Take Action - An IWSG Post


Today is the first Wednesday of the month:  Insecure Writer's Support Group blog! The IWSG is a safe place for writers to express their fears and insecurities in a supportive environment. Join us at  www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com And don't forget to sign up for the IWSG Newsletter - it's filled with great advice written by writers for writers.  

This month's IWSG Reflective Question: 
 
 In terms of your writing career, where do you see yourself five years from now, and what’s your plan to get there?


My five year plan began in January 2014, and the end goal is to make a living from my fiction writing by the time I’m 50 years old – the timing works out perfectly (with a couple of months leeway).

In order to achieve that goal, I haven’t set a rigid schedule but rather a plan of action – I am constantly asking myself, what do I need to do in order to achieve my goal?  Here are some of the things I’ve done so far:

  • Completed two reputable writing courses – met a fantastic tutor who is now  a life-long friend
  • Attended and completed a residential writing course at Chez Castillon in France
  • Created a writing blog
  • Read lots of books – fiction and non-fiction
  • Participated in online writing webinars,  with Joanna Penn, Anne Rainbow, Nick Stephenson, and others
  • Subscribed to writing magazines to keep up-to-date with what’s going on
  • Attended Chipping Norton Literary Festival 2014 – networking with other authors
  • Attended Frankfurt Book Fair 2015
  • Participated in the subscribers sections of the writing magazines – letters published
  • Written a crime novel – to be published 2017
  • Found a lovely editor for my novel – almost finished with the rewrites
  • Written short stories for competitions – some level of success
  • Written short stories for the UK women magazine market – nothing published yet
  • Self-published a book of short stories – July 2016 on Amazon
  • Made some amazing writing friends
  • Researched marketing and how to market a book effectively – this is an ongoing process

The journey is challenging – but anything worth having usually is. Not only am I learning a lot about the craft and self-publishing but also about the necessary emotional skills needed to succeed in the writing world (those dreaded rejections).

Do I believe I will achieve my goal? Yes, I do – if I continue to learn, progress and work hard. The great thing is, whenever my confidence falters, I can rely on my extended family and writing friends for encouragement – and I hope I inspire others in return.

Have you participated in webinars? Did you find them useful? Do you enjoy going to literary festivals/book fairs? How do you keep yourself up-to-date with what’s going on in the writing world?

Wishing you all a super festive month and happy writing!

Comments

  1. Awesome, well done and congrats on your book coming out next year :)

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  2. Awesome schedule. I find attending webinars and online workshops to be so helpful. I also love taking writing classes and being part of writing associations.
    All the best with your plans. If you keep your focus, you will achieve your goals, and I know you will continue to do that.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

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    1. I've really enjoyed the webinars I've attended. And it was so easy to take part, not having to worry about travel etc. Thank you for popping by, Pat. I do hope all is well with you. Have a super December.

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  3. You've achieved so much!

    I try to keep up to date with developments in the writing industry, although I do feel a bit out of touch with the traditional market since turning my back on it for the time being.

    There's just so much I have to do without worrying about what a million agents who probably don't even want my book have to say.

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    1. It's difficult to keep abreast of all that's going on in the writing industry. Things change so rapidly. But it would be very boring if it didn't :) Thank you for popping by. Have a super December.

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  4. It's those definite, tangible goals and achievements that keep someone moving forward. Just stay on your path and you'll get there.

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  5. Wow, I sure believe in you, Nic. With your positive attitude and talent and skills, you will definitely get there.

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    1. Bless you, Karen. Thanks so much for your ever continuing support and encouragement. It is greatly appreciated.

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  6. I like your plan and the things you've done to get there. I help run and attend a big writing conference every year. I also belong to RWA and IWSG which both help me keep up to date. I think marketing is something that changes all the time. Things work for a while and then they don't.

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    1. It must be really exciting to help with the writing conference. I'd love to organise something like that in the future. Thank you for commenting, Susan.

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  7. Meeting a tutor and making them a life long friend is huge! Congrats on that and here's to a new year with many more achievements.

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  8. Incredible! You've done so much. You're on the right path. Keep on pushing forward. I read a lot of of craft books on writing and I've attended seminars and workshops.

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    1. I read so many 'how to' books at the beginning of my writing career path that my tutor told me to stop. I was getting very confused :) Being a keen learner can have its drawbacks :)

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  9. That's a brilliant journey, Nicola, and I'm sure it will all add greatly to your long-term success! Hope 2017 brings great things.

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  10. You have done a lot of great things. You will meet your goal. I believe it, too. :)

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  11. Congratulations on all your accomplishments and future success!
    Mary at Play off the Page

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  12. That's an impressive plan of action! Wow, I feel so disorganized...

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    1. I'm impressed with all that you do on a daily basis, Alex! Kudos. You couldn't accomplish all that if you were disorganized :) Thanks so much for popping by. Have a super December and enjoy all the festivities.

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  13. You've got a great plan, one that sounds like success will be waiting for you at the end. Great job and good luck!

