are you writing the next great masterpiece which will take at least six months to complete? How are you going to sustain yourself in the meantime?
• Which type of business, publication or industry will you be serving?
These are all things you need to consider when setting your goals.
3. Who is your audience?
This gets interesting. One topic can appeal to a several audiences in a variety of industries. Don’t limit yourself and be open. Let’s say you have a great passion for apples. This one subject can appeal to other apple enthusiasts, parents, children, health professionals, teachers, apple growers, organic food specialists and even public official if they knew how they could profit from them. You could write for all of these groups or just a couple.
As a business writer, you may be a specialist in certain genres or topics. If business proposals are what you do best, be sure to find those organizations that will use your services on a consistent basis. As a subject matter expert, you have to find those publications and industries that can use your expertise.
4. How do you reach those people?
Research. Find those sources that will lead you to those audiences you wish to serve. The Writer’s Market series is by far the most comprehensive series I have seen. Google, social networks, the websites of individual publications, and the library and local book stores are other great sources.
5. What are you going to do if your work is rejected?
Yes, this is a reality and it needs to be part of your plan. Everyone is not going to accept your work, and the reasons will vary. But you have to have a plan in place for such occurrences. Regardless of what happens – DO NOT STOP! Contact the editor for feedback and use those recommendations to improve future submissions. Also, consider other publications and industries that could benefit from your piece.
Now that you have tips for your writing plan, it’s time to write it if you haven’t done so already. Although you can begin your freelance writing journey without a strategy, your writing life would be a little easier with one. At least write your goals so you can post them where you see them daily. This will keep you on point; it’s great for brainstorming new ideas; and it will allow you to see more opportunities.
To Your Writing Success!!
Remember I asked you to vote for Jennifer Brown Banks, the creator of Pen & Prosper, for Write to Done‘s 6th Annual Top 10 Blogs for Writers Contest in November. Well, she placed within the top 20 finalists. She didn’t make it to the top 10 in 2011, but she will this year. Thank you for your support!
Write to Done is sponsoring their 6th Annual Top 10 Blogs for Writers Contest, and I would like for you to nominate Pen & Prosper for this honor. Created by one of my most favorite writers and mentor (yes, I am totally biased), Jennifer Brown Banks, Pen & Prosper shares lessons on writing and blogging. However, Jennifer puts herself and her experiences in her work. It’s amazing.
To learn more about why you should nominate Jennifer, listen to our interview. To nominate Jennifer, visit Write to Done now and following the instructions provided. Actually, I have started the process. All you have to do is find my nomination in the comment section and hit reply.
Thanks for your support! I’m sure Jennifer appreciates you, too!
Oh, you have until December 10, 2011 to submit nominations.
Ok, I’m really cheesing on this picture, but I love writing, blogging and live blogging. Do I look like I’m promoting myself or Apple??