But January, ah, sweet January--represented by the richly-hued rainbows of garnet--a glistening gem in any 12-month cycle. It's a time to press the "reset" button, time to reprioritize, time to rethink, time to regroup...basically, January=time. How rare is that commodity, time? It may not be listed on Bloomberg, but nevertheless, is more valuable than a coveted ounce of platinum.
As writers, January is the PERFECT time to get a schedule set up for the next twelve months. In academia, we call it a "publishing agenda." You generally have a research and publishing agenda, basically, a schedule for creation, production, and publication. It's a great thing to consider. If we all thought of our writing careers like we would any job we are hired and paid to perform, well, anyone who wanted to be published would be. That's my January challenge for myself, and, for YOU: It's time to begin again. So go buy your 2010 Jeff Herman Guide; pick up a copy of the Literary Agent Guide for 2010. Get your literary ball rolling! Send out a minimum of 2 queries a week. As Stephen King recommends in his On Writing, write at least an hour everyday--even if it's in a journal or a blog--just do it.
The Challenges? There are many but don't be daunted! Writing is not for the faint of heart. To succeed, you have to be disciplined. You have to have vision. And, you have to be able to project that on paper to prospective agents and publishers. Though the hectic holiday season is past, we still live rather hectic lives. Work, school, family--all take away time from our writing and consequently, our publishing schedule. While you may have to carve out time in slices, like maybe after everyone is in bed, or maybe, before everyone wakes up, it will be worth it. I can't tell you how many times I sat at my computer from 10:30pm into the wee hours of the morn working away on writing projects--go the extra mile and make that time. No one ever regretted making time to accomplish goals. The regret sets in when another 12 months flies by and that book you wanted to finish, or those queries you meant to send out, never get done. You OWE it TO YOURSELF to put aside the challenges and COMMIT to YOURSELF that you will make a hard run at publishing success in 2010.
So go ahead and make a schedule--stick to it, and see success in 2010. Good luck! . :)
Best wishes for a prolific and profitable publishing year!