Words cannot even describe the panic I was feeling when I first finished writing my novel. Just four hours before I submitted my story to literary agents, I told myself, if I don’t do it now, I may never do it.
I thought: “No, this is what I want, this is what I need to do!” It was one of the scariest moments of my life. It’s funny, but I have experienced a lot of fear and terror on this journey, but this feeling… It’s so much worse than anything I could have imagined.
That, of course, is because I didn’t know what was ahead; I didn’t know how rejection was going to make me feel. I didn’t know how the publishing process was going to be hard.
I didn’t know how I was going to meet with agents and publishers. I didn’t know if I was even going to get published at all. But still, I did it.
Now I’ve written over ten full-length novels, my blog has over 250,000 visitors per month, and I get to go to book festivals. If I hadn’t made that decision, I would be a failure.
But now, I’m even more fearless, which means that I know I can continue writing books and publishing them.
Now I am in the second stage of becoming a successful novelist. Being a published author is not enough, though. It doesn’t mean you have accomplished anything.
While some people consider this stage to be ‘making it,’ I see it as a huge victory, but only if you continue your journey towards becoming a writer.
Before I can even consider the next step, I need to analyze where I am now. So, what does success look like when writing novels?
At this point, you are a successful author. Your friends and family are proud of you and excited to see what you will write next.
If your goal is to sell books, the first few questions you should ask yourself are the following:
- What is your platform?
- Where do you publish your books?
- What type of writing is your audience interested in?
- In short, what is your niche?
For example, my audience is non-traditional students and teachers of English as a second language. Their problem is that their students can’t understand English words when they read them on the first or fifth pages.
Before I start writing my next book, I look for an appropriate topic and writer to write about. I do this for one main reason: readers and readership will flock to you when you produce something they love.
When your writing is entertaining, readers are more likely to keep coming back for more.
Let’s say you write non-fiction books on running marathons. Your potential audience is runners who are looking for a reason to set their fitness goals and prepare for their first race.
Or maybe you write fiction books on invisible illnesses, socially anxious people, cancer patients, or people with special needs. The writing you create can help people deal with their daily lives and inspire them.
With this newfound platform, you can start working on your next book. When you have the itch to start working on your next novel, try setting writing goals to help you build up your momentum.
Set daily writing goals
I usually schedule 30-40 minutes a day to write. I used to work out every morning, but I have found that writing better stories instead of killing myself by working out is more productive.
So, instead of planning to exercise every day, I work out on those days when I really want to write. That means I always work out for the same amount of time I should be working on my next book.
If I’m not writing my book every day, I set a reminder on my phone to do so.
By planning to write, I am more motivated to work towards my goals. For example, if I want to write a thriller-romance novel, I plan to write 4-6 chapters per week.
That way, I’ll have plenty of time to get my story written. This planning also helps me because I know that I’m more likely to complete my goals.
Once you have a specific project in mind, you can write down a plan for completing your goal. For example, I set daily writing goals for my time off.
I’m off on Mondays, so I want to write 4-6 chapters for my next book on those days when I’m off. This helps me to have a specific goal and plan for each day off.
When you schedule writing time in your planner or calendar, you can remind yourself of your goals and push yourself to meet your deadlines. When you set your writing goals, you can find out how long it will take you to complete your project.
This will help you to figure out how much time you have to work on your book.
Make a book club out of writing
Making your writing goals a social event can help you meet other writers and readers. If you belong to a book club, you can make sure that everyone is on the same page.
When you’re working on your book, you can share your progress with others, and you’ll also have plenty of fellow authors who can ask you for feedback. Working on your book is a huge project, so sharing it with others can help you stay motivated.
When you want to get feedback on your writing, ask a writer that you admire. You can search the web for writing contests that offer critiques or ask friends and family to give you some feedback on your story.
Creating a weekly work-plate can help you manage the days leading up to your deadline. You can work on your book and other projects on your “off” days.
I make sure to write a lot every week, and it makes me a better writer and a better writer’s assistant.
If you want to start building your platform, it helps to use it to your advantage. Writing can be an effective way to share your story with people, especially if your audience is just like you.
But the best way to get feedback is to share your writing with other people and start engaging with them.
Using the tips above, you can start building your writing platform.