Operation Author – 365 steps to succeed as an author

raggyprojects cr Amy MorseThis week’s guest post comes from author Amy Morse, and offers a day-by-day, step-by-step guide to attaining your literary goals in 2014.

The New Year is a time for reflecting on the highs and the lows of the past year and a time for looking forward and making plans.

At the start of last year, I set myself the goal, a resolution if you like, to do something creative every day. But as with any goal, it needed to be more specific.

I was writing a book at the time so I chose the theme of books. On 31st December I completed my 365 day art project – ProjectBook365

Part of taking on a project like this is that you need to share it with others, if you don’t, there is no accountability, except to yourself, and that’s not enough to stay motivated.  I started a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProjectBook365) for the project and it’s amazing how encouraging it is getting likes and comments on your work, it kept me going.

Far from it being a relief to finally finish the project, it spurred me on to start the next one.

The Bronze Box coverI achieved a couple of milestones while doing the project. The first was publishing my debut novel, The Bronze Box. Another was being a NaNoWriMo winner.

Writing a book is only part of the life of being an Author. Marketing your work should take up a significant part of your time if you stand any chance of making any money from writing.

It’s often the bit that writers really struggle with. They’ll say; ‘I’m rubbish at selling myself’ – the very phrase seems somehow cheap and seedy. But it’s not about selling yourself, it’s about sharing what you’re passionate about – in my case: telling a good story.

I have a book to sell, and I’m working on another, so the logical next step is to make marketing my work and building my platform as a writer a daily habit. If I can help other writers to set daily goals and get into good habits – Bonus!

Marketing The Bronze Box cr Amy Morse

This is the overall aim on the project that I’ve started in 2014: Operation Author – 365 actions to succeed as an author.

Setting a daily goal may seem a bit ambitious, but if you link your daily activities to a theme, you establish a direction and then it’s just about one small action after another.

Collage made up of book scraps cr Amy MorseIf one small thing at a time appeals to you here’s how to kick off a 365 project

Step 1: Decide on your overall aim – keep it fairly loose so that you allow scope for creativity and variety

Step 2: Decide on a day when you’ll start – a milestone date is motivating, i.e.: 1st January or your birthday, for example. But it really doesn’t matter, as long as you start the countdown and keep a note

Step 3: Tell people – The moment you share something with someone it becomes accountable, otherwise it’s only ever something that will float around in your head. Decide on an appropriate medium to make your project public i.e.: Facebook, Blogging, Pinterest etc.

This communication channel is fundamental to the project.  The mission for a project like this is ultimately to raise your profile but it’s also about creating a narrative that people will identify with and to inject some personality into your work.

Step 4: Go for it! On day one, a good place to start is to mind map and list a few initial ideas so you don’t run out of steam early on.

I pledge to complete a blog post weekly and hope that others will be motivated and inspired by my actions to come up with their own ways to move forward – in 365 simple steps.

Author Amy MorseAuthor bio

Amy Morse is a writer, artist, enterprise coach and entrepreneur, who describes herself as “Business trainer by day, performer of random acts of creativity by night and fun-loving Bristolian at weekends. Finding inspiration in the everyday, creating something from nothing and enabling others to do the same.”

She is the author of The Bronze Box (writing as Amy C Fitzjohn), and is currently writing the follow up, Solomon’s Secrets – read a preview here. Find out more  about Amy at www.ideaism.blogspot.co.uk.