Official Grand Re-Kindling of My Writing Career: TODAY!!!

November 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

…..after reading some articles and links to articles on Charlotte Dillon’s website (which has a HUGE section devoted to aspiring and established authors), I found myself going: “Why has my writing career gone stagnant? Why haven’t I sent anything in for publication lately? Why haven’t I been producing those k’s and k’s of word count that i used to?”

There are a few simple statements that can answer the above questions in absolute truths:

– procrastination/laziness on my part.
– new “real” career as nurse.
– termination of 4-year fling.
– lack of organization in work-life balance, meaning sporatic poorly planned writing sessions, and rare ones at that!
– too many ideas, not enough sit-down time to develope them.

So what was my solution to my little problem?


Not think, but act – do.

And do in an organized, damned-near professional approach.

See, my theory is this: if I want to be a successful author, I need to treat my writing career as just that — a career. Which isn’t to say I’m going to quit my day job (which is really a night/day job 🙂 ), it just means that I am going to buckle down and use some of Charlotte’s strategies and Plain Jane common sense to take those bountiful ideas and turn them into fiery electrons on my laptop – treat my writing business like a business, and hopefully be rewarded with hundreds of thousands possibly millions of words worth of sellable, marketable, publish-worth tale-telling!

One of Charlotte’s strategies is to use a “Get It Done” chart…a simple 7-day a week log of your activities, i.e. word count writted, edits, research, promotional activities you’ve done. I have printed this out and am going to give it a test run — try it for a few months and see if my productivity increases.

I have also started a series of journals where I outline my expenses (i.e this morning’s purchase at Staples — 30% off of everything in store, guys and gals! Closing out sale! — and yesterday’s purchase of six licenses for cover art for six of my novels from Jimmy Thomas’ site; my writing income; my communications with i.e. publishers, agents, other writers, cover artists; my writing To Do list; all stories to date (gotta keep track of those possibly best-selling first chapters of works-in-progress somehow); and what/where/when of published works.

I am keeping track of all of my receipts, and soon applying for a US IRS tax number, and trying to navigate my way through an understanding of the US tax system and how it will affect my Canadian Income Tax return when/if I begin to accumulate more US sales (which is my hope when i self-publish my work to Kindle and Smashwords, for starters).

I am also soon going to be hitting the library to make inquiries as to whether or not there are any writer’s groups in my area (i.e. critiquing circles, reading circles, author’s lounge, etc) — and if there aren’t any, I am damned well going to start one, as i see a purpose and need for it! Just the other day, I was chatting with a restaurant server who at 10K words of her story expressed a similar concern about keeping on task, writing wise – and wondering how to break into the industry, potential markets, the processes, the formatting of manuscripts, etc. I really feel that she is not alone in this City — I know more about the publishing process than the average Amanda, but I have a lot of unanswered questions too. Plus, it’s nice to bounce ideas for stories off of a nice live person instead of emailing or blogging or posting… Which is why I was totally thrilled when one of my co-workers read and gave feedback on a first four pages I’d just gotten excited about (gypsies getting their tongues cut out and exacting revenge for it — thanks JPS for your input! “Suspense” wasn’t what I was shooting for, but damn — what a compliment, i always consider suspense a very difficult thing to write! Thanks!).

Long story made shorter — if an author’s group doesn’t already exist here, i am going to start one. Even if it’s just a group of a couple of us lone wolves….at least it’s some input/support to benefit the pack.


So that’s about it for now….my fourth night shift is beginning to catch up with me.

time to head to bed before I start dotting my t’s and crossing my i’s.

I’m crossing my eyes as it is…


Sincere regards,

Amanda M. Holt
Neophyte Author With Nebulous Talents and Improving Ambition

p.s. charlotte dillon’s website can be found at

I found to be of particular use.

The Get It Done log chart can be found at



  1. aeronwinters said,

    Thanks for the info. I hope you do find and/or start an author’s group on here, and rest assured you would have at least one other member besides yourself! You seem to know a great deal about getting started (at least you are approximately 10 billion miles ahead of myself) and I would love to learn more. Take care!

  2. Kate Policani said,

    Ooh! I’m going to look for a local writers group too! Why didn’t I think of that?

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