Now all the celebrations have died down, one thing that many of us think of when it comes to January are new year’s resolutions. Whether that’s to exercise more, eat more healthily, or finally finish that book we’ve been working on for years. Hey, you may have even decided that it’s time to start that book you’ve been talking about writing for years. Wherever you are on your literary journey, the truth is, the overbearing, inbox-invading new year’s resolution is rarely your friend. But why?
Too much pressure
Well, it puts pressure and expectation on you for on thing. Now, I’m not saying having goals is bad, of course it isn’t, but choosing to start your book because it’s the time of year when you’re expected to make an effort can seem a little forced. You can still make a resolution, but just make it a bit more realistic. Something like ‘I promise to make a start’ or ‘I’m going to spend some time researching ideas.’
Break it down
The key thing is, breaking your book-writing process down into manageable chunks. There’s so much to think about after all. Genre, format, length, target audience, time, cost, artwork, promotion, marketing… the list goes on and it can easily start to look overwhelming. Just approach things one bit at a time. For example, you could say to yourself: ‘January is a quiet month. I’m going to spend a couple of hours each week throwing some ideas around’. Or if you already have an idea, try expanding it into a rough story arc.
Even when you’re not writing, you can do a lot of research into the marketing and promotion side of things. Look on Twitter to see how people are promoting themselves, follow other writers, promoters, reviewers and businesses to get a feel for how it works. You’ll feel yourself getting immersed in the ebb and flow of self-publishing, and that can really help when you get going. Why? Because there are thousands of others who are on exactly the same journey as you and hearing about their frustrations and even successes can be helpful and insightful.
Just write something
Like many of you, I have a notepad of ideas and half-formed stories, some if which will never see the light of day. The important thing is though, I wrote them down. One of them I turned into a short story which just came out of one image that sprung into my mind, which I wrote down. Even if you don’t have an idea, just start writing something. Even if it’s a ramble, a blog like this or a journal, you’re getting yourself into the rhythm of writing, and that’s always a good thing!
So whatever your goals, dreams and aspirations for 2023 are, I wish you the best of luck!