As I’m fond of saying, the most powerful way to market yourself is
to write a great book. Nothing sells like word of mouth, and nothing
gets people talking more than a novel they love so much it feels glued
to their fingers.
With that in mind, here are five resolutions for you to consider adopting in 2016 to help you write more compelling stories.
1. Resolve to Study the Craft-
If you’re like me, you often spend so much time writing, you don’t take
time to study the craft. So commit to a defined amount of time every
week where you’ll review the fundamentals (like reading Self Editing
for Fiction Writers) or will dive in to an area of the craft you’re
2. Resolve to Write-
Speaking of time ... commit to a certain amount of time each week that
you’ll write. I’m not one of those who says you have to write every
day. Life gets crazy. So if you end up not writing one day, write more
the next day. But write! (You might have to go nuts and cut down your
time in front of the rectangular 55” god in front of the couch, but
you’ll thank yourself for it when your book is done.)
3. Resolve to Remember God’s Definition of Success-
The world says success is money, fame, awards. God’s definition is,
“Did you try?” So stop beating up on yourself for not being published
yet, or not being traditionally published, or not selling enough books,
or not getting awards. Write because you can’t not write, and let the
4. Resolve to Get Outside Your Genre-
Yes, of course you have to be well-read in your genre, but how many
books did you read last year that were outside your happy reading
world? One? Two? Resolve to read in five different genres than yours
this year. I promise you’ll not only get ideas, your writing will
improve as you read approaches and encounter tropes you might have
never seen before.
5. Resolve to Believe- I was on
vacation with Darci and the boys in the late nineties when I met a
novelist staying at the same motel we were. After I peppered her with
questions she asked if I was a writer. I said no, that I had dabbled
with a few short stories, and kept a journal, that I wrote radio ads,
but that was about it. She looked at me dead in the eye and said,
“You’re a writer.” It was a profound moment for me. Are you writing?
Then you are a writer. Believe it.