9 Things We’ll Finally Get Right This Year as an Authorpreneur
Happy 2016 Authorpreneurs! We made a good go of it in 2015. Some days were certainly more productive than others. Distractions seemed to lurk in every corner. Feelings of fatigue, anguish, or even genuine concern for our well-being. Artistic ambitions can be overbearing, especially when coupled with our professional responsibilities.
There were good times, too, of course. Those wonderful moments when our writer vision felt so clear, and our characters at times seemed to be speaking for themselves. Perhaps we experienced some professional success, as well. A sales objective reached, a published story in our favorite journal, or a surprising number of new subscribers. These accomplishments were worth the tough times, weren’t they?
All in all, we succeeded a little, we failed a little, and hopefully we learned a lot. We’re heading into 2016 with a fresh perspective. We’re not going to forget the things that dragged us down last year, or spoiled our efforts when we were sure to have been on the right track. Here are the 9 things we’ll be keeping in mind, avoiding, and cherishing going forward.
The “To Keep in Mind” Column
- Less time can be a blessing. Being productive in other aspects of our life helps us to be more productive in the time we reserve for writing. Short story specialist George Saunders claims to write more during the semester when he’s a full-time teacher than during the summer when he doesn’t have anything else to do.
- Quality not Quantity: Vladimir Nabokov only wrote 50 words a day. Because there were less of them, he was able to put more care into them. He knew each one by name; could fit the entirety of them into the palm of his hand. He knew they would someday add up to a masterpiece, even if that meant being incredibly patient.
- We chose this. This is not our duty, our obligation, nor is it our destiny. This is a choice we are making, to forge this tricky path. Don’t depend on others to lead you, you’re leading yourself. Luckily, though, none of us are alone.
The “To Avoid” Column
- Fluffy living. When we live fluffy lives, we write fluffy words that come out of the mouths of fluffy characters. This year, we’re going to avoid superficial relationships and idle time. This year, we’re going to live a bit dangerously.
- Bad books. Bad books are tempting because they can make us feel better about our own work. But in 2016, we’re going to read stories that challenge our minds and show us what is attainable with mere words.
- Bad business. We made some mistakes in the past regarding the business aspects of our craft. However, now we recognize that, like it or not, this is a business, and we are essentially small business owners. We’re ready to embrace this role and to do what’s best for our professional path.
The “To Cherish” Column
- Energy surges. How many times have we felt an inexplicable surge of mental energy, only to squander it doing something unmeaningful? The next time a sudden breeze of useful energy comes blowing in, we’re heading straight to our desks.
- Honest feedback. We blew it the last time we asked our friend to give us his constructive criticism of our latest draft. We blew him off and made him regret having given us his time. In 2016, we’re handing out high-fives and thank-yous to anyone willing to challenge our work.
- Good words. This year, we’re going to buy some of that paint that turns your wall into a white board. We’re going to stop everything we’re doing when we come across a word or phrase we love, and add it to the wall – or at least to our Pinterest ‘Writing Inspiration’ board. We’re going to look at these words everyday and gradually find them appearing in our work, find their way to our readers.
Here’s hoping you already know exactly what to keep in mind, avoid, and cherish going into 2016. Otherwise, feel free to borrow some items from our list. Chances are at least a few will apply.
Happy 2016! Cheers!
— Marquina (@Marquina) January 5, 2016