Tag Archives: success

How to Plan For Success


by Lillian Csernica on January 2, 2017

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I’ve been doing a lot of research lately. The marketplace for writers is more competitive than ever. There are plenty of articles and blog posts and other advice venues full of tips on how to get where we want to go with our writing. It gets confusing, and not a little overwhelming.

As I’ve said in other posts, I’m not a fan of making New Year’s Resolutions. Too much pressure, especially at a time of year when we’re all recovery from the mad dash of the holidays. I do believe in setting goals and making plans. With that in mind, allow me to share with you my plan for 2017.

To be successful as a writer, I must make a daily effort in each of these three areas:

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WRITING

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EDITING

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PROMOTION

I’ve been reading up on the work habits of some of my favorite Big Names, such as William Nolan, who says he writes for three hours a day. Some years ago when I had the pleasure of meeting Roger Zelazny, he told me he sat down at the keyboard four times a day and wrote at least three sentences each time. During at least one of those times his writing would take off and he’d get a satisfactory amount of work done for that day. Esther Friesner and Janet Evanovich have also provided some excellent guidance about figuring out one’s optimal work habits.

On January 9th, school is back in session here in our neck of the woods. On that day I will launch my new work schedule. My office hours will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., with the exception of days when I’ve scheduled appointments.

Now here’s the breakdown of my work time, a division of labor which I hope will lead to making progress on several fronts:

10 a.m. until noon — Writing fresh material.

Noon to 1 p.m. — Editing short fiction from what I call my Mending Pile. I may well write more on these projects as well.

1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Pursuing the noble art of Shameless Self-Promotion. Blogging. Tweeting. Researching markets. Trading reviews. I must promote my own work, but I also have a duty to do my share of promoting the anthologies that include my stories.

My boys come home from school around 2:30 p.m. I want to be available for help with their homework, listening to how their days have gone, and in general being a good Mom. It’s very easy for me to stay shut away in my Ivory Tower while I’m working. That’s not OK. I can do that later after the boys are asleep.

I also want to be sure I have time during daylight to get out for a walk. I need more exercise, more time in the sun, and more contact with my neighbors. I may be an extrovert by nature, but the writing life tends to encourage being a recluse if you have a passion for research or you get your hands on a good book and lose all track of time.

Wish me luck! I will keep you posted on how well my plan is working.

 

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Filed under editing, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Lillian Csernica, mother, parenting, publication, research, special education, steampunk, Writing

More News From NaNo Land


by Lillian Csernica on November 24, 2016

 

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I have just reached the 40,000 word mark.

Six more days. 10,000 more words.

A whole new novel.

And I just received the inspiration that will be a key piece of plotting Book Four.

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Filed under creativity, editing, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, Writing

A Happy Day in Writer Land


by Lillian Csernica on July 9, 2016

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Happy News Item #1:

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I’ve sold another story! Details will be forthcoming upon completion of the usual paperwork. I am happy to sell this story, and I’m even happier about the market.

 

Happy News Item #2:

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My Christmas ghost story “The Family Spirit” is now available as part of Digital Fiction Publishing’s Uncommon Senses anthology.

Grab it now and savor all twelve of the marvelous stories it contains!

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Filed under Christmas, creativity, editing, fairy tales, Family, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, Humor, Lillian Csernica, love, perspective, publication, sword and sorcery, Writing

NaNoWriMo Finish Line!


by Lillian Csernica on November 26, 2014

 

 

GARDEN OF LIES

50,156 total word count so far.

Not bad for my first try!

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Filed under Awards, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Japan, love, marriage, romance, Writing

Crossing the “Finish it!” Line


by Lillian Csernica on October 20, 2014

Today is a glorious day for me.  Today I sent my novel manuscript to my agent.

It’s been a while since I’ve experienced the exhilaration of this singular experience.  Sword Master, Flower Maiden is 90, 000 words long.   All those words have been written, rewritten, cut and reorganized and cut and polished and cut a bit more.  I think I have an inkling of how a gem cutter must feel when the diamond comes out just right.  Patient application of both art and craft has brought out the special quality in the heart of the stone.

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I want to go out and party.  I want to eat ice cream.  I want to drive down the coast hanging my head out the window while the breeze whips my long hair into impossible knots.

This is what happens when I finally reach that point where I can say, “Yes, the book is done!”  My agent may disagree, and that’s OK.  She showed me how to make Ship of Dreams a stronger and better story.  I have faith in her knowledge and her instincts.  Until she gets back to me, I can do the happy dance that goes along with this stage of writing and publishing a novel.

So now what?  What do I do now that I have Finished My Novel?  I start writing the next one.  “Wait!” you might say.  “Don’t you get a break?  Don’t you get to relax for a while?”  Sure.  Tonight I’ll eat ice cream and watch “Cupcake Wars” on Netflix.  Tomorrow I keep working on the plot outline for the sequel.  NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.  I want to be ready to take a flying leap into the adventure of cranking out 50,000 words in just 30 days.  Time to pull a kitchen sink and throw everything into the ms that seems like a good idea at the time.  I’ll sift it later and make those creative decisions that move my hero and heroine forward on both their personal character arcs and on the major story arc as a whole.

I did do something really cool to celebrate finishing this novel.  I bought myself a present.  Thanks to the nice folks at Teespring, I now have a black long-sleeved shirt with a message on the front that reads:

“I CREATE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS. 

What’s your superpower?”

So here’s a high five to all my NaNoWriMo comrades, and to all my fellow novelists.  Let’s cheer each other on as we cross our individual finish lines.

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