My normal emails are, as you know, long and baggy. They tell jokes. They digress. Sometimes (goat folding – pah!) they have no practical purpose whatsoever. This email, born as it is, in the clarity and cold of a New Year’s Day, is short and to the point.
Friends, it is time to commit.
What do you want to achieve, as a writer, in the next six months?
That’s not a rhetorical question. I actually want you to answer me. I want you to tell me – tell the world – what your intentions are.
I don’t want answers that may be unachievable. So, yes, lots of you will want to say something like:
“By 1 July 2021, I want to get a six-figure deal from a Big Five house.”, or
“By 1 July 2021, I want three books self-published on Amazon and a monthly income of at least $2,500.”
And sure, lots of you will have aspirations like those. But I want commitments that definitely lie within your capability. If you don’t achieve the goal, I want that to be because you haven’t done what you said you would do.
Put another way, we’re not, today, in the business of lifting a prayer to the universe. We’re in the business of building a To Do list that we will systematically execute.
So the kind of things I want to hear from you might be things like:
“I will completely my current manuscript. I will self-edit it hard. I will get a third-party manuscript assessment (from Jericho Writers, obviously 😊). Then I will submit the work to at least 12 properly selected agents. I will have the book out on submission to those agents no later than 30 June 2021.”
A newer author might make a commitment more like this:
“I will read at least three books on writing. I will watch and absorb all of the Jericho Writers’ video course on How To Write. I will spend at least 7 hours a week on writing, every single week. I will write at least 50,000 words of my current project. I will get beta-readers to look at 2x chunks of the book. I will commit to offering feedback to at least 12 other writers, so I contribute my share to the community. I will do all this by 30 June 2021.”
Someone who’s heading for the sunlit Land of Self-Pub might say something like this:
“I will complete my manuscript. I will get editorial feedback on it, complete my edits, and get the whole thing copy-edited. I will select a cover designer, deliver a brief, and get a quality cover that I’m happy with. I’ll research my metadata and make the choices I need. I will write and produce a lead magnet that will act as the basis for my mailing list. I will do all this by 29 June 2021.” [Why the 29th? Because self-pubbers always work harder and faster than trad authors.]
OK. You get the picture. I’m after specific commitments by you, that lie within your power to execute in the next six months.
Yes, you can simply write those on a sheet of paper and glue it above your computer, but public commitments work better. I want you to enter the public square and make your commitments visible to all.
I’ll do the same. So please make your commitments right here on Townhouse. (If you’re not a member, then become one. It’s fast and free to do so.)
That’s it from me. I promised short. Here’s short:
Make your commitment.
Make it here on Townhouse.
Do it now.
On Friday 2 July, we’re all going to check back on your promises. See how we’ve done.