From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Three Things a Writer Should Do Every Day

So, my mind works best when I divide things up into smaller chunks. My brain likes categories and lists. I think probably most people function best that way. Basically, I've sort of done that with building a career as a modern-day writer.

I'm pretty sure I've talked about this before, but it definitely bears repeating because I honestly believe that by following these three categories both simplifies things and streamlines our efforts, but also is the most efficient way to work towards success. This is obviously from my very limited and inexperienced perspective, so if those with more wisdom out there have things to add, I definitely want to hear them. This is the way my mind has categorized things, but if there's more to be done on this writing journey, I want to do it.

Anyway. Without further ado, here are the three categories I think we writers should be working at every day. And don't stress, because two of these can generally be done in like fifteen minutes a day.

1. Writing. First and most important, obviously. Writers write. I'm still working on building up to the pace I really want to be at. This is simple and straightforward, but the major key. And I guess what I want to say about this is that it doesn't necessarily have to be working on your big novel. Those big projects are probably the most important, yes, but in the between or down times work on short stories or essays or song lyrics or a movie script or a one act play or video poem for YouTube or a web comic. Just keep writing and creating.

2. Submitting and Querying. Really all we're doing as writers is creating as high quality as product as we can, and then doing our best to put it where people will see it. The major things in this category are submitting to agents and publishers, I think. But we do a disservice when we limit ourselves to that, I think. Submit your short stories and poems to magazines, your essays to journals, your web comics and one act plays to competitions. The internet is a vast resource for all kinds of opportunities. And for you self-publishers out there: submit to book review blogs and journalists and self-publishing competitions and other media outlets. Just one or two submissions a day could really pay off.

3. Marketing and Networking. Now for many writers this is the scary side of being a modern-day author, but it totally doesn't have to be. This really can take just ten minutes a day, up to however much effort you want to put into it. In some ways this overlaps with submitting: network with reviewers and journalists and media sources. Also take advantage of social media in whatever way works best for you. Take ten minutes a day updating that and sending press packages wherever you think you can do some good. You never know what could come of it.

There you have it. And this is as much a reminder for me as anyone. I need to get back to doing better at this. But thinking of it this way might help simplify things and help us all know where to put our biggest efforts. Here's to big success for all of us!

Sarah Allen
[Image source]


  1. I know a lot of 'writers' who never put a word on paper and only daydream about their book. Doesn't really work like that :)

  2. Ten minutes a day? I want to know your secret.

  3. Alex, I think her definition of marketing and yours differs. She must not be including blog visits. LOL

    Enjoyed the post, Sarah. I like breaking things into chunks and lists, too. I'm an incurable list-maker! :)

  4. It's the writing I'm having problems with at the moment. None of it makes sense, and I've deleted almost back to a blank first page :-( On the plus side, lots of networking :-)

  5. I wish it took 10 minutes a day. It takes me up to an hour if I'm crunching for time. When I promote myself on say a Facebook site, I always promote 1 to 3 other authors on my page from each group I belong to. I also click on their name to LIKE them. It is time consuming. But one must do unto others what you'd like done for yourself.

    Good post as always.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  6. I write everyday, but with no goal to publish. It is for the joy of writing.

  7. I have to admit that the querying and marketing are low on my list, especially if I am into writing a book (I'm editing my second one and that rewriting takes time and about all the stick -to- it- ivness I can manage in a day. Querying is something my critique group uniformly hates - so much time for little to no return. But you are right, Sarah. These are the three things a serious writer must attend to!

  8. No. 3 is definitely the least appealing. If only there were some software that did it for us. One day...


  9. I was with you on 1 and 2 but you lost me on 3. I can't figure out how to market/network in 10 minutes.


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