Seven Habits of Highly Effective Authors: Habit One

by Tami Dane on May 20th, 2010
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Before I sold my first book, I was desperately searching for the magic formula that would catapult me from unpublished wannabe to published author status. Yes, I was one of those writers, the kind who wanted to be published so bad I could taste it. And I admit I was looking for shortcuts.

Did I find any shortcuts? Sorry, nope. But I did find some things that could help move me in the right direction. Ready? I think I’ll post one “habit” a week, for seven weeks. That way, I won’t have this uber-long treatise that no one wants to read, lol.

So what’s today’s habit?

1. Published authors spend their time writing. Books. Not blogs. Not emails. Not chit-chatty messages on forums or yahoo groups.

They write every day (well, except for holidays and maybe weekends if writing is your full time job).

I can’t tell you how many writers I see waste valuable time playing on forums, blogs and yahoo groups. Yes, this kind of activity could be seen as networking, developing a market for future books (a readership) and researching the industry. But the time should be limited and never interfere with time spent actually writing.

In order to keep priorities straight, I recommend a writer set a specific word count/page count goal for every day.

What’s a realistic goal? That depends upon your situation. Do you have small children at home? Do you work a full time job? Do you have other time consuming daily obligations? Then maybe your goal will be to write one page a day. That’ll get you a book a year.

If you’re writing full time, you might be able to tackle a much more aggressive goal. Ten to twenty pages a day is common for some authors, particularly epublished who rely upon frequent ebook releases to generate buzz and steady income.

Whatever that goal might be–one page or twenty–be tough on yourself. No “play time” allowed until your daily goal is met. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with some fun time on Romance Divas, Facebook or Twitter AFTER your pages are done 🙂

Do this, and before long it’ll become routine and you’ll be cranky if you don’t get your pages done for the day.

Okay, so that’s it. Habit number one. I’ll give you a little hint about next week’s habit…it has to do with something that most authors don’t want to know about.

(this series was previously published on www.tawnytaylor.blogspot.com)

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Categories: writing

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