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    1. It just kind of evolved - a starting point and an end point were established and the bit in between is just doing the things I need to do :) Thanks for the encouragement, Loni.

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  14. Congratulations on all you accomplished so far and all the best with future goals!

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    1. Thank you very much, Nasreen. It's lovely to 'meet' you. Have a lovely week.

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  15. That's a nice list you've got going there. I retire in 3 years, so my goal is to be writing full time then.

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    1. Just don't wish those 3 years away, Donna. Enjoy every day and keep those words flowing :)

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  16. Wonderful, Nicola! You've really worked hard and it sounds like you've gained immeasurable knowledge in our craft. Kudos.

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    1. Still learning, Sandra :) I don't think that will ever stop, which is great. Thanks for popping over.

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  17. Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and best wishes for all that's ahead!
    I like some writing conferences, but I actually like the smaller ones because I'm a bit shy. I tried a webinar a while back, but my life is so busy and I didn't set aside those days specifically for that, so I am thankful it was a free one. :)

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    1. Timing things is so important. Over the years I've taken courses that weren't successful because of my poor timing (not writing courses). I learned that valuable lesson and now choose wisely, never acting on a whim.

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  18. You have a solid plan. I've attended writing conferences and have taken on-line courses. Both have taught me a lot and helped to keep me energized. Best wishes for much success, and happy holidays.

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    1. Thank you, Cherie. So pleased things are progressing nicely for you. Love your blog!

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  19. You have quite the five-year "plan". Glad it's working out for you.

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  20. You seem to be doing a great job. You're definitely well organized about it :). That should help a lot.

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    1. My former career taught me to be organized :) Thanks for visiting. Have a lovely week.

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  21. Congrats on all that you have achieved so far Nicola. All the best with the future.

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  22. Like you I'm not keen on a rigid schedule - I just try to make sure I'm always heading in vaguely the right direction.

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    1. Being free to take the odd detour is so important, I think.

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  23. Nice plan, Nicola, and you're doing wonderfully to make it happen. Cheers!

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  24. Sounds like you've been making some good progress since 2014. Bravo! I've attended some webinars, but the results have been mixed. Sometimes I learn a lot and other times it seems the speaker isn't saying anything new.

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    1. Nowadays, I research the speaker to ensure I'm going to learn something and not waste my time.I think being teachers, Ken, we expect a lot - and why not? :):) Thanks for popping by.

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  25. You've done some amazing things, Nicola--bravo! Here's to meeting your goal--I wish you all the best in 2017.

    (I would have answered your questions, but you just read my post, so you already know my answer.) :) I'd love to know which retreat you spoke of on my blog, though--I'm very intrigued!

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    1. Thank you! And I wish you a very successful and prosperous new year too :) The residential course I went on was at Chez Castillon in the Bordeaux region of France. Not only was the course absolutely fabulous with a superb tutor but I was lucky enough to meet 6 best selling authors there too, who were on retreat. The experience was amazing.

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  26. Hi Nicola - you've been doing lots and doing it in different languages I see! Now that would floor me! Congratulations and I'm sure with your dedication and desire you'll achieve ... good luck and here's to a happy and successful 2017 - cheers HIlary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. Have a lovely festive season and a very happy and prosperous new year.

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  27. I've no doubt you'll achieve your goals! Such a detailed plan and you're making it work! Great job, truly impressive! Can't wait to read your crime novel!

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    1. Thank you, Yolanda. I can't wait to read it either LOL!!!

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  28. Wow! I'm impressed. Now I'm inspired to do better. Have a healthy and prosperous 2017.

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  29. I love the way you set out this post, Nicola! All your achievements and plans laid out, I think I am going to do that, it may help me close the year on a more positive note and look forward to 2017 as being a good writing year. Good luck with your goals, you will get there. I have only managed to go to one writing festival but I have subscribed to writing magazine for a few years now and always look forward to reading.

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    1. Thank you for popping over, Suzanne. I used to soak up every word of the two magazines I subscribe to, but this year I've not been lapse in actually taking them out the cellophane. Must put that right in the new year.

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  30. Congratulations on your progress toward your goals. Best wishes on achieving them.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, Diane. Wishing you a successful and happy new year too!!

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  31. Happy December! Book fairs are such fun, i wish i could get to more of them.

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    1. Happy December! And thank you for all your blog stories this year. I've really enjoyed reading them and I adore Wordless Wednesday :)

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  32. wow, you've done so much! I do enjoy attending writers' festivals.

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    1. Thanks for popping by Lynda. I wish you a joyous festive season in your new home and a prosperous new year.

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  33. Wow! That's very inspirational. I have no doubt that you will achieve your goals.

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  34. Hey Nicola, love your enthusiasm. Love how you now have a fantastic tutor for a friend. That didn't happen to be a Margie Lawson writing class in France, did it? I considered going, but it didn't work out. All the best to you!

