Monday 28 January 2019

New Year's Resolutions: Managing a Writing Career

By Alyssa J. Montgomery 

I'm thinking about New Year’s resolutions and my writing goals. I already have my publishing schedule for this year and deadlines set by my publisher, but what about my goals for managing my career as a writer?

After I received my first publishing contract I quickly discovered that the business of writing involves so much more than writing a publishable story! In fact in a hyper-crowded marketplace, marketing can make all the difference. 

This year I decided one of my NYE resolutions should be to consciously manage my writing career, including paying more attention to marketing. 

Sounds easy, right? For me, it isn’t because I have a day job that’s demanding in terms of time, emotional and physical energy (a private speech pathology practice which I own, work and manage!), a family to love, enjoy and organise and a home and several animals to look after, and friendships to enjoy and nurture. No different from most other writers and my health is pretty good, yet I find it a juggling act and I confess that I don’t always catch all the balls I throw up into the air, so what can I do better?

I'm told I need to spend time daily both writing and setting aside time to attend to ‘author-ly business’. I can’t write every day, but this year I’ve resolved to either write and/or attend to some of the business of writing on a daily basis. This should also help me focus on my writing career more.

Every minute spent marketing—whether it’s through social media, blogging, newsletters, book signings, organising pre-launch promotions, answering emails from readers or organising promotional merchandise—takes time away from writing. It’s important to continue the momentum of promotion from one book so that it flows on to the next. So I’m going to try to find a better balance. 

In 2019 I hope to find more time to develop my writing as a business. 

Anybody got any good tips to help me along the way? 

What are your writing New Year’s resolutions?

Love to Love: Meeting goals I've set.

Love to Laugh: When things go wrong and I can't meet those goals (it's either laugh or cry!)

Love to Learn: About how to improve my approach to managing my writing career.


  1. Hi Alyssa! I don't make New Year's resolutions as I just can't keep them, but I've chosen BALANCE as my word for the year. Book marketing is such a demanding and time-consuming thing, isn't it! I hope you get to achieve your own Balance this year.

    1. Thanks Marilyn! Balance is a great word but often difficult to achieve. Hope you find it, too!

  2. Hi Alyssa. Iknow what you mean about needing to organise yourself if you want things done. Life and allaits obligations does get in the way of writing, doesn't it? Especially when illness comes. Thankfully, family health is good and assistance at work has made that load easier. Made a resolution on NYE that this is the year my writing is in full focus. A regular walk in the surrounding Bush brings the muse. A great plus. And going back to handwriting the story first. Wow, words are flowing somuch easier and I'm putting my ms out there. 2019 is my year of action and the best reward is coming! (My 2019 mantra)

    1. Great to hear you’re manuscript will be out there. I’m looking forward to hearing which publishers you have sent to at the next meeting!!!
      Hope the entire family stays healthy and that 2019 brings publication for you.

  3. Hi Alyssa, Iike you I have an time intensive working week. One of the best suggestions I've received to improve my productivity is counterintuitive and used successfully by people much busier people than myself. The suggestion is to take 10 minutes alone each day and do something completely relaxing, creative and non-productive. The person who gave me the advice reads poetry aloud and alone. He works over 100 hours a week and finds this downtime contributes to his success. An unusual but successful idea. I hope it helps you in your busy year ahead.

    1. Sounds wonderful, Sharon. Usually no matter how late I am getting to bed, I sit with a cuppa and have headspace to plan my next day. I’ll have to build something relaxing on top of that!

  4. Hi Alyssa. Trying to find the balance between reading/writing/marketing is going to be my big challenge this year too.

  5. It’s probably a challenge most writers face. For those who have the time, the challenge is probably then to avoid distractions!
    I wish you well!

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