Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good to Great: A Writer's Path to Excellence #amwriting

Good is the enemy of Great. Have you found yourself saying: This is good enough? Then you have work to do. How does a writer cross the threshold from GOOD to GREAT? What does it take to become a winner and a success? What do top-selling authors, successful business people, and Olympic athletes have in common? Are they just lucky or is there something else?

Next Saturday, February 9th, I’ll be giving a workshop at the Pocono Lehigh Romance Writers ( ) on this topic and I thought I’d give a little introduction on the topic.

While taking an online class with Bob Mayer a while ago, I was surprised to see NY Times bestselling author Susan Mallery also taking the class. She has published well over 100 novels and is a huge success, why was she taking this class? At one point in the class, I made a comment saying I felt my writing was good but not great. I was trying to figure out how to make it great. I was thrilled to get a private email from Susan. She recommended a book: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. I asked her why she was taking this class when she was so successful. She said the key to becoming a great writer is always striving to be better. There’s always something to learn, even after 100 or 200 books.

When a NY Times bestselling author recommends a book on how you can become a great writer or gives you any advice: LISTEN!! I did and bought the book and audio. I continue to listen to it in my car over and over. Since then, I’ve found other personal development books/audio. I listen to them and read 10 pages a day. They give me the drive and focus to set goals. In addition, I also read writing How To books and take workshops and online classes.

I’m signed up for Angela James 3-week workshop Before You Hit Send, a self-editing class starting February 11.

Here are a couple tips for becoming a GREAT writer: I’ll add more tips in future posts.

·         Create a Stop Doing List. Great authors don’t spend all their time on what TO DO, but focus on what TO STOP DOING. Create a STOP DOING LIST. Find more time for the important things, like writing.

·         The Black Hole of the Internet. Have your ever tracked the time you spend on the internet? Facebook, Tweeting, email, texting, etc.? Yes, authors have to do promotion but there must be a balance. Go to: when you get onto FB or Twitter and clock your time. You may think you only spend 15 minutes, but it may be 2 hours. Clock your actual writing time too. Pause the clock if you get up to get a drink, use the bathroom, etc. Tracking your time helps to keep you focused.

·         Discipline people, discipline thought, discipline action=Success!!

And that’s one step for becoming GREAT!!

·         Set goals. Goals are dreams with deadlines. Write them down!

Good is the enemy of great because it’s the path of least resistance. Do you want to be a good writer or a great writer? What steps are you taking?


Cris Anson said...

What great tips! Especially the "Stop Doing" list. Thanks. And it's obvious that you're doing lots of things right. Keep on writing :-)

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks Cris. I'm trying to increase my quality writing time and increase my word count. That's my goal for this year. I'm also taking more classes.