Well, 2016 is coming to a wrap (seriously, it went by that quick?!). That means it’s time to look back on the year, and plan for the one coming up. You may have had some successes in 2016, but you may have had some failures. Either way, it’s good. Seriously. If you’ve had successes, it means you’re primed to go into the new year, that you have a momentum to build on, and you can start aiming for that next step. If you’ve had some failures, remember these are learning opportunities. These are the moments that teach you about your writing career, the industry, your craft, your fortitude, and your goals.
In order to help you get motivated for 2017, I’ve written up my tips for how to handle your success and your failures from this year, and use them to progress for next year:
· Congratulations! Celebrate – you deserve it!
· Make sure you don’t get complacent. As they say, don’t rest on your laurels. Publishing demands our very best, so keep giving it your all.
· Look at what created your success and how you can replicate it. Did you score an agent or publishing deal? Analyze your own book and see what made it stand out. Successful launch? Look at what people liked most, drop the bits they didn’t for your next launch. There’s always something to learn.
· Help others. Use your success to help empower other writers. Contests such as Pitch Wars do just this. However, you can do it, too, even if you’re not a mentor. Maybe be a great critique partner, join up with someone for shared promotion, do a super awesome blog post, etc.
· Stay humble and don’t look down on those who are climbing the ladder behind you – it’ll bite you on the ass one day. Writers are some of your best readers. Don’t piss them off.
Your Bumps in the Road
· Congratulations! You put yourself out there. Thousands and thousands of people don’t. You DID. Take immense pride in that.
· Take the opportunity to learn. What didn’t work for you? Why? Analyze your writing – is there an element you want to learn more about? Ask someone or take a course. Didn’t get enough promotion for your book? Talk to other writers and see what worked for them. Make a strategy with your agent or publisher.
· Don’t beat yourself up. It’s always a challenge going for your goals. Know that and do it anyway. That’s what makes you amazing – not giving up.
· Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. Don’t be afraid to approach someone and ask a question. More often than not, you’ll be well-received. And if you’re not, that’s not someone you want to take an example from anyway.
· Help those on the ladder behind AND above you. Writers all have the same insecurities, so lift people up wherever you can.
I wish you all the very best for 2017, and hope you remember the most important thing is self-care. Look after yourself and make sure that you keep happy in your life, and your writing!