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Excuse Editor's Quick Guide to Writing Resolutions

As writers, you're probably pretty familiar with making Writing Resolutions to get your year started off right. But we  also have those pesky other resolutions to deal with. Well, this year, do an edit of your resolutions: make the common ones work double duty!

Resolve to...

  • Be healthy
    • Eat right
      • Feed your writer-self a wholesome mix of words and thoughts made from inspirational writing and all sorts of your favorite writing. It will nourish your writing spirit.
    • Exercise
      • Keep your fingers moving across those keys, even when you don't think you feel like it. The results will be your reward.
  • Get organized
    • Sort through all of the scribblings you've allowed to collect dust. You're sure to find hidden treasures; dusty works just waiting to be freshened up with crisp, clean edits.
  • Volunteer
    • Help other writers with concepts you understand. Encourage them and learn from their work. You'll be inspired by their enthusiasm and recognize how far you've progressed. Embrace the cultivating of dreams.
  • Reduce Stress
    • Accept that rejection is part of the process. Just like the story that refuses to take the road you had planned for it, your writing life sometimes has twists and turns of its own.
  • Allow yourself more ME time
    • Are you spending so much of your writing time serving someone else's interests (articles or technical journals at work, for example) that you don't have time for your own essays and stories? This year, make time for your writing, too.
  • Get your finances in order
    • Set aside some money for contest entries, classes, and writing supplies. Make sure it is within your budget. If it is not, focus on your writing until it is. Submit your writing to paying markets (like what is found in The Scoop, the free list you get as an Excuse Editor Newsletter subscriber).
  • Be Green
    • Recycle and Reuse. Take a look at some of your vintage writing. Could that old short story be updated with a new twist? What about any articles you've had published? If you own the rights to them, send them to new markets and sell them again.
  • Get enough Rest
    • Sometimes your writing and your self need to spend some time apart, to rest. When you come together again, you'll be calm and focused, and your work will feel like it's being shaped and molded with love, rather than manhandled in frustration.
What specific goals do you have for your writing this year? What would you like to find at Excuse Editor that could help you along? Leave a comment, and we'll see what we can do!

Best wishes for you and your writing in 2010!



Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Experience

The popularity of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books is beyond extraordinary. What started out as a multi- rejected book idea has turned into a multi-million dollar book empire. More than 110 million Chicken Soup for the Soul books have been sold. Many of the books have been translated to 40 different languages. I'm proud that my personal essays have been included in some of these books, and I hope to continue being a Chicken Soup contributor.
My Story
I thought I would share a bit about being published in these collections. I'm very happy with my Chicken Soup experiences, and part of that may be that I went into it with little expectations at first. I started with them because I had a few stories that seemed to fit what they were looking for, and I thought I had nothing to lose. Unlike some of the other markets and contests I was looking at, submitting to Chicken Soup could be done at no cost to me, and I didn't even need to worry about a postage stamp, because they had a…

All the Right Ingredients to Writing Advice

Last time, I talked about people in our lives that are pretty sure they know how to be successful writers, because they spent much of their time reading. Sometimes their advice can be a blessing, sometimes just the opposite. It is the same with the plethora of advice available from other writers. Have you checked out almost every book about the writing process from your local library at one time or another? Are your shelves lined with your own copies of "the-perfect-writing-advice-that-will-get-me-published-once-and-for-all"? Are you a member of multiple online writing communities? Do you hold your breath just a little bit when waiting from the critique from that "certain someone" in your writing group?

Yeah. Me too. And I don't think that gaining knowledge is a bad thing. We just have to be careful.

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Why Ghostwriting? Guest Post by Kelly James-Enger

Is it Time to Disappear?  Why I Became a Ghost--and Why you Should, Too
I never intended to become a ghostwriter. After all, why would I spend months of my life toiling away on someone else’s book? No thanks. I only wanted to write my own books, and that’s what I did.
I soon found, however, that the life of a book author wasn’t quite what I’d envisioned. I was working long hours, yet making less money than I had before, when I wrote only articles. The reason was simple—the time I spent promoting my books left me less time to write articles and other books, which cut into my income.
            Fortunately for me, I was approached by a nutrition expert about coauthoring her book. I found I enjoyed collaborating with her, but the real payoff came when we finished the manuscript. As the author, she now had to start promoting it—but I was all done!
That was enough for me. I decided to pursue coauthoring and ghostwriting, and “my” next book was ghostwritten for a client. (Typically a “coau…