The holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year.” Yet, in the publishing world it grows quiet. Publications boards don’t meet. Editors don’t answer emails, and agents are tied up in other activities.
From my years in this business, book publishing is more of a marathon than a sprint. The publishing world often moves slowly and deliberately to produce excellent products and launch them into the marketplace. This intentional pace slows even more during November and December of each year.
In similar fashion, the holidays can be a time when you turn away from your writing and get involved in other activities. But that doesn’t have to happen.
I want to suggest five actions to help you increase your writing during the holiday period.
1. Create new proposals and query letters.
It takes time to craft new pitches and proposals. Even if you are going to self-publish, you still need to create the business plan for your book or proposal. If you don’t know how to write a query letter or proposal, take advantage of this time to learn this valuable publishing skill. Get my Book Proposals That $ell and read it. Use this time wisely to grow your writing life.
2. Write personal experience stories.
Everyone has “different” personal experiences during the holidays. I encourage you to be conscious of the value of these stories, and write them after they occur. As you write, include the sensory details like the objects, smells, taste, and sounds, including dialogue.
Why? Almost every print magazine uses personal experience stories and plans pages for the holidays. Thanksgiving and the Christmas season give you opportunities that do not happen any other time of year. Writing these experiences close to when they happens gives you the raw material to craft and submit stories that can be published later. If you wait, the memories and details fade. Write these stories right away.
3. Schedule time to work on a new writing project.
Maybe you would like to write a new book or ebook or create something to give to your email list. (If you don’t have an email list, now is a great time to learn to create one. Consider getting my List Building Tycoon ebook.)
When the publishing world slows down, you have the opportunity to move full-speed ahead in your creative time. Add the writing time into your calendar, and keep your commitments to move forward on the new project.
The holidays provide an ideal time to read trade magazines and learn more about how publishing works. Or read that novel you’ve been wanting to tackle. The reading process will fill up your creative well so you have the overflow to draw on for your writing after January 1.
5. Tackle a new skill.
Maybe you know you need to improve in copywriting, Internet marketing or figure out how to be better and consistent with your social media. While you can’t expect to be skilled at every aspect of publishing, you can take small steps to improve your skills during the holidays.
Get a new software program and learn how to use it. Try Facebook Live. Learn to write a book proposal.
As I point out in the first chapter of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, there are many different types of writing opportunities. Keep growing as a writer; use the holiday time to do so. Download the free sample of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and study the possibilities.
If you take deliberate action steps with your writing you will use the holidays to speed up your writing life. And, if you write throughout this season, you place yourself ahead of other writers who shift into slow gear (or park) and don’t write or work on their career at this time.
What writing project are you working on this holiday season?
About the Author
W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor lives in Colorado. A former magazine editor and former literary agent, Terry is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams and Billy Graham. To help writers catch the attention of editors and agents, Terry wrote his bestselling Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success. Check out his free Ebook, Platform Building Ideas for Every Author. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com. Connect with Terry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
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