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    1. Hi Denise. Thank you for your comment. No, it wasn't a Margie Lawson class. It was a short story course with the marvellous Jane Wenham-Jones at Chez Castillon. The link is on the side of this page :) Have a lovely December Denise. All the best.

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  35. I love how you have a "plan of action" instead of a strict schedule. I think the word "action" is very motivating and keeps us moving forward, no matter how large - or small! - the steps. Good luck to you!

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  36. Wonderful post, Nicola! You've outlined a perfect plan to reach your goals with a zest that assures success. I've attended conferences and webinars, joined groups, both public and private. I can only imagine the benefits of personal support (friends, family), though I find that IWSG fills the void quite nicely ;-) Very best wishes to you for the coming year and hopes that your holidays offer the joys and warmth of serenity.

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    1. Teh IWSG is a special extended family, filled with love, friendship and continuing support - so we are all part of something special :) Have a lovely festive season, Diedre.

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  37. You have a firm grasp of your goals and how to get there. I'm cheering you on, Nicola!

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    1. Thank you, Cherie. Have a lovely December.

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  38. You are amazing! You have already done so much. You absolutely inspire me. You will reach your goal, Nicola. I know it. I attend free webinars and some actually do help me. Wishing you well.

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    1. Aaww, thank you, Murees. Wishing you a fantastic December and a new year filled with happiness and success.

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  39. Sounds like you're well on track to achieve your goal. You've gone all out to learn as much as you can and it'll all pay off. Congrats on your upcoming novel!

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    1. I hope it will pay off, Nick :) Have a lovely December and enjoy the festivities.

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  40. You have a brilliant attitude, Nicola. 'Making a living' from your writing is a something only a few writers manage to do and I wish you every success for the novel and 2017 x

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    1. Thank you very much, Wendy. Means a lot.

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  41. Congratulations, Nicola, for all your many achievements. That really is a hugely impressive list and I hope you feel very proud. You are all set for a fantastic year - the hard work and dedication will definitely pay off. Writing brings so many rewards, all of which you richly deserve. xxx

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    1. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement, Joanna. It's not an easy career path but the learning part is so rewarding. Wishing you a lovely Christmas.

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  42. That's an extensive list - keep it up! Book festivals are definitely on my to-do list. Frankfurt must have been amazing!

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    1. It was huge! The most exciting part for me was to sit in on the seminars of self-published authors. There are some truly amazing writers out there who are in control of their own destiny. Have a lovely Christmas, Annalisa.

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  43. you have excellent specific goals and congratulations on all you have done to succeed!

    and thank you for stopping by my Cradle Rock post at Juneta's blog

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Tara, and for your kind words. Have a great festive season!

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  44. I am so delighted to meet you, even though I'm not a writer. Your list is both extensive and appears to be doable. I think many of your ideas can translate and transition to other art forms, too, if we just replace the word "Writer" with "___ Artist."

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    1. So pleased you could relate, even though you're not a writer :) Lovely to 'meet' you too and I wish you a lovely festive season.

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  45. You have a very specific list of goals. Because of that, I'm sure you'll achieve most, if not all of them. Best of luck with your five year plan!

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    1. Thank you, Sherry! Good luck with your release in January.

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  46. Wow! Awesome goals! You can achieve all! All the best!

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  47. I love going to book fairs and festivals. Being surrounded by others who have a passion for reading and writing is very inspiring. Congrats to you on making so much progress on your five year plan. Your action plan is obviously working. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks for popping by Jess and congratulations to you and Stephanie. Happy birthday to Fairday. Hope all three of you have a super successful new year. Merry Christmas.

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  48. Great plan of action! I've never gotten in on a webinar but believe it's a great tool. Happy writing! I wish you great success.

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  49. Merry Christmas, Nicola! See you in January.

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  50. You have an impressive list of accomplishments, and I love your end goal. Wishing you much success!

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  51. Hi Nicola, that's a fabulous list of accomplishments and I wish you a very happy 2017 ahead! Have a safe and warm festive season.

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  52. Merry Christmas to you too!!! :)

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  53. You must be very happy with all that you've done this year. I bet you outdo yourself in 2017! Merry Christmas and see you next year.

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    1. That would be rather nice - outdo myself. I live in hope :)Happy Christmas, Lee.

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  54. Ooh, you've been to the Frankfurt Book Fair? I've always wanted to see what it's like!
    Happy New Year!

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  55. Wow! Great list, you must be very happy with everything you've done? I'm a huge fan of keeping a log as I think it's a great motivator.
    I've now done several Red Pen Editing webinars. They've been very useful and Anne Rainbow is a fantastic coach/teacher. I will definitely consider doing others in the future.
    Great end goal by the way.
    Happy New Year Nicola

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    1. Anne Rainbow is a gem! I've done her Red Pen Editing webinars too - great stuff! Wishing you continued success in 2017, Maria. Take good care.

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  56. All the best for your book! I am doing this A-Z challenge for the first time and I am learning so much every day. It's a great place to discover new blogs and network
    My latest post Positive

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