By Janice Hanna Thompson
Many writers-even published ones-go through career stalls. Things fizzle out. Interest (among editor, agents or readers) wanes. Some authors face tough times, even after experiencing great success with a first or second novel. Still others feel the downward spiral after being on the best-seller’s list. I know, from personal experience, that these seasons can be discouraging. However, a downward fizzle doesn’t have to lead to an inevitable end of your writing career. It is possible to re-ignite, re-strategize, and re-invent yourself. You can pick yourself up, face the challenges head-on, and watch your career take off once again.
I’ve put together a list of five tips guaranteed to re-energize weary authors. If you follow this plan, you can jump-start your career once again. If you’ve never published-but hope to-these five tips will help you on your journey toward publication.
ONE: Write your passion. If you’ve been publishing awhile, you’ve probably joined the ranks of those who write what they think will sell. It’s time to go back where you started. What is your mission statement? Your life’s theme? What gets you excited? What comes naturally? If you could choose one song as your theme song, what would it be? Figure out who you are, then write what comes naturally.
TWO: Set yourself apart from the pack. The one thing that sets you apart from other writers is your voice. Not your speaking voice-and certainly not your singing voice. I’m talking about that unique “voice” that rings through loud and clear when you write. It’s your personality on the page. It’s your way of seeing and telling the story. It’s honest. You’re not trying to be someone you’re not. If you’ve never been true to your own personal, unique voice, now is the time.
THREE: Re-Build Your Platform. If you want to re-invent your writing career…if you want to impress that editor or agent…then work on your platform. Begin to blog once again. Stay active on Facebook. Consider writing for the Examiner (an online news source). Publish magazine articles. Consistently write to a particular topic. Take public speaking engagements. Teach at your local junior college. Set yourself up as an expert on your chosen topic.
FOUR: Find an agent who’s willing to work for you. If you’ve been working with an agent who seems to have lost interest in your career (due to lack of interest from editors, perhaps), consider making the switch to a new agent. Before you do that, however, spend the necessary time working on your platform. If your sales numbers on prior books don’t sway him/her, likely your re-invented platform will.
FIVE: Stay on a learning curve. Don’t be afraid to go back to the basics. I’ve known some brilliant writers who’ve humbled themselves and attended beginner’s writing courses at conferences. We all need to go back to the basics at times. If your writing has gotten sloppy, consider taking some online writing courses. Do whatever it takes to keep your writing sharp and clean.
There you have it, friends! Five tips to re-ignite your career. I hope you blaze all the way to the publishing house!
Janice Hanna Thompson is the author of over eighty books for the Christian market. She is known for her comedic inspirational romances. Janice lives in Spring, Texas, where every day is a happy day! Janice also teaches on-line writing courses. To find out more about her, visit her site at www.janicehannathompson.com or visit her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JaniceHannaThompson.