Have you heard people make the statement that after ten years of hard work they were an overnight success? Honestly, I think that this is just the way life works. We look at writers like J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer and wish we could wake up as rich and famous as they are. In rare instances, I suppose success can come from a quick stroke of luck, but for the vast majority its all about persistence and hard work. Like that old formula, something like 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration. There are the nitty-gritty things we can do every day that may not seem like they're getting us anywhere, but its the build up of time and effort that is the only thing that can guarantee payoff in the long run. So here are the things writers need to work on every day:
-Write. This is the most important one. Get your butt in the chair and write. I think it was Stephen King who said that the writer is the one who doesn't leave the room. Make a daily goal for yourself and don't go to bed until you've met it. Ever. You can't be published until you have something to publish. This is one I am going to work on. Just sit down and write. Right now. Just do it.
-Blog consistently. Blogging is one of the most effective ways of building a readership, so don't slack off in this area. Put out new posts consistently, comment on other blogs, do the best you can to get your blog as big as you can. When you have a book out there waiting to be bought, you'll be glad you did.
-Send out. When a piece is finished, never let it sit on your hard drive for more then 24 hours. Keep your pieces in the system, keep them flowing. Take them in for edits when you need to, but then get them back out there as soon as you can.
-Daily Marketing. Be creative in how you do this, but do it. Blogging is part of this, but spend a little time on other sites where you can build a following. Build connections with local journalists and other people who can help you get the word out. Build a following on social networking type sites. (Scribd, Facebook,Youtube,Flickr are some good basic ones). Get your friends to link to your blog or write a 5-star review of your book on Amazon. The way things are in the publishing world right now, it seems like the more a writer can do for themselves publicity wise, the better off they'll be. So do something every day. Just don't let it take away from your writing time.
-Research. Check publishing news. Read blogs. Research different agents and editors. Find book clubs in your area that might be interested in your stuff. Look at whats on the top of the best-sellers list. Keep up on local or national creative writing competitions that may be coming up. Just keep up on whats going on in your field so you can be ahead of the game instead of being left behind.
-Write. Did I mention that you should be writing? Yeah. Just do it.