5 Top Posts of 2016 to Get You Geared Up for Success

I don’t know about you, but somehow I lost about six months. Last time I checked, it was June or July. Now we’re facing down 2017. Yikes!

Did the time get away from you too?

I’ve been thinking hard about what topics to delve into on Live Write Thrive next year. I launched this blog in January of 2012, and in five years I’ve covered a gazillion topics. But certain topics keep rising to the surface of readers’ comments and responses to my question: What do you need? What information will help you become the writer you want to be and see the success you dream of?

I would love it if you shared in the comments just what you are struggling with and what would help you in your writing journey.

I created a survey earlier this year, and I’ve had hundreds of responses (I still haven’t gotten through them all!). But I saw some concerns repeated by many, and I’ll be addressing those both on my blog and in my newsletter blasts in 2017. One topic in particular I’m excited to expound on is productivity.

Which brings me back to this concept of lost time. I believe we all struggle with time management. Maybe time is speeding up and we just don’t know it. But whether it is or not, life is faster paced than it was even five years ago, we have more demands on our time than ever, and we are more distracted than ever (mostly because of the tech that is practically attached to our umbilical cords).

Do You Really Want to Succeed as a Writer?

So, let’s explore productivity and many other pressing concerns next year. Be sure to add your comments or email me (use my contact page on this site) and tell me what you want to learn and get help with in 2017.

Be sure to join my mailing list! You’ll get a ton of great personalized instruction, and if you join the Novel Writing Fast Track group (just check the box on the sign-up form), you’ll get loads of free ebooks and other helpful PDFs (and get to enter monthly contests to win more ebooks!) as well as some keen insights to help you fast-track your novel-writing career to success.

See that book on the right side bar: Strategic Planning for Writers–4 Easy Steps? Get that book. And use it. If you haven’t strategized your career for the next 1, 2, and 5 years, you are going to have a hard time getting anywhere. You need a strategic plan, and then you need to lay out your milestones and objectives. It’s all in the free ebook–which you get when you sign up for my mailing list!

See, it’s one thing saying you want to be a writer. It’s another thing to actually BE a writer. And another thing to be proactive about your career.

Do you have a job? Do you go to it every day (or whenever you’re scheduled to show up)? If you don’t approach your writing career with that same commitment, you aren’t going to succeed. Plan your work, then work your plan.

Use the Strategic Planning book and figure out some doable goals for next year. Share in the comments one big goal you hope to reach by the end of 2017.

So, get ready to make that career a reality!

Thank you for being a part of Live Write Thrive this year! I’m sharing links below of some of the top 5 blog posts of the year. So whether you read them or not, spend some time checking these out. Then share a comment about your top goal for next year and the ONE most exciting thing you learned on this blog or from my Writer’s Toolbox Series books that has helped you in a huge way to improve as a writer! I want to hear from you!

Top Posts:

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive New Year!

~ C. S. Lakin

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  1. My struggles are more with editing, especially those little words like this and that — sometimes unclear and sometimes unneeded — and what I’ve dubbed “It-itis.” (Confusing the meaning of a sentence by throwing in an “it” instead of using the proper word.)

    Another thing I have a problem with, if you can call it that… Whoops! If you can call it a problem… When I agree to a free book in exchange for leaving a review, what do I write when you think the book’s awful? Got any tips on tactful reviewing?

    1. It’s up to you about the review. You can either decline or you can post a polite review explaining why you didn’t like the book. No author likes getting poor reviews, but a reader has the right to express his or her opinion. You could also write the author privately and explain your thoughts and say you didn’t want to post such a negative review. I get a few “bad” reviews from time to time. Mostly it’s just a matter of personal reading taste. I welcome them (mostly because they are so rare though). I would be concerned if most of my reviews were bad, and that would tell me something about my writing ability for sure.

  2. Good morning Susanne,
    I am spending some quiet time indexing all the wonderful information I have received from you so that it can be easily accessed, but I see that I do not have a copy of your free ebook “Strategic Planning for Writers”. Would it be possible to send me a link to download it?
    Best wishes for 2017 and many thanks for all the insights and encouragement which is enabling me to write professionally.

  3. I’m looking forward to the posts on productivity. I’ve never had a problem writing for hours per day, but I’d like to feel as fulfilled when two hours of that is devoted to editing instead of new material! It’s a little harder to get all excited about cutting and reworking and cleaning up. My goal for this year is to edit my monster into something fit to send to an agent.
    I’ve enjoyed reading your series on building your novel’s structure. I appreciated the attention given to scene development. I don’t see a lot of plot development books that give much attention to the scene as an individual unit.

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. Sometimes editing is daunting to writers when they don’t know the best ways to go about it. And it is the nitty-gritty work that requires both concentration and a kind of tough love with our creativity. I actually love the polishing process because it allows me to take a breath and step back to see my scenes from different angles, and there is a great sense of satisfaction that comes when the scene finally feels “perfect.”

  4. Hi CS: I’m looking forward to articles on the sequencing of steps before during & after an ebook is published. I’ve been downloading instafreebie books recently (via bookfunnel), about 15, and today I noticed I got two follow-on emails from 2 of those writers with a 2nd ebook. I thought, wow of course, once someone downloads a book I should send them a 2nd and open the door. I never used to think like this & it’s a great change, feels proactive & solution-oriented.

    I’ve recently learned (from you & a couple others) about how to shape my writing to fit within & honor a genre. Horace (ya, the Roman) was the first to advise on this, that a reader/audience enters a sort of contract with the writer, and to fulfill that the writer needs to deliver the kind of story readers expect, but stretch it a bit too. So I’m fully on board with your excellent advice on genre writing. I look forward to posting 7 or 8 short stories & novellas at instafreebie, and then doing follow-on bookfunnel ebook sendouts to responders.

    All the best!

    1. Thanks for sharing that info. Yes, I learned that tip about giving away more than one free book from Mark Dawson, who gives away four of his novels for free to get people to sign up for his mailing list. I’ve written a lot of posts on targeting genre, and of course, I have my in-depth online video course (offered on the right side bar). I’ll be looking for experts to guest post on the topic of ebook publishing too. Have a very productive and happy New Year writing!

  5. Going back to your comment about reviews:
    “I would be concerned if most of my reviews were bad, and that would tell me something about my writing ability for sure.”

    IMO the root of a bad review isn’t often writing ability as much as bad editing. When I review a book that’s well written I mention that, even thought I may not like the subject matter or behavior of characters.

    I’ve seen a lot of “Show and tell.” Repeating. Like:
    John threw his cell phone across the room and turned to Mike. “That idiot! He really gets on my nerves.”
    Mike shook his head. He could tell John was really upset with his caller.
    (And I think, “Yeah. no kidding.”)

    Unbelievable plots and characters behaving too illogically are points off with me, yet even the Hardy Boys got away with rushing foolishly into dangerous situations one would avoid in reality. However, I mention if the protagonist acts like she doesn’t have a brain in her head, or brings on her own woes by belligerently antagonizing everyone.

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