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Tip Tuesday #113

Hey everyone,

Thanks to the great response to my post last week, we'll definitely continue Tip Tuesday. Topics can be anything related to writing craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you've got a tip you'd like to share, please e-mail at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.

Our first tip of the new year was sent in by Kristin Lenz whose previous tips include #103 and #112. Kristin is a social worker and writer who contributes to the YA Fusion blog. This week she's interviewing Dandy Conway, district sales manager for Random House Children's Books. Go here to learn more about how she supports authors as a liaison between publisher and bookstore.

The New York Times recently featured an article about New Year's resolutions and willpower. The gist of the article was that most people start out with good intentions, but poor strategies, assuming that they'll somehow have the willpower to resist temptations. Yet studies have shown that willpower is depletable - you will very likely run out at some point, and you need to anticipate these limits. One of their recommendations was to enlist outside help and outsource self-control. Read the article for more suggestions, but here's a couple ideas to fuel your writing willpower year-round.

Choose a writing partner and agree on a weekly writing goal, such as 5 pages, or 5000 words, whatever works for you. At the end of every week, you will email your pages to that partner. She's not going to read it. She's simply going to confirm that you completed your goal, and give you a virtual pat on the back. Of course, you might want her to read and critique it, but the point is to just get it done and be held accountable by a friend who understands. Take it a step further and reward yourselves for completing these goals after a month, or 3 months - meet for coffee (or wine!) or a movie.

Another idea was suggested by Darcy Pattison. (If you've never attended one of Darcy's workshops, you need to check out her website now! She discovered 750 Words.com. Inspired by the idea of morning pages in The Artist's Way, 750 Words encourages you to write 3 pages every day. It's online, private, keeps track of your word count, and you earn points for completion. Check it out for yourself here.

Best of luck on your 2012 writing goals!
Kristin Lenz


Steve MC said...

Tip Tuesday lives! :-)

Matthew MacNish said...

I love these tips, and I think I heard NPR talking about willpower depletion too.

What I love even more than the tips, though, is meeting the bloggers who bring them. Thanks, Casey!

Old Kitty said...

Good luck to all those following these tips!! Sounds most do-able! take care

Marta Szemik said...

Good Tips! I put up a word counter on my blog for 2012. It's holding me accountable for 500 words each day and I find it very helpful to keeping me on track.
I like the new background!

gaylene said...

That is a great tip. I can do three pages a day. I'll have to check it out!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great tip! It's always great to find ways to hold yourself accountable to reach your goal.

Ali B said...

I like the writing partner idea. I've always been a team player, and I respond very well to praise. :-)

Alexandra Loewen said...

So happy to hear that Tip Tuesday won't disappear after all! Thanks Casey!

Great tip for the new year. I'm also intrigued to read Kristin's interview. I have not read much about or from those in sales, and I'd like to learn more about their critical role in the industry...should be a very interesting perspective.

Kelly Polark said...

Excellent tip!!!

And thank you to Natalie and Casey! I received Wildefire in the mail!! :)

Nancy Thompson said...

Willpower is depletable...ain't that the truth!

Mart Ramirez said...

Awesome. Tips.
Yay Tip Ties.

Mart Ramirez said...

Yay Tip Tues!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great tips Kristin. I definitely need the suggestions to stay on track.

Anonymous said...

Yay for TT! Looking forward to following along in 2012. Great tip. Thanks, Kristen!

Jennifer R said...

Great tips, Kristin. I will have to check out the 750 word website. Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

Thanks to Kristin for these great tips!